NEWS: Westgarth Social Club launches crowdfunder | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Westgarth Social Club is a Middlesbrough treasure and local institution, having hosted artists as varied as Edwyn Collins, First Aid Kit, James Bay and Public Service Broadcasting. Now, regional musicians and promoters are rallying round the much-loved venue, launching a crowdfunding campaign that they hope will help to secure its future.

Spearheaded by Teesside band Nel Unlit and label Spooker Rekkids who use the venue as a hub, it’s intended that funds raised will go into a central pot, able to be used by local promoters in order to schedule new shows for 2021. The fund may also allow them to subsidise ticket prices; to help towards the cost of sound engineers; or to cover the shortfall in ticket sales due to potential crowd-limits. The main aim is to ensure that bands, promoters, music lovers and the whole community are supported and will still have a place to safely enjoy and participate in live music and events.

If an initial target of raising £3000 is met (which they have calculated could support the curation of between 15-20 shows in 2021), there are plans to expand to additional targets of £4000 (20-25 shows) and £5000 (25-30 shows), and possibly beyond. Donations with rewards start from £5, and rewards include special edition ‘Westgarth Forever’ prints, a Christmas compilation sampler from Spooker Rekkids, merch bundles from local promoters The Kids Are Solid Gold and much more. Those searching for something more unique in terms of rewards can even choose a local act to cover a song of their choice, or even attend a billiards tutorial at the club with Nel Unlit’s self-proclaimed “cue wizard” Jon Horner.

Steve Callaghan, longtime steward of The Westgarth Social Club comments: “The Westgarth means so much to so many people. Firstly, the club members, some of whom have been using the club for more than 50 years. And more recently, for the last 12 years or so, as a live music venue used by music goers from a wide range of different musical tastes. It has become an important hub for local artists to hone their craft, whether it be music, comedy, poetry, or anything else.”

The Kids Are Solid Gold promoter Andy Carr says: “Westgarth Social Club is Middlesbrough’s primary venue for seeing the best upcoming regional, national and international acts and, as such, it is an integral part of the UK’s live music infrastructure – its importance to both the town and the live music industry as a whole cannot be overstated. The venue’s recent history is up there with the best of them and it is much loved by fans and acts alike. Westgarth shows really are very special.”

Click here to view and donate to the crowfunder


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