Esquires’ support funding appeal breaks £43,000 barrier


by Tony Hendrix

As the nation adjusts to the new reality of life under self-quarantine in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, a number of artists and musical institutions are taking the show online to share some musical joy during these trying times.

With venues and bars on lock down across the country, there are plenty of things you can watch from the safety of your couch, thanks to everyone from Miley Cyrus to the New York Metropolitan Opera and the fine folks at Disney. 

Across the UK, we also have local talent who have taken to the screens broadcasting hours of their music live through social media, DJs have also joined in the entertainment many of whom have set up rigs in their house and some have gone that step further and have set up shop in their front and rear gardens, this is certainly one way of keeping music alive through the lock down and has received a lot of local support.

In 2019, the number of small pubs and bars in the UK increased for the first time in 15 years, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Staffed by around 457,000 which is certainly a chilling figure to digest, the pandemic will certainly claim a few victims here, however you can help save your local pub, bar or club by crowd funding events.

The otherside of the close down many of these venues will be faced with huge rent arrears demanded by greedy landlords, out-of-date beers and customers too frightened to come back. 

Bedford Esquires one of the UK’s best loved independent music venues set out to raise £20,000 during Covid-19 but reached an astonishing £43,051 from 990 supporters!  

The venue has been offering the people of Bedford and beyond live music since 1984, they realised that as a result of Lock Down they calculated that their finances would not take them past late June, so reluctantly they entered a crowd funding initiative looking for what they thought was a very optimistic figure of £20,000 to help balance the books and keep the venue alive.

Within just six hours this figure was achieved and kept rising till time out at £43,051.

Gareth Barber took over the venue in 2016 and was looking forward to Esquires’ 30th anniversary this year, he has been overwhelmed with the support the venue has been given and would like to say a big thank you to all the 990 supporters for helping the venue through this crisis