Brighton’s music scene in danger due to lockdown measures

“Venues are more than just going to gigs. We’re community hubs”

As normal life has come to a halt, independent venues in Brighton are struggling to stay afloat. Without the usual stream of customers through their doors, student favourites such as Komedia, Green Door Store and The Hope and Ruin say they are at risk of permanent closure.

Concerned about their livelihoods and the vitality of Brighton’s music scene, managers have joined the Save our Venues campaign, in the hope of raising enough funds to keep businesses open.

Manager of Green Door Store, Toni Coe-Brooker, told The Argus that businesses were already struggling “Over the past few years we’ve been under-supported and underfunded by the Government…Now the coronavirus has come and smashed everything out of the water. It’s all well and good the Government offering loans but those are extra payments that will need to be paid back. We’re still paying rent.”

Save our Venues campaign intends to raise the money needed where the government has fallen short. The campaign consists of 556 grassroots music venues in total, seven of which are Brighton-based (Komedia, The Old Market, Green Door Store, The Hope and Ruin, The Brunswick, The Pipeline and Latest Musicbar). These business maintain that the loss of these establishments would be a huge loss for Brighton as a whole. “Venues are more than just going to gigs. We’re community hubs”

“Small venues are where bands cut their teeth and make mistakes. The 1975 played in front of four people here.”  Green Door Store’s Toni Coe-Brooker told The Argus.

Helen Jewell, programmer at The Old Market, told The Argus “The idea of these spaces not being able to return will devastate our city’s cultural landscape…If we let our music venues close we will lose the heart of our identity. We will return, but we need your help.”

Brighton’s most-loved venues are truly in need of some local support, if residents want to see them reopen in the future. “We can survive a couple of more weeks. But soon we will be in a really awful situation. If you want to save us, you better start helping us now.”, The Pipeline owner, Thomas Evrenos, told The Argus.

To save the fate of our favourite local gigs, donate to the Save our Venues campaign here.