Wednesday, September 30, 2020


It's hard not to feel a little disturbed at the funding vaccum for those involved in the supply chain of the events industry. I used to rant frequently and without fear. I stopped but the issue with the lack of support for those in genuine need is that its not that there is no support but it's a highly selective support. 

It's hard not to feel that there is something imbalanced about the approach that will support selective important venues over other events suppliers. And god help you if you're a promoter or self employed event worker.

I have no grudge against the venue benefactors - why shouldn't they be advantaged from public funding from the arts - but you can't help but feel an injustice that some level of support is not finding its way to others even more in need. 

I don't have a solution but as ever the question of who benefits most from arts funding is burning at me. In developing a niche music event we have had miniscule support and every penny we received from the public sector in grants was returned to them in venue costs. There was no net revenue from council to promoter in four years. Our approach to Eventscotland for development was rejected in year three because we were deemed to be self supporting and not in need of public support.

Currently we have jumped through the most incredible hoops to try and secure £10k with no sign of whether we'll get it or not.

We are currently seeking an avenue to allow us to produce a weekend of streamed footage of The Story So Far. We have no expectations of support. It may be that there is no elitism in the funding support but it's pretty damned hard to see it when your a provincial independent rock music promoter.

I'm no subsidy junkie; we've risked only our own funds in four years of WinterStorm and hopefully the limited success has trickled down - I believe it has - but there is a genuine argument for support for the very "viable" businesses across the sector.

It may be difficult to find a solution but if a formula can be found for supporting subsidy and grant reliant arts facilities then please don't patronise us by saying there's only support for the viable. 

I've stayed out of this because of I wasn't and am not sure of the solution but I know that one can be found. Not easily and not comfortably but there must be a balance found that recognises that the structure of the industry works from the bottom up as much as from the top down. More in fact. 

So while I don't resent The Gaiety or others in receipt of funds to keep them afloat we should not be foolish enough to believe enough is being done. There's no one in the events sector looking for special treatment; simply parity with other industries who have been supported. Simple fairness is all that's being sought.

Our live events sector is a viable industry if supported equitably. If not the impacts will be felt throughout the hospitality sector for a long time to come.

#WeMakeEvents - all of us!

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