Craufurd Arms launches campaign to help fund venue refurb

The venue has become a favourite for musicians and fans from across the country
The venue has become a favourite for musicians and fans from across the country
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The Craufurd Arms has launched a crowd-funding campaign to help improve facilities at the venue.

With acts including Wolf Alice, Slaves and Don Broco all having cut their teeth on its stage in recent years, its owners are now asking gig-goers to help with the cost of making improvements including further sound proofing work and installing air conditioning.

Cancer Bats are among the acts to have played at the Craufurd Arms

Cancer Bats are among the acts to have played at the Craufurd Arms

The Wolverton venue is run by Jason Hall and Max Harvey and in recent years has hosted some of best rock, metal and alternative acts touring across the country as well as championing local artists.

Jason said: “We have spent the last five years putting in every penny that we have made back into the venue to make it bigger and better.

“The next level of improvements are just that bit beyond our means.

“We’re a small independently run venue with no backing or cash injections and we’re looking to install air conditioning, further sound proofing and acoustic treatment of the venue and bar.

“We also need to do some essential upgrades to the sound and lighting rigs in the venue.

“These improvements will give the venue a new lease of life and will hopefully allow us to continue for years to come.”

One of the best music venues in the region, the Craufurd Arms attracts gig goers from across the country.

It regularly hosts gigs five nights a week and has equipment which needs servicing and upgrading on a regular basis.

Jason added: “We have people coming to the Craufurd Arms not only from across the region but across the country, we’ve even had people fly in before.

“Air conditioning has been mentioned a lot in the past. It does get a little too hot in the venue at times.

“We’re also looking to build an interior wall to help reduce noise escaping from the venue and to help reduce the risk of any kind of noise abatement orders.”

Along with venues like the Roadmender in Northampton and Esquires in Bedford, the Craufurd Arms is an independent venue, with no ties to larger national groups.

Jason said running an independent music venue comes with its considerable challenges.

He said: “I don't know if there is even a word to describe how difficult it is.

“You have all aspects of health and safety, noise complaints and licensing to deal with, alongside running a smooth business and working with bands and customers.

“There’s very little support in the country for independent venues and you hear about venues closing or facing closure.

“Independent Venue Week for 2018 has been a struggle as funding from places like the Arts Council has been cut and put to other areas.”

The pair have been running the Craufurd Arms since 2013.

Since taking over, they have constantly upgraded the venue and brought bands from across the world to the region.

With the venue located in a residential area, they have also put in strict management process to help reduce any disturbances to their neighbours.

Jason added: “We try to ensure every band here has everything they need.

“I think we’re one of very few small venues that can offer a band a home away from home.

“They can stay over, there’s laundry, WiFi, parking, a bar, a huge dressing room, showers and a kitchen - literally anything you can think of that a band would want.

“We will always go above and beyond for any band to make sure they have the best show possible.”

Other bands which have played in recent years include Drenge, Hacktivist, Heart Of A Coward, Cancer Bats Soulfly, Wheatus and Bluetones.

Jason added: “We also get some pretty random things happening here, like Jason Manford turning up, WWE Stars popping in for a drink and Vinnie Jones filming a music video. Every day is a new day.”

The venue has set a target of £20,000 and will receive pledges people make regardless of whether the target is met in the time frame.

There are also incentives on offer including for people who pledge including having your name on a supporter’s wall, T-shirts, golden tickets and an ‘Ultimate Experience’ package.

Jason added: “Our goal is to continue to build on our successes we have had and continue to bring new things to the venue, continue to build its reputation and leave it with a legacy.”

To pledge money towards the campaign, visit www.crowdfunder.co.uk/the-craufurd-arms-venue-refurb