'Help our Leighton Buzzard music bar survive crippling restrictions'

A Leighton Buzzard live music venue has launched a fundraising campaign to enable it to survive crippling social distancing restrictions.

By Holly Patel
Thursday, 2nd July 2020, 3:27 pm
Updated Thursday, 2nd July 2020, 3:36 pm

With the government allowing bars to reopen from July 4, the Crooked Crow says safe social distancing measures mean it cannot operate at a profit.

So, the Waterborne Walk venue, which only launched at the turn of the year, is appealing for the public to back its £12,000 fundraising efforts to see it through the pandemic. As of yesterday the total stood at £1,740.

The independent music bar is part of a national initiative launched by the Music Venue Trust to prevent the closure of hundreds of such businesses.

The Crooked Crow Bar

Maxine Bambrook, co-owner of the Crooked Crow Bar, said: “Prior to lockdown, we hosted awesome gigs every single weekend, from hip-hop to punk, ska to metal. But we were barely up and running and had so much more in the bag, waiting to launch.

“Now it’s just a waiting game until it’s safe to reopen and trust us, when it is, we are planning to come back with a bang!

“But everyday we remain closed, or restricted to how we can trade, the uncertainty of whether we can financially survive grows.

“Our venue faces closure because the government guidelines are likely to still insist on social distancing, meaning if people were one metre socially distanced we could only accommodate 36 people in the building.

The Crooked Crow Bar before lockdown

“Having not been able to trade at all for four months, but still having to pay rent, service charges and utilities, it is vital for us to be able to turn a profit asap!

“Opening safely on July 4 at a maximum capacity of 30 per cent it is going to be almost impossible to turn a profit and therefore, we, like many other music venues across the country, really need your help.”

The donations will be used to pay for staff, and bands (when they can be booked again), during a period where they will not be able to trade at full capacity.

Maxine added: “If we hit our target, and we can prevent the closure of our venue, everything above the amount we need will be donated to the Music Venue Trust GMV Crisis Fund to protect other venues just like ours, right across the country.

“We can open as a bar from July 4 but we are not allowed live performances, so no live music, shows or comedy acts - which is our bread and butter.

“We are looking forward to reopening and welcoming our customers back but we are going to miss the live performances. We need the public’s support to keep running, like a lot of venues that host live performances.”

To make a donation visit: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/ccbsaveourvenuesThe Music Venue Trust, which launched the national #Save Our Venues campaign, can be found at: http://musicvenuetrust.com

> What's been the impact on coronavirus on your business? Are you able to reopen and what measures have you had to put in place? Email [email protected]