It's been over a year since the first gigs were cancelled and the comedy industry is on its knees – no indoor shows have happened in Scotland and Wales all year, indoor gigs in England won't be restarting until mid-May at the earliest, and very few gigs and tours are financially viable with social distancing and decreased capacities. That's why we need help to #SaveLiveComedy – by helping those who make live comedy happen.
Our industry-wide survey shows the severity of the crisis comedy is facing. 50% of people are considering leaving the industry entirely, and that shoots up to 60% for people of colour; while 81% of people are experiencing poor mental health due to job & industry uncertainty.
Without financial aid, comedy as we know it will simply no longer exist: many comedians will be priced out, producers and promoters will not be able to make shows, and swathes of working class, LGBTQ+, and Black and ethnic minority talent will be lost from our industry.
Now we're asking you to help us raise as much money as possible so that we can help as many people as possible across our industry! We're determined to keep comedy accessible, so our industry is crammed with talent – not just people who can afford to be there.
With your support, we will distribute grants of £500 in two rounds and will target those most in financial need, focussing on those who are self-employed, unemployed, or run an organisation that have not received the necessary government support.
Grants can be used towards living costs, existing debts, and costs involved with being able to get back to live performance. The Fund is open to all those who work in live comedy, including comedians, promoters, producers, stage managers, technicians and off-stage creatives including directors, designers, and photographers.
Applications for the first Round of the Fund are now open and will close on April 30th 2021 at midday.
Applications for the second round of the Fund will open on May 22nd 2021 and close on June 4th 2021.
The full eligibility criteria and application process for the fund can be found here.
The Fund is administered by NextUp Comedy in association with the Live Comedy Association.
NextUp were behind last year's #HeckleTheVirus campaign, which distributed over £100,000 in small grants to comics in the first two months of the pandemic. They're administering the #SaveLiveComedy fund, dealing with applications & making sure that the Fund reaches those that needs it most.
The LCA is an industry body representing & connecting the UK comedy industry, ensuring it can survive and thrive in the face of the pandemic and beyond. The LCA was behind last year's #SaveLiveComedy campaign, which campaigned for comedy to be included in the government's Culture Recovery Fund, ensuring that comedy venues and organisations were eligible for these grants. For the #SaveLiveComedy campaign, the LCA are coordinating the fundraising campaign & have advised on the eligibility criteria using the data gathered from their industry surveys.
We're very grateful to the Fund's Founding Supporter, Panadol, who have made this possible with an initial £25,000 in sponsorship, and Crowdfunder who are waiving their platform fees for projects during the coronavirus crisis.
Together, we can provide relief to people working in the comedy industry. Help us support the people that make live comedy happen, so they can keep making you laugh.
Please donate and share the #SaveLiveComedy campaign far and wide. Thanks for your support!