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Help Save New Zealand's Venues #SAVEOURVENUES

Help Save New Zealand's Venues #SAVEOURVENUES

Chris Cudby / Photo of Wax Chattels at Whammy Bar by Connor Crawford / Monday 4th May, 2020 12:40PM

Now is a pivotal moment for Aotearoa's music community, as we've finally emerged from the month long Level 4 lockdown, hovering at a slightly less restricted Level 3 alert status [UPDATE: venues are reopening at Level 2 on Thursday 21st May under restricted conditions]. While the future's looking brighter and many have already hit up their favourite restaurants for an overdue takeaway / delivery fix, it's critical to remember our live scene is still effectively paralysed, until we get the green light to get back amongst it.

Venues are the lifeblood of Aotearoa's music industry and they desperately need your support now more than ever. Without venues, local shows won't happen, our rising stars won't have stages on which to perform, grow and inspire (and sometimes work behind the bar), communities won't have spaces to congregate and party, and New Zealand really would be an all around drab and boring place to call home.


Here's an ever-expanding rundown of current Boosted / Givealittle campaigns and online initiatives in support of venues throughout Aotearoa, with handy hashtag details where relevant. We encourage you to show them all your love and please donate if you have the means to do so:


Whammy Bar / The Wine Cellar (Auckland, #welovewhammywinecellar) - campaign has ended

Ponsonby Social Club (Auckland, #weloveponsonbysocialclub) - donate here, ends Friday 12th June

Neck Of The Woods (Auckland, #weloveneckofthewoods) - donate here, ends Friday 4th June

Cassette Nine (Auckland, #welovecassette) - donate here, ends Friday 4th June

Ding Dong Lounge (Auckland #welovedingdonglounge) - donate here, ends Monday 8th June

Galatos (Auckland, #welovegalatos) - donate here, ends Monday 8th June

The Portland Public House (Auckland, #weloveportlandpublichouse) - donate here, ends Saturday 20th June

The Leigh Sawmill Cafe (Leigh, #welovetheleighsawmill) - donate here [ends Monday 15th June], contactless pickup / delivery food available here 

Nivara Lounge (Hamilton, welovenivaralounge) - donate here, ends Tuesday 9th June

Eggsentric Cafe (Coromandel, #weloveeggsentriccafe) - donate here, ends Wednesday 17th June

Totara St (Mount Maunganui, #welovetotarast) - donate here, ends Saturday 6th June

The Dome (Gisborne, #welovethedome) - donate here, ends Sunday 7th June

Smash Palace (Gisborne #welovesmashpalace) - donate here, ends Saturday 6th June

The Cabana (Napier, #welovethecabana) - donate here, ends Friday 5th June

Paisley Stage (Napier, #welovepaisleystage) - donate here, ends Wednesday 10th June

Common Room & The Sitting Room Sessions (Hawkes Bay, #weloveacommongoal) - donate here, ends Monday 15th June

Valhalla (Wellington) - donate here [ends Monday 6th July], buy merch here, become a patron here and pay bar tabs forward here 

San Fran (Wellington, #welovesanfran) - donate here, campaign has ended

Meow (Wellington, #welovemeow) - donate here, ends Sunday 7th June

Moon (Wellington, #welovemoonnewtown) - donate here, ends Friday 19th June

Roots Bar & The Mussel Inn (Golden Bay, #weloverootsbarandthemusselinn) - donate here, ends Thursday 18th June

The Plant (Blenheim, #welovetheplant) - donate here, ends Monday 8th June

Cassels Blue Smoke (Christchurch, #welovebluesmoke) - donate here [ends Friday 5th June], offering food and drinks delivery / click & collect here 

Darkroom (Christchurch, #welovedarkroom) - donate here, campaign has ended

Space Academy (Christchurch, #welovespaceacademy) - donate here, ends Sunday 7th June

Wunderbar (Lyttelton, #welovewunderbar) - donate here, ends Monday 8th June

Grainstore Gallery (Oamaru, #welovegrainstoregallery) - donate here, ends Thursday 18th June

Yonder (Queenstown, #weloveyonder) - donate here, ends Wednesday 17th June

Dog With No Tails (Dunedin, #welovedogwithnotails) - donate here, ends Friday 5th June

The Crown & Inch Bar (Dunedin, #welovethecrownandinchbar) - donate here, ends Saturday 20th June

The Cook (Dunedin) - donate here, ends Tuesday 30th June


Lucy Macrae of Karangahape Road's Whammy Bar (and punk firecrackers Dick Move) is part of a team of artists and industry movers and shakers – including Reb Fountain and Banished Music's Reuben Bonner – who today have launched a nationwide new Boosted Live initiative named Save Our Venues, with the aim of keeping Aotearoa's live venues afloat during these turbulent times. Working together they've already achieved significant success, thanks to a massive outpouring of love from the community over the past fortnight, their Whammy / Wine Cellar campaign reached a target of $50,000 in eight hours, and has 11 days to meet a further stretch goal on $100,000.

The ambitious new fundraising initiative aims to raise over $500,000 for venues across NZ: "Dozens of campaigns over music month will go ahead, and each with a $1000 koha from Arts Foundation Future Fund, plus 5% of their Boosted campaign target, donated back to them. Starting with the campaigns from Whammy & Wine Cellar (Auckland), Darkroom (Christchurch) and San Fran (Wellington), each venue will nominate another venue to kick off their very own Boosted campaign, with their very own seed fund to get them started." [UPDATE 11/05/20: MusicHelps has granted $60,000 towards the #saveourvenues Boosted campaign


Lucy Macrae expanded on the aims of Save Our Venues and what we might look forward to with live shows in the near future: "Through the Boosted campaigns Save Our Venues are supporting. We are calling on everyone to help. Anyone can do it – artists, audience members, reviewers, techies, promoters – all of us. First up – if you can, please donate – chip in what you can to make a difference. Next - using the hashtag #saveourvenues post your own video or photo with your memory of the venue as a response and share this with your community along with the link to this page so that your friends can donate too.

If we can get back up and running at full capacity in the next few months, we think the local shows and the local touring circuit in Aotearoa could be really strong. We have such a great roster of talent, there won’t be a lack of shows. At this stage, we are trying to envisage what being open will look like in levels two and one… Whammy / Wine Cellar has always been a nursery for bands - Marlon Williams, Nadia Reid, Tiny Ruins, Reb Fountain, The Beths, Soaked Oats, Wax Chattels... so envisage a lot more local talent of a high calibre emerging!

It all happened so fast, Whammy started having shows cancel on Monday and by Wednesday we had shut our doors. What we've seen from the government so far has largely been productive and supportive but we don’t know what we are dealing with or what the future is going to look like for live music just yet, so there are still a lot of unresolved issues.

People / the wider community are recognising the importance of music venues and are stepping in to help which is great – we don’t feel alone. We will need ongoing support to get through the levels – whatever they are going to look like."

The Wine Cellar owner / operator Rohan Evans speculated about the shape of NZ's live shows post-lockdown: "My interpretation of the lockdown rules are that we will not be able to open the Wine Cellar for shows until we are down to Level 2 (presuming that means gatherings of 50 or 100 people will be allowed). We’d probably start with seated shows keeping to the lower of those two capacities. Under level 3 we might be able to do some recording or live streaming from the venue but it's hard to capitalise on such things and I am of the opinion that things need to be worth it for the artists as well as for the venue."

Evans shared his thoughts on how the lockdown process was handled by the government: "I think the lockdown has been done quite well, I can’t help but think that there was an opportunity to front foot the targeting of the support to be a UBI and and a rent / mortgage moratorium."


Wellington's heavy music stronghold and nationwide touring company Valhalla have unleashed an array of options for attendees to show their love, via a Givealittle campaign, a selection of killer merch, a subscription service for touring shows and even the option to pay drinks forward in advance of reopening.

Valhalla head honcho Val Knut gave us the lowdown: "It's all about supporting the greater music community. No bands left, no shows! No techs still in the industry, no shows! Keep listening to your favourite bands and download their stuff on bandcamp. Keep up the enthusiastic vibe on social media that you can't wait to see this band or this kind of event happen. To support Valhalla directly we finally got merch to buy, a subscription service for perks at Valhalla Touring shows and you now have the ability to purchase your drinks forward and redeem when we reopen."

He provided insight into how our live scene might adapt, while international artists are still barred from our shores: "It would be nice to see more mixed shows. Rather than is this a straight up slow chug stoner rock night, what about some up beat progressive stuff, some hipster black metal and depressive doom all on the one night? Doing something different is important too. Sunday matinee shows, two shows in one night, putting on shows at different locations, EG outside, in a rural community hall etc... I can imagine bigger kiwi bands will play more and more national tours, along with probably writing more material to get ready for 2021 and oversea touring again.

(The) government wage subsidy has been a huge relief. We are the lucky ones in the hospitality / live music as our fantastic fans are supporting us through Patreon / Givealittle / merch sales. Other business sectors and folks out there aren’t so lucky. The music community is tight, so I’m optimistic we can all come back stronger from this."


NZ Music Commission are calling for all landlords of music venues to give urgent rent relief to their live music tenants here.


Press release:

Boosted LIVE presents #saveourvenues

Dozens of campaigns over music month will go ahead, and each with a $1000 koha from Arts Foundation Future Fund, plus 5% of their Boosted campaign target, donated back to them. Starting with the campaigns from Whammy & Wine Cellar (Auckland), Darkroom (Christchurch) and San Fran (Wellington), each venue will nominate another venue to kick off their very own Boosted campaign, with their very own seed fund to get them started.

Pay it forward...

Starting on Monday, May 4th at 12pm: Wine Cellar nominates Cassels Blue Smoke (Christchurch)
San Fran nominates The Cabana (Napier)
Darkroom nominates Dog With Two Tails (Dunedin)
Whammy nominates Neck Of The Woods (Auckland)

And on it goes… throughout music month we will see new daily nominations, with New Zealand’s crucial, small venues asking their communities, and the wider community of Aotearoa to help.

#saveourvenues alongside Boosted LIVE aim to help raise over $500,000 for venues across Aotearoa.

If planning her album release tour amidst a global pandemic wasn’t enough, all of a sudden the future looked even bleaker for musician Reb Fountain when she realised there might not be any venues for her to perform at once the lockdown was lifted. Spurred on by the desire to save her 'second home’ and secure both audience entertainment and artist growth in Aotearoa, she gathered together a stalwart team to create a Boosted campaign to raise funds for, and showcase the plight of two iconic Auckland venues - Whammy Bar and The Wine Cellar.

Alongside Reb Fountain, artists such as Marlon Williams, Aldous Harding, Ladi6, Nadia Reid, Tiny Ruins, Tami Nielson, Soaked Oats and The Beths stepped up to support what would be the beginning of a movement. This was an artist-led project aimed at a viral response to support these community spaces to survive and thrive. And true to form; artists, reviewers, photographers and punters alike have been sharing their memories and support for these beloved venues, and the need for live music to survive the lockdown.

Within 8 hours the #welovewhammywinecellar Boosted campaign had surpassed its initial goal of $50,000.

“Our initial goal was somewhat reserved,” Reb says, “We knew that these venues weren’t going to make it with our funding alone - they needed a comprehensive national funding strategy - but $50,000 seemed like a good place to start. We never could have imagined the campaign would explode as it did, tripling the number of donors recorded for any one Boosted campaign .. and we’ve only just begun.”

With such an incredible start it was clear the community at large were invested in their ‘home away from homes’ and genuinely cared about the fate of our local music scene.

Reb and team stretched the goal to $100,000, but again were aware that this would only touch the sides of what is needed. “You run a music venue for the love of it; because you are passionate about live music and want to provide a space where your community can congregate to hear it .. not for the money."

Funds have continued to roll in as the #saveourvenues campaign shine a much-needed light on the plight of our nations venues, artists, and our creative industry as a whole. And others started: Darkroom in Christchurch hit their $10k target within two days; San Fran (in Wellington) kicked off with almost $20k support in 24 hours.

Excited that these campaigns could become a movement to support venues around the country, this blossoming & dedicated committee (including Reb, Matthew Crawley (Golden Dawn / Strange News), Lucy Macrae & Tom Anderson (Whammy Bar), Rohan Evans (The Wine Cellar) and Reuben Bonner (Banished Music)) started working behind the scenes. Under the banner of #saveourvenues the team seek to unite in support of Aotearoa's live music venues and music scene, to raise awareness and funds, and trigger a national response strategy in support of a thriving musical culture in New Zealand.

#saveourvenues have been working to create a national Boosted fund-raising strategy to stand in solidarity with small, live music venues around the country who are on the brink. If the record-breaking Boosted campaign for Whammy Bar and The Wine Cellar has shown us anything, it’s how a cause can transcend the divide and unite music fans, artists, and industry professionals alike to create positive change.

#saveourvenues aim is to get to crucial, original, small live music venues right across New Zealand, in cities and towns. And we are calling on everyone to help. Anyone can do it – artists, audience members, reviewers, techies, promoters – all of us. First up – please donate now – chip in what you can to make a difference. Next - using the hashtags #saveourvenues and #welove(venuename), post your own video or photo with your memory of the venue as a response and share this with your community along with the link to this page, so that your friends can donate too.

Let's build a movement.

#saveourvenues #saveourvenuesnz

Links
facebook.com/Save-Our-Venues-NZ
instagram.com/saveourvenuesnz/
twitter.com/saveourvenuesnz
saveourvenues.co.nz

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