The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 14 May 2019
Special Funding - Grassroots music venues across England will now be able to apply for special funding from a ring-fenced budget intended to support the sector and help stem their decline. Arts Council England has announced it has set aside £1.5m of National Lottery money to fund projects hosting and promoting live music in grassroots venues. It comes amid an ongoing campaign to protect small venues following a period of decline across the UK.
Opening this week, the scheme will accept applications for between £1,000 and £40,000 from music venues and promoters. The funding will sit within the Arts Council’s project grants programme, but by having a separate budget for grassroots music venues, ACE said it wanted to encourage applications by reducing the high level of competition faced when applying for the main project grants scheme.
Arts Council chief executive Darren Henley said: “Grassroots music venues are essential both for our world-renowned music industry and communities across the country, and there needs to be a collective effort from both the public sector and music industry to support them.”
Other organisations such as the Music Venue Trust and the Musicians’ Union are working alongside the Arts Council on a number of coordinated initiatives to make up a “sector-wide approach” to supporting venues. Last year, London mayor Sadiq Khan created a £1 million fund for grassroots arts projects as part of a commitment to support culture in communities across the capital.
Drastic On Plastic - Fairport’s Cropredy Convention is backing a campaign to tackle the problem of single-use plastics. Together with over 60 other music festivals across the UK, Cropredy organisers has called on big retailers such as Argos and Tesco to stop marketing ‘festival tents’ as single-use items.
The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) estimates 250,000 tents are left at music festivals across the UK. Many festival-goers believe the tents are collected and given to charity but, claims AIF, the majority go to landfill. At an average of 3.5kg each tent is the equivalent of 8,750 plastic straws or 250 cups. Gareth Williams, director of Fairport’s Cropredy Convention, said: “We are fully behind the AIF Take Your Tent Home campaign. We want to see a really significant reduction in the single use of plastic tents.”
Williams said that last year’s Drastic On Plastic initiative had been a great success at Cropredy. “We saw a dramatic reduction of plastic waste at our festival,” he said. By issuing free stainless steel water bottles to crew and artists we cut plastic bottles from over 4,500 to under a hundred. Our real ale bar also replaced 160,000 plastic glasses with a fully compostable alternative and didn’t issue plastic straws. We made similar progress in our backstage catering operation.”
An AIF report, published in 2018, revealed that 9.7% of people attending its member events had ditched a tent during that year’s festival season, equating to an estimated 875 tonnes of plastic waste. AIF chief Paul Reed said: “We call upon major retailers to stop marketing and selling tents as single-use. AIF launches this campaign to raise awareness of abandoned tents as part of the single-use plastics problem. Festival audiences can reduce their carbon footprint simply by taking their tent home and reusing it.”
(Jim Evans)
14 May 2019

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