INTERVIEW: GAST EVENTS’ Save Our Venues Campaign | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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In a previous life, Teesside-based GAST Events put on multi-genre underground music events which stood out for their radical approach and philanthropic intentions; many of their events were held to raise money for local charities or independent businesses. Forced to hit pause on their events for now, Adam Sullivan and his team have turned to creating eye-catching merchandise in order to help local venues facing an uncertain future.

Their Save Our Venues hoodie (expertly modelled by Middlesbrough rapper Shakk, in the image above) is available now by messaging them direct on social media. Here, Adam tell us more about the campaign.

Who are you and what is Gast Events?

I’m Adam Sullivan, I have a strong passion for music, fashion, being yourself and being creative. I run GAST Events. A Teesside-based underground multi-genre music event. I aim to get as many different people as possible to come together and listen to multiple genres of music and have a good dance. I usually host my events to raise money for local charities and now I’m fundraising for a local venue that’s been hit hard by Covid-19.

Can you explain what the Save Our Venues campaign is all about?

Save Our Venues is a small campaign I planned last year and recently managed to start. My goal is to raise as much cash as possible and donate it to Middlesbrough venue Disgraceland. Now I’m unable to do events to raise money I’ve decided to create some merchandise. I got in touch with a guy I know who does some sick graphic design work under the name Nifty Bits. He took my ideas and produced the sick design that I’ve now had printed onto hoodies. I only had 30 of them printed to make them a bit more exclusive and they’re priced at £35 each. I wanted “Save Our Venues” to be in big bold graffiti to put across a bold message. The cracks in the letters represent the damage done to the creative industry due to Covid and the government’s lack of support.

The reason I’ve chosen to do this is because I think the venue and the owner Jane are absolutely class. I love everything about Disgraceland and I love putting on events there. I love the laid-back Berlin kinda vibe Jane is creating in the venue. It’s very unique for Middlesbrough and I feel it’s very important we have places like this where there aren’t any rules on who you have to be or how you have to look. It’s a place where you can be yourself so that’s why I want to help out.

What other ways do you think music fans can support their local venues?

Besides supporting fundraisers like Save Our Venues or any other campaigns I think it’ll be hard for people to help out. If a venue does livestreams or posts content then people can show support by tuning in and sharing their content. Ideally we really need the government to acknowledge the crisis the creative arts industries are facing and to do more to help out. The UK’s creative industries contribute almost £13m an hour to the UK economy. If we loose chunks of that due to venues having to permanently close it’s gonna have an impact on more than just a bunch of ravers wanting to go to a drum and bass event or a group of photographers wanting to see an exhibition.

Do you have any other plans in the pipeline for the future?

I have a few things I’m wanting do in the future once the restrictions are lifted. First and foremost is to host loads of sick events in venues such as Disgraceland and Base Camp. I’m also planning on having more clothing made. I want GAST to be more than just a music event. I want it to be a movement.

Check out GAST Events on Instagram and Soundcloud

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