Giving Compass' Take:

• Feargus O'Sullivan writes about how a live-streaming fundraising initiative in Europe is saving music venues from coronavirus' economic stranglehold.

• Are you prepared to dedicate funds towards saving music venues? How can we learn from platforms like this one to support all sorts of businesses affected by coronavirus?

• Find coronavirus relief funds.


A fast-growing project created by nightlife advocates in Europe could provide one way to keep night businesses alive and working through the lockdown period, and the semi-lockdown that could linger long afterward. Called United We Stream, the combined live-streaming and fundraising platform hosts live music, DJ sets, performances and other live experiences from a growing roster of venues across Europe. Patrons are invited to drop into daily events staged for the platform, and invited via on-screen buttons to donate money if they can, either by buying merchandise or by splashing out on a “virtual drink.” These donations are plowed back into keeping music and nightlife scenes alive.

So far, it has already proved strikingly successful: In Berlin, the project has raised more than 430,000 euros, a sum that could do much to keep the wolf from many venues’ (closed) doors. The funds the project raises are carefully divided, city by city, along the following lines. The first 10% of all money raised goes to Covid-19 relief projects that are not nightlife-related, such as local counseling services or food banks. The next 20% goes to the host venues, with a maximum of 5,000 euros per session going to pay DJs and other club staff. A further 20% goes into an emergency support fund for venues that find themselves right on the brink.

The remaining half goes into longer-term support, much of which will be needed if venues — especially smaller, less commercial ones without financial buffers — are to survive. Some venues might need ongoing support to keep their rent paid, while other applicants might want funding to develop music or art projects that have been deprived of their usual venues.

Read the full article about saving music venues by Feargus O'Sullivan at CityLab.