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The Jazz Cafe warns it needs support to survive

Supporters invited to pay it forward for future gigs

01 June, 2020 — By Richard Osley

The Jazz Cafe has been part of the live music scene in NW1 for 30 years

THE Jazz Cafe, the famous music venue in Camden Town, has warned that it will need support from its fans to survive the coronavirus crisis.

A key fixture in the area’s gig scene for 30 years, it has hosted some of the biggest names in blues, soul, jazz and hip-hop including Courtney Pine, Amy Winehouse, Candi Staton, The Skatalites and Chuck Berry.

But in a statement this week, the venue said: “For the first time in 30 years, we have shut our doors with no guarantee of reopening. Just like so many others, we are facing the biggest challenge in our history. Sadly, without help, there is now the very real prospect that The Jazz Cafe will not survive.”


Last week, council chiefs and MPs held a private Zoom videocall with venues owners and the borough’s cultural organisations to discuss future plans. Many are calling for more government support in the same way other industries have seen financial rescue packages drawn up.

While shops and schools are coming out of lockdown, music venues could face one of the longest waits to re-open.

“Since closing due to the pandemic, we’ve had absolutely no income,” The Jazz Cafe’s statement said.

“However, we still have outgoings, most significantly rent. Our overheads while we remain closed are £31,000 a month. We have received no rent relief from our landlord and we do not qualify for a government grant.”

It added: “Music venues will be one of the last things to return after the virus, and we expect to remain closed for some time, as we head closer and closer to bankruptcy.”

Instead of asking for charitable donations, the venue is asking people to invest in future gigs: for example a £1,000 payment would qualify for entry to every gig for five years.

The list of other ‘pay it forward’ offers include:

£5  a pint or glass of wine for when you next come to the Jazz Cafe;
£10 – a ticket to any club night of your choice
£ 25 – a ticket to any gig of your choice
£ 125 – 3 course meal for two people at a gig of your choice
£ 250 – 3 course meal for four people at a gig of your choice
£ 500 – entry to every gig at The Jazz Cafe in 2021 for you and a friend
£ 1000 – entry to every gig at The Jazz Café for you and a friend for the next five years and 5 VIP tickets for Maiden Voyage Festival 2021

“This will give us the cash flow we need to survive the next few months while we remain closed,” the venue said.

“By purchasing one of the options, however big or small; not only will you be helping The Jazz Cafe survive, you’ll be protecting the livelihood of hundreds of people. You’ll be ensuring our musicians, sound engineers, resident DJs, bar staff, chefs and security have jobs to come back to.”

It added: “Somewhere on the horizon live music will return, but without your help, The Jazz Cafe may not be a part of it.”

You can help The Jazz Cafe HERE

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