Musicians from some of the world’s most iconic bands have thrown their weight behind a Kinross music venue named one of the most at risk of permanent closure in the whole of the UK.
The Backstage Bar at the Green Hotel is a mecca for rockers but its situation is critical because of the coronavirus pandemic.
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Now the threatened music venue in Kinross has raised over £12,000 and even gained generous endorsements from the likes of Status Quo musician John ‘Rhino’ Edwards and Ozzy Osborne guitarist Adam Wakeman.
The independent venue is struggling to continue paying its bills because it does not meet the criteria that would make it eligible for government emergency COVID arts support.
Backstage have on three separate occasions been unsuccessful in triggering a grant that was made available by the Scottish Government but administrated by a third party who deemed the venue ineligible.
The Music Venue Trust (MVT) recently selected The Backstage Bar as one of the 30 grassroots music venues in the whole of the UK most at risk of permanent closure. Backstage is on the trust’s ‘Red List’ of endangered venues.
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MVT said it has checked all the available funding, financial support, furlough schemes and business support for Kinross and “what is on offer is not enough to prevent the threat that the venue could be permanently closed as a result of the coronavirus crisis.”
Music promoter David Mundell, founder of Mundell Music, has brought a long list of rock legends to the once-popular auditorium. Having described the previous three funding knock-backs as "devastating", in a last ditch attempt to prevent the place going quiet forever, he has opened a fundraising campaign.
He has set himself a target of £18,000 and has another two weeks to reach this. So far, the total pledged is standing at £12,043.
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Some of the musicians who have been to Backstage to perform have given their personal endorsement.
Bass guitarist with Status Quo John Edwards wrote: “The importance of small music venues is massive, to musicians and fans alike.
“I love playing David’s venue.
“You only have to look at his gig list to see how many acts that normally play bigger places make a point of putting the Backstage at the Green Hotel into their schedules. An intimate evening with a great band or solo performer and a couple of beers that don’t cost 20 quid is worth ten arena shows for me.”
Another idol for hard rock devotees is Adam Wakeman, an international musician who has a fond connection with Backstage.
The current keyboardi player and rhythm guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne’s band, Adam has also played keyboards and guitar off-stage for Black Sabbath.
He wrote in support: “Small venues and promoters are the backbone of grass level touring.
“Without these making it possible for us, these intimate shows will disappear leaving a gaping void in the live music experience. David was the first to support us (Wilson and Wakeman) when Damian and I started a new recording and touring duo, and we are forever grateful for the support we have received over the years.”
Martin Barre, formerly of Jethro Tull, and the boys from Skinny Molly also sent their support. As has John Verity of Argent, who has returned to the venue year after year.
The top British guitarist named Backstage as one of his favourite UK venues: “The gig has everything going for it in my opinion, great sound and lighting together with a promoter who genuinely loves live music and knows how to run it properly.
“Audiences are always welcoming, as are the staff at the venue - here’s to our next Kinross visit, hopefully in the not too distant future.”
David Mundell said: “We are halfway through the campaign and its incredible to have achieved the amount £12,043. We still have some way to go, so please help by sharing and liking on social media.”
Donate at https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/mundellmusicbackstage