‘Hard times and desperate measures’: Northampton music venue joins national plea to help save independent venues – Northampton Chronicle and Echo

An independent music venue in Northampton could be facing permanent closure as a result of the lockdown guidelines. Escape in Horseshoe Street has been hit hard by the lockdown closures as rent and utilities still need to be paid but the venue has little money coming in. The boss of the venue that hosts artists of many genres as well as comedians, fears it may have to close its doors for good if the lockdown rules are extended further than June.

Staff from Escape pleading for help to save their venue. Copyright: ugc

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Danny Kituno, owner and manager of Escape, said: "The impact has been massive. "We are already running short and running out of money.

By the end of next month we won't have any money left. "We're now in hard times and it's now desperate measures." The venue has received its grant from Northampton Borough Council, but Danny says that money is already running dry.

He added: "We had rent to pay and bills to pay as well as people who had booked the venue asking for refunds. "We have not been able to get help from banks and the business rates thing is good but it's not monetary. "Utility bills continue to go out and the big one is rent.

There has not been any help or regulations to say we can have a payment holiday. The landlords still have to pay the mortgage so they have to demand rent." In a bid to generate some support, Escape has become part of a national #SaveOurVenue campaign that epitomises the belief that without independent venues the live music scene in the UK will die.

"We need support to save the venue," Danny continued. "Awareness is really important to us. We need people to know how stuck the industry is.

"Nationally venues are closing down so where will artists perform? "We're in our third year and since we started we've had young talent coming through and promoters from every part of the country so it's a shame that coronavirus has brought us down." As part of the campaign the venue has also set up a crowdfunding page.

Danny added: "We have worked hard for the venue so we want to see it going forward. "We have set a target of ?15,000, which could push us to June time. "If we get that, hopefully then the rules will have been relaxed.

"But if they extend beyond June, our future will not be known. "We would not know what to do and we would not be able to push the funds any further." A message from the Editor:

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