Roadmender becomes latest music venue to launch Crowdfunder campaign
While pubs are set to re-open at the start of July, like other music venues across the country, the Roadmender is not permitted to put on gigs to live audiences.
As part of its Crowdfunder campaign to raise £20,000, people can donate virtual pints or buy tote bags, hats, t-shirts and hoodies.
Natalie Lee-Norris, who runs the venue with her husband, said: “The Roadmender needs your support during these unprecedented times. The Roadmender is an essential part of Northampton.
“Through the years we have been a youth club, a community hall, a venue for boxing and other sports activities, an arts centre and since the 1970s a music venue.
“We’re regarded as the key venue in Northamptonshire for touring bands.
“The Government measures that will see some opening of hospitality sector will still restrict the opening of your local live music venue and nightclub as new rules still prohibit any live performances, singing and dancing.”
Over the years, the Roadmender – which is due to mark its 80th anniversary at its current location in October - has hosted thousands of gigs by some of the biggest names in music including Oasis, Faith No More, Tool, Manic Street Preachers and Deftones and more recently, the likes of Public Image Limited, Enter Shikari, Peter Murphy and slowthai.
The venue receives no funding from local authorities or charitable organisations.
Donations made via the Crowdfunder appeal will be used to help it cover essential costs, maintain a skeleton staff, rescheduling and promoting shows, dealing with customer enquiries, maintaining facilities and planning for a future reopening.
Dave Norris added: “For the last decade I, alongside my wife and our great team of bar staff, engineers, security and colleagues make it work.
“Even though I run the venue on a shoestring, the bills still land on the mat, or these days via email, so for the time being, we are hoping for a bit of help in supporting the future of the venue.”
Since lockdown, the venue has spent money on thermal imaging cameras, screens around the bars, sanitiser stations and PPE.
Earl Spencer opened the original Roadmender club at a disused factory in Lawrence Street in 1934.
After occupying different locations in the town, it moved to its current location in October 1940.
Virtual pints or rounds donated through the Crowdfunder cost £5 and £10 respectively.
A tote bag costs £12, a cap £15, a t-shirt £20 and hoodie £35.
More details of the Crowdfunder campaign are available at: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/support--roadmender-northampton