We use the arts as our escapism; it’s an excuse for joy, laughter, connection and so much more. If we work together, we can do our best to ensure this trying time can be made easier. You might be sitting at home thinking ‘what can I do, how can I help?’ and rest assured there are plenty of ways you can help the industry we care so passionately about – so here’s a few pointers.
Firstly, there has been a big campaign for Reject the Refund and I’ve even seen a small handful of theatres thrilled with people already doing so. Of course we work very hard to afford tickets to shows and concerts, but if you are in a position to be able to reject the refund, please consider it because think of how much this small gesture may aid them with moving forward. If you can’t reject the refund, maybe look to see if they have a place to directly donate some back. If an alternate date is available and you’re able, accept the rescheduled / postponed tickets for later in the year for something to look forward to when times are better.
Similarly, the simple task of Donating to the Arts if you’re able can be hugely beneficial. Remember even if it’s only a few quid, it can help contribute to making all the difference. The best bet would be to contact your local venues, check in with performers or those working within the arts and see if they can advise on the best places to go to. There are lots of links online to click and donate – so do a little bit of research, explore your favourite local venues website and drop a few spare pennies their way.
Many artists are utilising their newfound free time to create some magic in the comfort of their living rooms with live streamed gigs and shows! We’ve mentioned it a little bit already, but go find your favourite artists on social media and see what they’re up too, and check out our adapted gig listings highlighting the new trend of virtual gigs. (grapevinelive.co.uk/gigs) – don’t forget to add your virtual gigs/shows online for FREE too! Similarly, many theatre archives are being released online for free or for a small donation to theatrical charities, helping you get your fix on a wide range of theatre, opera and arts from around the world. For inspiration, willowsmusical.com have released the recording of the West End run of Wind in The Willows; a perfect way to entertain the kids with theatre at home. Plus, Original Theatre have just launched originaltheatreonline.com – perfect if you missed the opportunity to see the shows when they were in the region, or if you feel like revisiting them.
With an influx of us working from home, there’s no need to groan over the office radio because the choice of background noise is yours! Therefore why not give Podcasts a try. Whilst not strictly live entertainment, podcasts are really great for keeping you feeling connected to the arts and can make you feel slightly less alone. With a vast array of interviews and discussions on a range of topics (including music, theatre, comedy and more!) to choose from, do some digging on the internet to see what little gems you can find to keep you entertained whilst you work. To get you started, David Tennant does a podcast with… gives a fascinating insight into the minds of some of our favourite celebrities; and the show can go on with this audio of The Mystery Of The Raddlesham Mumps.
Other small ways to help could be as easy as looking into whether venues offer membership schemes or a voucher you could purchase to give a small but instant injection into their funds (ie. venue specific vouchers or theatre tokens, which are great for gifting too). Alternatively, many musicians have their own band merchandise – a quick purchase of a new CD or t-shirt could help them greatly. We have launched a virtual merch table to get you started at grapevinelive.co.uk/merch – if you’re a musician or creative type send us your links if you’d like to add yours.
Hopefully these tips help give you a starting point on how we can keep our industry alive and alight. Do you have any other ideas of how we can help the arts and live entertainment industry? We would love to hear them, so reach out to us on our social media and let us know. Together, we will come back bigger, better and stronger.