The Cluny threatened with permanent closure by COVID-19 pandemic

Maud Webster discusses the possible closure of The Cluny and what you can do to help

Maud Webster
28th March 2020
wikimedia commons user: bagnelli
Newcastle’s music venue The Cluny, situated in Ouseburn, has announced it may be facing permanent closure due to the current COVID-19 pandemic.

It joins swathes of independent arts, film and music venues across the country which are at huge financial risk due to the government's imposed closure of social venues on March 20th. Tyneside cinema, in Newcastle City centre, similarly suggested earlier this week that it may have to permanently close its doors if it can't recover financially.

The venue is currently receiving no income, whilst still having to cover outgoings such as rent, insurance, and paying various suppliers - many of whom are independent businesses themselves. Despite some government assistance - including a pledge to offer a 80% wage to staff who can't work and other emergency relief measures - this is not enough to balance costs, placing the organisation under harsh financial pressure.

The Cluny’s Director, Julian Ive, comments: "The Covid-19 crisis is hitting independent venues the hardest - and now we may be at real risk of closing our doors permanently. Raising funds is essential for us to be able to keep on top of our outgoings during this time of uncertainty. If funds aren't raised we could be at serious risk of indefinite closure.”

The venue is twenty years old, and has hosted an array of famous artists, including the Arctic Monkeys, Kate Nash, Mumford & Sons and Solange. It became fully independent in 2017.

The Cluny has decided to ask its supporters and music lovers in the city to help out by buying tickets to their planned series of ‘comeback gigs’. The Cluny promises to offer “multi-band, cross-genre, all day gigs” showcasing both local bands and more established artists in the lineups.

Their crowdfunding page explains: “obviously, lineups and dates are to be confirmed, but hopefully, our proven track record over the last 20 years will give you enough of an idea of what to expect.”

“Most importantly, you will be there as part of our big celebration and know you were truly a key part of our survival. The Cluny means so much to us all, and any help and support you can offer us in this extremely uncertain time is vastly appreciated.”

Tickets are being sold via donation on their crowdfunding page, with a £20 donation buying you entry to one all-day comeback gig.

Donations can be made here. 

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AUTHOR: Maud Webster
she/they | third year architecture & urban planning student @ newcastle | co-head of culture for the 21/22 academic year

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