Grant keeps concept alive!

We at Madding Crowd are incredibly grateful to receive a grant from Arts Council England to help provide live music in Bournemouth, Dorset as part of the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund #HereForCulture.

We have been recognised as a department of culture, so we are considered in the same category and rules as theatres. Our whole business model is set on the foundation of booking big international acts with the promise that local artists/grassroots performers can support the big names with their own original music. This gives the grassroots level of the music scene an opportunity to be seen and heard within the industry.

Every chart-topping headline act will have support from 2 to 3 grassroots artists including those featured on BBC Music Introducing.

Whilst rigorously and conscientiously navigating the current global situation, and everchanging advice from the government, we are currently running seated and socially distancing gigs at a mere 30% of our full capacity. This puts a huge financial strain on the venue, as it is nearly impossible to get to a breakeven point even with a full sell out, as we are also keeping ticket prices modest and affordable so that everyone is able to enjoy live music during this uncertain time. The grant will help with providing the additional security required to ensure everyone follows guidelines, more bar staff to provide quality table service and we have also invested into an online ordering app to facilitate this.

Madding Crowd have teamed up with Bournemouth Academy of Modern Music & Absolute Music to help provide onsite training to music students. We are working with local independent agents and recording studios, such as HP Music and Morningstar Events to book the very latest up and coming artists on the music scene. We have built relationships with Future Agency, Siren Artist Management, Industrial Live Agency and CCA, which is allowing us to line up the following chart toppers to play at Madding Crowd for the rest of 2020. Headliners include The Hoosiers, Roy Stride (Scouting for Girls), Jim (FM), Lucy Spraggan, Gin Annie, Simon Webbe (Blue), Matt Cardle, Matt Pearce, Lauren Bannon and Mauvey to name but a few.

Madding Crowd aims to open every Friday & Saturday subject to bands availability, with more big names to be announced for 2021. We would like to thank the incredible support that we have received from Music Venues Trust and Arts Council England during this time. Madding Crowd co-founder and Managing Director, Peter Gilbert comments “We are so pleased to have been awarded the grant following the tough hurdles we have faced whilst trying to launch our concept. This grant will really help us provide a platform for local grassroots performers to get recognised & give them the opportunity to support, meet & learn from professionals in the industry. This also allows us to provide an income to a profession that is being
told to ‘re-train’.”

For more information about events, please visit the website

Friday 16th October and Saturday 17th October saw the multi-platinum band The Hoosiers play a socially distanced seated gig at Madding Crowd in Bournemouth.

“We got to play to a sold-out, albeit seated, crowd. Who gets to do that in 2020?! The savvy pro’s at the Madding Crowd looked after everyone like family and I’d play again in a heartbeat.” Best wishes, Irwin – Lead singer of The Hoosiers

The Live Music Venue hosted the pop rock group on a two night residence with support from not only local grassroots music, but London based acts also. Putting Bournemouth on the map as a platform to perform now during these strange times and thereafter.

The Friday night hosted solo-ist Alex Gonzato, local band Barefoot Soul, London singer song writer’s Brookfield and Grace Gachot as special guests. Alex Gonzato bought warmup vibes, acoustic guitar melodies and mesmerising vocals. Barefoot Soul, got the party started with foot stomping, finger tapping bottom, wriggling original tunes and Brookfield silenced the room with his soulful vocals and simplistic elctro-accoustic playing, who then paired up with Grace Gachot to deliver a breath-taking vocal range. These support acts were anything but back ground background noise. These performers will be talked about for weeks to come.

The Hoosiers then exploded onto the stage with their chart topping ‘Worried about Ray’ transforming the evening into a nostalgic time pre COVID, where we all remembered what it was like to be at a gig. Irwin the lead vocalist and guitar player, Alan on Drums, Paul on Keyboard & Cornet and Leights on Bass, performed with the energy and enthusiasm as if they were at Glastonbury festival, the night was electrifying.

Guitarist Jon Beal said: “We were thrilled and humbled to have been asked by Madding Crowd to open one of their excellent live music nights. It’s always a pleasure to play at what we consider our ‘home venue’, but it was especially heartening that, during these COVID times, the venue reached out to us for our help to support their efforts to reopen to audiences in October. As a band, we appreciate so much the need for performance and live music, so to bring this to an audience who were similarly excited really raised our spirits.”

Saturday night saw fresh support acts in the form of Jess Robyn, multifaceted performer songwriter and vocalist with an simplistic but no less powerful set, with support from Harrison from HP Music on guitar. Jess performed her latest song Opium Fields & was followed by London lads Two Weeks in Nashville. A four piece band with commanding stage presence, feet tapping performances and crowd pleasing tunes, this band delighted the room with not only original music, but also managed to pull off an excellent cover of David Bowie’s ‘Lets Dance’.

Naipia followed on from Two Weeks in Nashville, bringing skill, raw music and powerful vocals to the stage. Leaving the crowd wanting so much more. By the time The Hoosiers came onto the stage the crowd was pumped, excited and ready for more, and the band didn’t disappoint. ‘Stop giving me choices’ ‘goodbye Mr A’ filled the already atmospheric room and reminded the crowd  what live music is all about.

HP Music who help put the line-up together said, “Madding crowd has delivered a great platform for rising local artists such as Naipia and Jess Robyn enabling them to showcase their latest releases in a live atmosphere and reconnect with their fans after months of not being able to perform. Performing alongside bigger acts has opened up multiple doors and conversations and really added to furthering their careers.”

Thanks go to HP Music, Future agency and MoringStar for their ongoing support and supply of fresh new talent.

A. 14a Commercial Road, Bournemouth, Dorset, BH2 5LP

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