The consortium is made up of 12 partner venues of over 1,100 capacity, which collaborate to programme and produce tours, working collaboratively with artists on live music experiences that would be unlikely to be produced in any other way.
One of the venues, the 1,640-capacity Sage Gateshead, is home to the UK’s only full-time chamber orchestra Royal Northern Sinfonia and led on producing a collaboration between American singer-songwriter John Grant and Royal Northern Sinfonia in 2014. It has now made a film of this concert available to stream this coming Friday (June 12) to raise funds for #saveourvenues, which has raised more than £2 million to date towards helping grassroots venues.
Beverley Whitrick, strategic director of Music Venue Trust, said: “We hugely appreciate this act of solidarity from Music Beyond Mainstream, who recognise that all venues are part of a live music ladder, that sees artists start their careers in grassroots venues before progressing onto larger stages. Their help and generosity is very much appreciated by the many venues we represent. We would particularly like to thank the team at Sage Gateshead for making this remarkable archive performance available to the #saveourvenues campaign.”
Covid-19 is challenging every aspect of the music sector
The project saw John Grant artistically paired with the 34-piece chamber orchestra for a UK tour and included the commissioning of four new songs from him that would be released on his third album Grey Tickles, Black Pressure. The orchestral arrangements were composed by violinist and composer Fiona Brice and the concerts were conducted by Christopher George. Royal Northern Sinfonia has previously collaborated with artists such as Pet Shop Boys, Joanna Newsom, Efterklang and Spiritualized.
Tamsin Austin, associate director of programming at Sage Gateshead, said: “Covid-19 is challenging every aspect of the music sector. Musicians’ livelihoods are at risk and venues large and small are in peril of closure because of financial challenges. It is important that all this sector makes it through this crisis. We made this wonderful show with one of our all-time favourite artists, several years ago, as a group of larger UK venues in the network Music Beyond Mainstream.
"In streaming this show for free, we would like to encourage you to donate, if you feel able, to the Music Venues Trust crisis fund. This fund is set up to support grass roots venues across the country. These grass roots venues are crucial to us as larger venues, just as they are to musicians and audiences across the country and create our rich live music scene. If you can donate to the fund, it will help secure a grass roots venue near you. #saveourvenues.”
Ten of the Music Beyond Mainstream member venues – Sage Gateshead, THSH Birmingham, Bristol Colston Hall, Edinburgh Usher Hall, Liverpool Philharmonic, Manchester Bridgewater Hall, Nottingham Royal Concert Hall, Poole Lighthouse, The Anvil, Basingstoke and London, Southbank Centre – will stream the concert simultaneously from their Facebook pages at 8pm this coming Friday (June 12).
The concert will be free to view but donations can be made to #saveourvenues via the campaign’s main fundraising page : www.crowdfunder.co.uk/save-our-venues-national-campaign