Craufurd Arms exceeds fund-raising target to help it through temporary closure during Coronavirus crisis

Wolverton music venue the Craufurd Arms has raised more than £30,000 through a Crowdfunder campaign to help with the impact of not being able to open during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Wednesday, 27th May 2020, 6:15 pm
The Craufurd Arms in Wolverton had raised more than 30,000.

The Craufurd Arms has become the latest music venue in the region to meet and exceed its fund-raising campaign target to help it cope with the impact of the Coronavirus.

Like other music venues and bars across the country, it is currently closed and only able to offer a home delivery service for drinks.

Earlier this month, its Crowdfunder campaign ended with nearly 800 people donating more than £30,000.

Jason Hall, who runs the Wolverton venue, said: “I’m absolutely speechless about hitting our target.

“It means so much to us that so many people care enough about Craufurd to protect and save it.

“Owning it, you lose sight of its importance to others and what it means to them.

“We do it because we love doing it, we don't get to experience the other side of it and having the place to enjoy for what it is.”

In 56 days, the venue raised £30,490 through 796 supporters who could pledge towards different rewards.

These included the inclusion of their name on a wall, limited edition t-shirts, welcome back party tickets and the Craufurd Black Card – which grants entry for life.

The money will be used to help the venue pay its bills and additional wages of staff who have been furloughed.

Mr Hall added: “The staff and crew are the ones who make Craufurd, so it's important to us they are safe, well and supported.

“We have ongoing bills such as rent, insurance, utilities, tax and other HMRC liabilities, as well as banking charges and existing finance that, although we have holds and holidays on, some will still need to be paid, which without this could have crippled us.”

The money raised will help balance the venue’s finances until the end of July with Mr Hall looking at ways in which the venue can continue ‘online’ until the Government’s lockdown is lifted.

This includes live streaming gigs and other events including the Craufurd’s regular weekly quiz night, open mic and comedy sessions.

The Craufurd Arms is one of the region’s best venues for up-and-coming alternative and rock acts.

In recent years, Idles, Fontaines D.C, Basement, We Are Scientists Wolf Alice, Lizzo and DMA’s have all played at the venue.

Its successful campaign follows a similar one run by the owners of Esquires in Bedford which also has raised tens of thousands of pounds.

Mr Hall added: “Until we have some clarity, it's hard to book actual events in the diary as the first three months of events we had moved are now being moved again.

“2021 has the potential to be a huge year and it’s exciting to see what the scene will be like and what all this means to live music.

“Times are tough, but the local scene has the potential to flourish and reach out to huge audiences who will undoubtedly be gagging to see them in real life once it's all safe again.”

Besides of the Craufurd’s own Crowdfunder campaign, the fund-raising platform has teamed up with the Music Venue Trust as part of its #saveourvenues campaign to help many other music venues across the country.

Other music venues in the area, MK11 and The Stables are also both running campaigns to help them raise money.

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