We caught up with Bonita McKinney, Ticketmaster, who has been using her time during lockdown to dedicate to the #SaveOurVenues Campaign which was instigated in response to the continued economic threat to over 500 grassroots music venues throughout the UK. #SaveOurVenues is aimed at artists, music fans and the wider music industry, with a plea for music companies to contribute donations to the fund.
Q: Do you have a favourite venue? Can you remember your first gig there? A: I grew up in Bournemouth so I would spend my weekends at the infamous 100 capacity venue “Mr Smiths” ... mostly watching local punk bands. Sadly it’s no longer there but It truly helped form my love of live music!
Q: Picture your dream gig, who and where would it be? A: I have tickets to Rammstein & My Chemical Romance (this summer) so I’m just waiting for those rescheduled dates!!! I’m also desperate to get to a festival as soon as we can!
Q: For those people who'd like to get involved with helping MVT, how can they do so? A: Support your local venue as much as you can. Whether that’s championing their fundraising campaigns via social media (#saveourvenues) donating or purchasing some of their merch or holding onto tickets for rescheduled shows rather than asking for refunds.
The website saveourvenues.co.uk has guides for venues/ artists and fans on how they can help.
Since launching the campaign in April, the Music Venue Trust’s #SaveOurVenues Campaign has passed the £1m milestone with six figure donations from Beggars Group, Amazon Music and The BPI & Mayor of London whilst several other companies including Sony Music, Kilimanjaro Live, SJM and DHP have also donated generously too.
To date #SaveOurVenues has seen venues launch individual crowdfunder pages linked to the campaign with artists raising money for individual venues in crisis with whom they have a personal connection. Artists are also being asked to support the initiative via their social media platforms using the #SaveOurVenues hashtag and directing their fans to shows they are performing as part of this initiative and signposting the way to the www.saveourvenues.co.uk website where donations can be made.
Music fans are encouraged to show their support by engaging with the #SaveOurVenues shows and donating to their local venue’s crowdfunder pages but can also choose to donate directly to the main #SaveOurVenues fund via the campaign website here:
Sadiq Khan, The Mayor of London, said:
“The coronavirus outbreak is having a significant impact on every aspect of life in London, and that includes our culture, creative industries and night-time economy. These industries are so important to the fabric of our city during the day and night, and they will play a key role in helping us to recover from this public health crisis. I’m pleased to be working together with Music Venue Trust, the LGBTQ+ Venues Forum, the Creative Land Trust and the BFI to offer this emergency funding to those areas most at need, but we need the Government to step forward and provide the comprehensive support this industry needs to protect its future.”
Check out their events page to see what they have going on during lockdown to raise money for the campaign here: saveourvenues.co.uk/events
Lots of love,
Women Connect x