One Year On: How to get behind Bristol venues after 12 months behind closed doorsPosted on: 23 Mar 2021
Find out how to offer your support for your favourite pubs, clubs and live spaces.
Today, Tuesday 23 March 2021, marks exactly a year since lockdown was introduced in the UK, and you could be forgiven for feeling like nothing's changed.
We're still in lockdown, we still can't see our mates, we still can't go to the pub, and perhaps most crucially, venues of all shapes and sizes across Bristol and beyond remain closed to the public.
Of course, some were able to briefly open their outdoor spaces last summer, and others have adapted to keep some money coming in, but many of the city's best-loved venues have overseen an almost total loss on income over the last 12 months.
There does appear to be some light on the horizon as the government gradually open things up again in the coming weeks, but the Bristol music scene needs your support now more than ever.
Read on for a quick guide to getting behind your favourite local venues in 2021.
Buy tickets and attend events...
This seems like an obvious one, but the best way to show some love for your favourite venue is to actually go to it once it's open.
Summer lineups are already starting to trickle in from major clubs like Motion and Lakota, and it (hopefully) won't be long until smaller venues are able to start unveiling their programming and welcoming punters through their doors once again.
You probably won't need much of a push after a year with no parties, but if you see a lineup you like, or you really miss a certain dancefloor, book those tickets!
Did someone say Summer of Love? ????@LakotaBristol have announced plans for a huge comeback party to be held at a secret location once lockdown restrictions are lifted ???????? https://t.co/MV6y6eT5J7 pic.twitter.com/K0Zs47PCqY— 365Bristol (@365Bristol) March 5, 2021
...and hold on to your tickets for rescheduled dates
The same goes for those of you who have bought tickets for events that turned out to be postponed and rescheduled - unless you absolutely 100% cannot make it, we urge you to hold on to your tickets.
Venues and promoters across Bristol have been forced to reschedule hundreds, if not thousands, of events over the past year, and there will surely be more to follow given the unpredictable nature of the pandemic.
Whether it's a £10 gig or a £100+ festival, keeping hold of your ticket for the time being takes that little bit of extra pressure away from events organisers who have spent months scrambling to reshuffle their plans and secure new dates.
Support and share fundraising campaigns
Throughout the pandemic music venues have faced ongoing disputes with landlords, pubs have been denied rent relief and buildings have been in desperate need of renovations, with owners having to navigate these issues amid the backdrop of a total loss of income.
If your favourite venue (or club, pub, bar, restaurant etc) is asking for donations for one reason or another, spare a few quid to show your support.
A single donation of a fiver might not seem like much to you, but a crowdfunding campaign gaining some traction and raising hundreds or thousands of pounds could make all the difference in a venue's fight to stay open.
Two of Bristol's best-loved independent venues have set up a joint Patreon fundraising page to help manage the impact of the pandemic ?????— 365Bristol (@365Bristol) February 9, 2021
Find out more and sign up here ?? https://t.co/JsPWodaKtq pic.twitter.com/8u9Ywzo9zt
With doors firmly closed and events programmes at a standstill, merchandise has become a vital source of revenue during the pandemic for clubs, venues, bars and restaurants across Bristol.
Several, including Lakota and the Trinity Centre, have launched t-shirts, hoodies and more, allowing devoted regulars to show some love when they're out and about.
From simple logo designs to specially-created products and collaborations with local artists, merchandise is a great way to freshen up your wardrobe and give a nod to the venues close to your heart.
If you're missing your favourite venue, pub or takeaway, check in online to see if they've got merch available, treat yourself to a t-shirt or two, and don't forget to spread the word with a post on social media once your order arrives.
Support non-musical projects
With so much time to burn and dwindling funds to get by on, venues across the city have been forced to come up with creative ways to keep things ticking along.
The Louisiana and The Lanes are both running pizza delivery services, The Exchange have set up their own internet TV series, and Strange Brew briefly managed to rent out their space for the filming of the UK's top weekly gadget-focused news show.
If you see a venue doing something out of the ordinary while they're closed, get behind it! Order a pizza, donate to a fundraiser, share some good news - even the smallest gesture means a lot.
Show some love online
Lastly, there are loads of ways to get behind the Bristol music scene online, whether it's entering a competition, posting throwback pictures, commenting and engaging with venue teams or even something as simple as liking a post.
More and more of our day-to-day life is moving into the digital realm, so while doors remain closed for the time being, do something to show you're thinking of your favourite venues while you're stuck at home.
For more coverage of the Bristol music scene, including news and updates as venues start to reopen this summer, follow us on Twitter.
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Editor - 365Bristol.com & LOUD Magazine
Matt is a Journalism graduate and writer, passionate about supporting Bristol music, art and independent business. Get in touch via email at email@example.com.