A club night organiser has told Salford Now that many of Salford’s “club and event spaces are reaching the end of their tether” following the second lockdown.
Robbie Bloomer, organiser of popular club night High Hoops, believes that the future of the city’s club scene will be heavily damaged if they do not reopen in December.
He said: “I think the impact of these changes will be quite devastating. I know for a fact that there will be a number of people who will have had to take the advice from the government and retrain after giving 20-30 years into an industry, because these people have to work to survive.
“I don’t think there’s any positives that will come from it.”
Back in March, Robbie and a number of other Greater Manchester promoters set up a campaign called Save Our Scene to raise money in support of Salford and Manchester’s nightlife after venues closed for the first lockdown. These closures not only affected Robbie’s business, but he also said: “A lot of our friends are on the brink of losing their livelihood.
“It was just unknowing what was going to happen and how long this change in the music scene would last” he said. “We knew something was coming, but we didn’t know in what scale.”
During its first phase, the initiative raised over £18,000 which was distributed to artists and venue owners, as well as door and bar staff. This was done through livestreams, music downloads and a raffle, as well as a general Crowdfunder page. The raffle alone raised £12,000 and consisted of 14 prize bundles, including signed artwork, vinyl records and even counselling sessions.
Speaking to Salford Now in October, Robbie explained that Save Our Scene was set to go into its second phase. This included sales of a collaborative t-shirt featuring 20 Salford and Manchester based promoters. The funds from the shirt were aiming to raise £5,000 for a bursary towards an idea to keep the city’s nightlife up and running.
However, he now says that the second lockdown has brought their fundraising “to a standstill”.
“It’s thrown a spanner in the works” he said. ” Last time we spoke, we put the t-shirt on sale, but now it’s going to be difficult to get those printed as a lot of places aren’t operating now due to lockdown restrictions.
“We’ve taken a lot of online orders so we’re kind of just waiting until we can send them out.”
Even events that were adapted for Tier 3 restrictions, including a Covid-safe ‘rave brunch’ had to be cancelled.
Robbie described the sudden enforcement of the new lockdown as: “A kick in the teeth, especially for nightlife.”
He added: “The restrictions make it so these venues won’t be able to open, potentially, ever again.
“The damage for having to be shut for what? Seven months without any relief – it felt like we were going to get somewhere – but now it’s just another kick in the teeth.”
Save Our Scene’s t-shirts will be on sale until the end of November and can be purchased on Bandcamp here.
Save Our Scene are also still taking donations on their Salford nightlife Crowdfunder page: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/save-our-scene-manchester-salford#start