Greater Manchester’s ground-breaking United We Stream live gig platform has announced it has raised over a quarter of a million pounds (£260,000) in its first month.
Created by Night Time Economy Adviser, Sacha Lord, and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), United We Stream launched on April 3 rd to raise funds for those who are unable to work or operate during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Over 4 million viewers have tuned in to date to watch music acts such as Paul Oakenfold, DJ Woody and Funkademia, as well as cookery features with Gary Usher and MasterChef winner, Simon Wood.
The platform’s all-day Hacienda HouseParty, which included sets by music legends David Morales, Roger Sanchez and Todd Terry live from the USA, was watched by 1.5 million alone, reaching viewers as far afield as California.
In line with the announcement, Lord has today opened applications on the GMCA website for those affected to apply for the funding.
To be eligible, applicants must be an individual or freelancer working in the cultural or night time economy sector in Greater Manchester, or be applying on behalf of a local music venue, bar, restaurant or cultural organisation.
The funding must be used to help them adapt to social distancing and lockdown measures related to Covid-19.
In addition to voluntary donations, the initiative has also seen corporate support and donations from the likes of Live Nation, size?, musicMagpie, Parlophone Records, ShinDigger Brewing, OVG Group, Twitter, Pannone Corporate LLP and Ancoats General Store.
Spinningfield owners, Allied London, also gifted a two-year purpose built recording studio to the platform, providing space for disadvantaged musicians and artists across the city-region.
Lord commented, “I am completely humbled by the amount of donations that have come in which will help so many in need across Greater Manchester.”
“When United We Stream was launched, we weren’t sure anyone would watch it, let alone donate. Now we have had over four million viewers staying in their homes, enjoying phenomenal live DJ-sets, virtual festivals, cookery shows, live music and interviews.”
“We have once again seen our city-region show an example of resilience and resourcefulness. Many operators are adapting to try and survive through the crisis, by offering delivery services, meal prep, masterclasses, voucher incentives and online events, and we hope to help some of these businesses with the funding raised and ease some financial pressures.”
“I’d like to thank all the artists who have performed to date and given their time completely free of charge, and all the people behind the scenes who have worked endless hours to pull this together.”
Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, commented, “We all love visiting our favourite music venues, bars and restaurants, and the money raised here will go some way to helping them stay alive and to be there when lockdown restrictions are lifted. I want to say a very heartfelt thank you to every single person that has donated; not just the generosity and spirit of Greater Mancunians, but the supporters from all around the world!”
Denis Desmond, Chairman at Live Nation said, “Bringing us together through music while raising money for those hit hardest by coronavirus is Greater Manchester at its very best," while Steve Oliver, CEO of Stockport-based musicMagpie, commented, “We support United We Stream to help assist the local night time economy and cultural offerings through these challenging times."
The upcoming May bank holiday weekend will see Capital FM DJs Nigel ’Wingman’ Clucus and James Hall on Friday, the return of the Hacienda House Party on Saturday and a 12-hour Homoelectric event on Sunday.
Performances from the Manchester Food and Drink Festival and Manchester Jazz Festival will follow in coming weeks.
Donations can be made via UnitedWeStream.co.uk or text MUSIC to 70140 to donate £5.