A ground-breaking Greater Manchester live gig platform has raised over a quarter of a million pounds in its first month.
United We Stream launched on 3rd April to entertain pleasure seekers at home whilst inviting viewers to donate to raise funds for those who are unable to work during the Covid-19 pandemic.
To date, over four million viewers have joined the live Manchester broadcasts 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 House Party, which included sets by music legends David Morales, Roger Sanchez and Todd Terry live from the USA, was watched by 1.5 million people alone, reaching viewers as far afield as California.
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.
70% of all donations to UnitedWeStream will go to the Night Time Economy Relief Fund.
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.
Spinningfields owners Allied London have gifted a two-year purpose built recording studio to the platform, providing space for disadvantaged musicians and artists across the city-region.
As co-founder of some of the biggest music events in Europe, including The Warehouse Project and Parklife festival, Sacha knows a thing or two about putting on an event.
“I am completely humbled by the amount of donations that have come in which will help so many in need across Greater Manchester,” said Sacha.
“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.”
Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham said: “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!”
70% of all donations to UnitedWeStream will go to the Night Time Economy Relief Fund. The further donations will be split 8% to Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy Charity (8 per cent) and the Mayor Of Greater Manchester’s Charity (22 per cent).
Donate to UnitedWeStream
Donations can still be made via the website or text MUSIC to 70140 to donate £5.
Apply for funding from GMCA
Anyone affected by the pandemic can apply for funding on the GMCA website from today (4 May 2020).
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.