Pet Shop Boys, KT Tunstall, Russell Watson donate gig tickets to aid struggling music venues

Big names in the music business are backing grass roots venues at risk of closure by donating concert tickets to a fundraiser.

The Pet Shop Boys, Russell Watson, KT Tunstall, Jamie xx, Metronomy and Passenger have all pledged to play intimate gigs for Passport: Back to Our Roots.

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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.

The stars are backing the second draw, running until October 5 via site.

Intimate concerts

When venues are able to open without social distancing requirements, winners will watch these concerts ...

Pet Shop Boys - Electric Ballroom, Camden, London

Russell Watson - Stoller Hall, Manchester

K T Tunstall - Windmill, Brixton, London and PJ Molloys, Dunfermline

Jamie xx – Corsica Studios, Elephant & Castle, London

Metronomy – Patterns, Brighton

Passenger – Komedia, Brighton

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Speaking about the campaign KT Tunstall said: “Without grassroots music venues, there are no big acts. 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.”

Financial strain

Russell Watson, the Salford born classical singer, said “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 unprecedented times.”

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A whopping £75,000 was raised through the first 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.”

(photo: KT Tunstall by Robin Pope/Shutterstock.