It’s been nine months since nightclubs and bars were forced to close their doors in Salford. In October, the government announced a £250 million aid package in an attempt to try to save the night-time industry, but will this be enough?
The industry has been ‘thrown to the wolves’, that’s according to Greater Manchester night-time economy advisor, Sacha Lord.
Lord has just released a recovery plan setting out how the industry in Greater Manchester will be supported to recover from the impact of Covid-19.
Lord says by April 2021 a campaign will be launched to educate Greater Manchester residents as to how they can continue to support the industry.
Campaigns like ‘Save Our Scene’ and ‘Save Our Venues’ have been creating awareness and raising funds for the night-time industry by hosting livestreams, having raffles and creating Crowdfunder pages.
Dom Taylor, DJ, producer, and Salford University graduate has been DJing around Salford and Greater Manchester for 4 years.
He feels lucky to maintain a part-time job during a time where 2/3’s of night-time economy businesses in Greater Manchester are expected to make redundancies over the next 12 months.
Dom said: “I’ve not been able to build up experience and not been able to get more gigs under my belt and put more things on the CV.
“That has definitely been annoying and frustrating, but there’s been a lot of people who haven’t been supported who are in much worse positions than me.
“I’m lucky to maintain a part-time job throughout the pandemic. That’s been keeping me going and keeping me out of the house.
“I’ve also had the time to DJ at home doing livestreams and that sort of thing”.
Despite the fact that some creatives will have no choice but to get new jobs, Dom believes in the resilience of the DJ industry.
“There is definitely a worry that some of these creatives have had to get jobs because they’re not being supported in their creative endeavours since the pandemic.
“They may well give up on the creative industry as a whole because it has completely turned their back on them.
“I’m hoping the one thing we will learn is that the creative industry is very resilient.
“A lot of these people that are going to have to get jobs may have to put a pause on their creative endeavours.
“I know for a fact that they’re not going to let this kind of thing keep them down for long.
“Feeling that love and positivity from people is one thing I miss massively and i’m hoping in the next few months we’ll all be able to share that again, both as creatives and as people who are going to these gigs”.
Credit: Dom Taylor
Singer-songwriter Chanel Yates released a new track in April, the launch party for her track “MAMA” had to be cancelled and take place as a virtual event.
The Salford student who toured around the UK in 2019 has been using the past nine months to write new material in the absence of gigs.
Chanel said: “The pandemic has changed the music industry and I really hope it gets back to normal soon.
“When you’re stood on the stage and people are singing your songs and you can hug people and show them you love them, it’s literally the best feeling in the world.
“To not be able to do that and only express your emotions through social media or the virtual is really difficult.
“Life isn’t life without music.
“There will always be a music industry, so it’s just a matter of time really until we can get back to normality and start being ourselves again”.
Credit: Chanel Yates
For Chanel and Dom, remaining positive during these difficult times is key.
Dom said: “The thing that keeps me going really is the fact that there is an end point to this, it’s not going to be like this forever.
“My hope for the future is that we can go as a group of people to a venue, listen to some music and have a dance and a hug.
“People not having that release of going out and having a great time with mates,has been really detrimental for some people”.
Chanel said: “Some days are harder than others with trying to keep motivated and positive about everything that’s going on in the world.
“I try to speak to myself and ask ‘are you okay?’ and ‘do you need a second to just breathe and take a step back?’.
“If I need that time I meditate, read a book or take a minute with my crystals just to check in with myself and relax”.
Today we have launched our blueprint of recommendations and priorities for Greater Manchester’s Night Time Economy, detailing how we can recover stronger from the Covid-19 pandemic. You can access it here: https://t.co/R9f5iFOG5s. It’s time to look forward.
— Sacha Lord (@Sacha_Lord) November 17, 2020
Sean Stott is a musician and an event organiser living in Salford, his promotions company Sunshine Soul has been hard hit by the pandemic.
Sean said: “There’s no one we can even talk to about getting intervention.
“Who do we even talk to?
“The only thing we can do is talk to the venue managers. I hate talking to the venue managers because I know how stressed they must be about it and you know that they are losing so much business”.
According to the night-time economy recovery plan, over 38% of night time businesses said they will not be able to reopen fully to pre pandemic levels, with 9% saying they will be permanently closing.
MUSIC VENUE TRUST ANNOUNCE ‘TRAFFIC LIGHT’ CAMPAIGN TO SAVE ALL GRASSROOT MUSIC VENUES STILL IN CRISIS
LIKE / SHARE / DONATE pic.twitter.com/3fOy2U7nb9
— Music Venue Trust (@musicvenuetrust) November 11, 2020
To make a donation to to the night-time industry in Salford and Manchester, you can visit: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/save-our-scene-mcr-salford-phase-2