There’s no denying these are uncertain days. But in such times, we invariably see the good in one another. We know that many of the restaurants, bars and hotels we work with are seeing a dip in footfall, and we know that many of the live venues we work with (and the artists they support and sometimes interview on our podcast) are struggling.
So we’ve been trying to think up and share some useful ways to help our independent, creative friends. If you’ve got any other suggestions you think we may be able to publish, please send them to us ([email protected]) and we’ll try to collate a useful list.
In the meantime, please follow the recommended protocol, and do look after yourselves.
Helping restaurants, bars & hotels
One of the best ideas we’ve seen so far is the purchase of gift vouchers. If you have a favourite bar, restaurant or hotel – a wonderfully authentic hole-in-the-wall joint, or a gorgeous boutique – then buying a gift voucher secures much-needed income for them now, and a great experience for you in less anxious times. If they don’t offer gift vouchers, ask them if they might consider a way of taking payment in advance.
Helping live venues
We’re very proud to be stocked in some of the UK’s wonderfully iconic gig venues and arts spaces, so we know firsthand that times are tough. We also know that a lot of these venues would be better able to make forecasts if more people bought tickets ahead of time, rather than hoping to buy on the night. So take a look at the gig list at your favourite venue and make some pre-purchases. You can cancel nearer the time if things are still unsettled, but if you feel you can afford not to, then it’s a great way of giving something back.
We’re hugely inspired by the arts. Members of our team regularly perform live gigs or create visual art, so we know how this is affecting that community. There are very easy ways to help the artists you love from going under at a time when events are being cancelled left, right and centre.
- For musicians, many will have Bandcamp pages, from which you can purchase tracks and merchandise, safe in the knowledge that the artist will get the lion’s share of the income. You can even add a little extra to the final price-tag, at your own discretion, should you want to.
- Other musicians and artists will have Paypal donations on their websites. If they don’t, contact them and suggest it to them. If you know how to help them implement such a thing on their websites, offer your skills!
- Many artists, chefs, food journalists and photographers already go one step beyond and offer podcasts and other expertise via platforms like Mixcloud Select or Patreon. If you’re into such things and you’ve been meaning to put your hand in your pocket for some time, now might be the time to act on that. Take out a subscription. You’ll learn something cool, and you’ll be helping people out at the same time.
- Share these things with your friends on social media. It may seem like a small thing to do, but great ideas can catch on quickly.
Image above by Nicole Baster, available on Unsplash.