Friday, February 03, 2012

Support for the venues

From my lost London jazz venue work, I realise that the funding system in the UK has never properly supported the core day-to-day venues properly. Informal, volunteer promoters? Yes. Concert halls?Yes. Festivals, such as the London Festival? Yes.
Is it that the history of clubs way predates the Arts Council? Or perhaps that they are frightened about the morals of jazz clubs? For example, I have found quotes going back to the 30s complaining about jazz in Ireland and Holland.

Jazz certainly seems to "get on with it". But that needs the better funded support to continue, such as from tours, broadcasts, foreign touring and so on. The venues themselves either need to be quite commercial (e.g. Ronnies where unfortunately the main programme seems to be backtracking - a bit at least - on the improved creativity of a year or so back; or the Pizza Express where the pizzas act as benefactors; or the 606 where Steve Rubie cleverly is able to get the support of high quality food). Or, as in the case of the Vortex, we have to be considered by musicians as the "additional band member". We take risks too, we try and deliver what we can. However, we do have the situations where the musicians feel that we owe them their existence rather than are our partners.

This is a theme that I want to develop further.

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