• RedHanded Scotland


Pet Shop Boys, Jamie xx, Metronomy, KT Tunstall, Russell Watson and Passenger have all pledged to play gigs for ‘Passport: Back to Our Roots’, the campaign to raise money for grassroots music venues at risk of closure. The artists will be these playing celebratory intimate shows, on dates to be confirmed, when venues are able to open with no social distancing.

For a £5 minimum donation to the campaign, music fans will be entered into the draw to win passes to the show of their choice for themselves and a guest. Enter now at crowdfunder.co.uk/passport-back-to-our-roots the prize draw only runs from today until 10am on Monday 5th October.

The brainchild of Sally Cook, Director of Operations at Band on the Wall, and Stephen Budd, creator of War Child’s Passport: Back to the Bars and Passport: to BRITs Week series, Passport: Back to Our Roots has partnered with Music Venue Trust to raise much needed funds to safeguard the futures of grassroots music venues struggling to survive the COVID-19 crisis.

80% of all money raised will go to the Music Venue Trust, who in turn will distribute half of the amount to the host venue with the remainder going into their Crisis Fund, benefiting all venues in need of financial support. The remaining 20% will go to Inner City Music, the charitable organisation that operates the multi-award winning not-for-profit historic music venue Band on the Wall in Manchester, which is responsible for the administration of the project and will cover its overheads.

Block 1

Ash Sneaky Pete’s - Edinburgh

Elbow - Night and Day, Manchester

Everything Everything - Bedford Esquires

Public Service Broadcasting - Amersham Arms, New Cross, London

The Slow Readers Club - Hebden Bridge Trades Club

Block 2

Jamie xx – Corsica Studios, Elephant & Castle, London

KT Tunstall - Windmill Brixton and PJ Molloys, Dunfermline

Metronomy – Patterns, Brighton

Passenger – Komedia, Brighton

Pet Shop Boys –Electric Ballroom, Camden

Russell Watson –Stoller Hall, Manchester

Metronomy weren’t discovered in Alexandra Palace or Brixton Academy. We were discovered in the Brighton Freebutt, Leeds Cockpit, Southampton Joiners, King Tut’s and hundreds of other small venues up and down the country. These small venues aren’t just the modest beginnings for bands that make it big. They also supply performance spaces for far less egotistical groups than ourselves...Choirs and Theatre groups for example.  It’s absolutely crucial that we stop as many small venues from closing as possible!!! Metronomy have already reaped the rewards of performing in the intimate surroundings that places like Patterns in Brighton provide. Now we’d like to help secure the future of as many small venues as possible so that the world at large can keep discovering the new and exciting talent that they nurture.” Joe Mount, Metronomy

Speaking about the campaign KT Tunstall said Without grassroots music venues, there are no big acts. It’s as simple as that. The incredible eco-system of small venues exists, in the vast majority of cases, as labours of love. Constantly up against rapidly rising business rates and big developer interests, these essential community hubs are kept alive by often overworked owners and staff with an unending passion for music and the music lovers and musicians they serve.”

Russell Watson, the Salford born classical singer, said “Grassroots venues were crucial in the development of my career. I spent almost nine years in the working men’s clubs in the North West of England before my touring career as a recording artiste. It’s heart-breaking to see so many of these venues – which are the fabric of our communities, where people gather to drink, procrastinate and be entertained - under such huge financial strain. Entertainment is essential to the U.K. It’s fundamentally crucial in driving a large part of our nation’s economy but also in the employment of hundreds of thousands of incredibly talented people - from lighting engineers to prima donnas. This is a time for us all to reflect on just what the entertainment industry means to us and to keep it alive during these most unprecedented times.”

Speaking about his show Jamie xx said “I chose Corsica Studios because it’s consistently one of the best places to hear dance music in London. I used to go almost every week when I lived in Brixton, and I’m definitely going to be there a lot more when we’re allowed to again. Can’t wait to play, it’s been too long.”

Further groups of artists will be announced every month. £75,000 was raised from the first prize draw for entry to concerts by Elbow, Public Service Broadcasting, Everything Everything, The Slow Readers Club and Ash.

Sally Cook, co-founder of Passport: Back to Our Roots said “We’re blown away by the incredible response to the first block of fundraisers, and want to extend our heartfelt thanks to everyone who donated, and to every artist who pledged to play a grassroots venue show. The outpouring of support (we read all the comments!) just proves how important grassroots venues are to the UK’s music fans. £75k is an amazing start and will help make a real difference to the venues involved and the sector as a whole, but we’re not stopping there. We are really excited to be announcing this new group of artists this week.”