In a bid to help the UK’s small, grassroots music venues survive the coronavirus pandemic, The Pet Shop Boys, KT Tunstall, Russell Watson and Passenger have all agreed to perform live for the Passport Back To Our Roots campaign.
Pet Shop Boys will play at Camden Town’s Electric Ballroom in north London, Russell Watson will appear at Manchester’s Stoller Hall, Passenger at Brighton’s Komedia venue and KT Tunstall is to play two gigs – one at Windmill Brixton in south London, and the other at PJ Molloys in Dunfermline, Fife.
Passes to the concerts can be won through a prize draw which will run from 14 September to 5 October via crowdfunder.co.uk/passport-back-to-our-roots.
To enter the drawer, fans must donate a minimum of £5 to the campaign and the winners will get two passes to a gig of their choice.
Show dates will be confirmed when venues are able to open without social distancing.
Two further artists to join the campaign will be announced on BBC Radio’s 6 Music show on Thursday, 10 September, which is the station’s State Of Independents Day.
The campaign previously raised £75,000 for concerts to Elbow, Public Service Broadcasting, Everything Everything, The Slow Readers Club and Ash.
Speaking about the campaign, KT Tunstall said, “Without grassroots music venues, there are no big acts. It’s as simple as that. The incredible eco-system of small venues exists, in the vast majority of cases, as labours of love. Constantly up against rapidly rising business rates and big developer interests, these essential community hubs are kept alive by often overworked owners and staff with an unending passion for music.”
Sally Cook, co-founder of Passport: Back to Our Roots, said, “We’re blown away by the incredible response to the first block of fundraisers, and want to extend our heartfelt thanks to everyone who donated. We are really excited to be announcing this new group of artists this week.”
Words by Robert Spellman.