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The Ferret launches funding campaign to escape permanent closure

Posted on - 25th March, 2020 - 7:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Arts, Campaigns, Health, Music, Preston News, University
Ian Cauwood and Susan Culshaw
The Ferret manager Ian Cauwood with owner Susan Culshaw

Preston live music venue The Ferret has launched a funding campaign after its long-term future became threatened by the coronavirus outbreak.

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The Fylde Road venue, best known for the Glastonferret festival, also wants to help musicians and technicians who have been impacted by the pandemic.

Since it opened in 2006, The Ferret has welcomed some of the world’s leading singers and bands such as Ed Sheeran, Blossoms and Wheatus. Gigs planned for this year include A Certain Ratio, The Sherlocks, Evil Blizzard and Dodgy.

The Ferret also provides a platform to local bands and emerging talent – something that owners Susan and Gary Culshaw say makes it an important cultural venue in the city.

Read more: Preston venues react to coronavirus closures as the council steps in to help

Susan, who has run the venue with Gary for the past 12 months, said: “The Ferret occupies a unique niche in Preston and in people’s hearts. Many people have grown up making music, friends and memories there.

“Preston, unlike the bigger cities, doesn’t have other indie and alternative music venues. It also provides a space for emerging young artists and bands nationally.

“Its future was starting to look bright and we had great hopes it could be stabilised financially. Music venues are a labour of love and need dedicated nurturing as they are not profitable and are run more like a charity. As owners, none of us take a payment or salary from the Ferret.

“The Ferret adds so much to the city’s arts and culture scene – its loss would be a tragedy. We really need to be able to support our artists and sound guys and keep The Ferret operational.

“Even more concerning is the effect this pandemic is having on already stretched self-employed musicians, artists and photographers whose work The Ferret helps to support.

Ivan Campo playing Glastonferret
Ivan Campo playing Glastonferret

“We really need to be able to support our sound techs, retain our loyal staff and promoters so that we can ensure we can rebound with a functioning venue and a dynamic programme.

“A good part of any funds raised will provide some paid employment to musicians and artists, and also contribute to our maintenance costs as we attempt to ensure that The Ferret has a sustainable bright future.

“The worst thing for us having worked so hard over the last 12 months would be for The Ferret to decline and be unable to reopen. We welcome the Government’s help but it is not enough as the future and timescales are so uncertain.

“We need The Ferret to stick around and will do everything we can to try and ensure this, but we can’t do it alone and need help. We promise to match any money raised in order to provide an even better resource for Preston.”

Read more: Preston events scene takes a hit as coronavirus causes mass cancellations

Last year the venue began working with local promoter Garry Cook, staging performance and spoken-word events which have seen leading performers like Mike Garry, Louise Fazackerley, Joanne Tremarco and Harry Baker do gigs.

To support The Ferret’s £10,000 crowdfunder, which includes options to receive craft beer delivery, gig tickets, a Ferret t-shirt and gift vouchers, visit the Crowdfunder website.

Read more: How you can contribute to a £1m crowdfunder to help the NHS in Preston during the Covid-19 crisis

Will you be contributing to the crowdfunder? Let us know in the comments

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