Portsmouth music venue Wedgewood Rooms looking to crowdfund £12,000 to survive coronavirus pandemic

A LIVE music venue needs £12,000 to make it through the coronavirus outbreak.

By David George
Monday, 27th April 2020, 11:13 am
Updated Monday, 27th April 2020, 4:46 pm

A crowdfunding campaign has been launched by the Wedgewood Rooms in Albert Road, Southsea – which would allow the venue to stay open.

It comes as a national campaign to save music venues across the UK is set up by the Music Venue Trust.

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The Dub Pistols at The Wedgewood Rooms, Southsea on March 6, 2020. Picture: Paul Windsor

Although the venue has received some funding from government grants, more money will be needed to ensure its survival.

Owner Geoff Priestley said: ‘The money will cover our bills and other monthly expenses for the venue.

‘Our landlord has been incredibly supportive, but there are ongoing costs to keep a roof over our heads.

‘We had to furlough our staff but there are also a few freelancers who have fallen between the cracks of government grants; we would like to put some money towards keeping them safe, too.’

The Wedgewood Rooms has been around for 27 years, previously playing host to world-beating acts such as Oasis, Gorillaz, Kasabian and Razorlight.

A total of 80 shows have been either cancelled or postponed so far.

But once lockdown measures are lifted and businesses return to operation, it may take longer for the music venue to get back on its feet.

‘I think we're all a bit concerned about our future,’ Geoff said.

‘Unlike retail outlets we can’t just reopen our doors straight away – we have to think about things like changing our capacity to fit social distancing measures, and whether shows will need further rescheduling.

‘Getting everything up and running again is going to be quite difficult, I think.’

Already, donations are coming in, and Geoff says local artists have been putting some of their own money towards saving the venue.

He said: ‘Our local artists have been very supportive, bless them; we’ve had to think long and hard about this crowdfunder but the Portsmouth community has shown its true colours.

‘I can't thank everybody enough for all of their help.’

Any additional money raised over the £12,000 mark will go towards the national Music Venue Trust effort.

To donate to the Wedgewood Rooms, go to crowdfunder.co.uk/savethewedge.

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