Celebrating top-quality music has always been at the heart of the Meet Bernard ethos – we like to think of ourselves as curating our stores the way you'd curate a good playlist (and we know all about those).
Because of that, we're fully aware that the current global crisis has not been kind to the artists, promoters and venues that folk all across the city depend on for the best sounds and live music events. So, we've been brainstorming.
Here are just some ways you can help your beloved local music scene.
Don’t ask for refunds for tickets
We get it. This summer was set to be jam-packed with gigs, nights out and festivals, but your disappointment can come at a cost. Many artists, venues and emerging festivals are dependant on the booking fees they get for their livelihoods, so don’t go scrambling around for refunds – hold on to your tickets, because most events will be rescheduled for next year anyway. It'll be worth the wait when you don't have to sit online refreshing the page in hope of grabbing a last-minute seat.
Buy a virtual pint to support your local music venues
The Virtual Pint scheme is looking to raise just £7,000 – half of the funds will go to the Music Venue Trust, and the other will go through to the beloved local venues struggling to keep their doors open. Simply go through to the Virtual Pint Just Giving Page, and make your order. You won’t actually get a drink, but you will get that warm fuzzy feeling inside. (Plus, you can always crack one open at home for the full effect.)
What about that T-shirt from your favourite band you’ve had your eye on? Maybe a nice poster from that show you attended? Buying merchandise is another great way that you can support artists, labels and venues that have taken a kicking from this crisis. And make sure to buy direct: it may be slightly faster from everyone's favourite ‘tax-efficient’ e-commerce behemoth, but buying direct will ensure that more of your funds go into the pockets of your beloved music scene. Besides, let's face it – you can't beat a band tee and a good pair of jeans.
Treating streaming as ‘trying before you buy’
Although streaming your favourite up-and-coming artists does benefit them, a large portion of the profits goes to the likes of Spotify and Apple Music – and let's face it, they certainly don't need any more money. Instead, if there’s an album you can’t stop repeating, consider heading over to Bandcamp to buy it there. If you're inclined to be a little more old school, have you heard we're in the middle of a vinyl boom? Get yourself a 12 inch copy of one of your favourites, crack open your record player and get to it.
Donate to hardship funds
There's a good few funds out there you can donate to if you wish to help your music scene. Here’s just a list of some funds that are supporting musicians and venues:
Head down to your local independent record store
Many independent stores have been forced to close their doors, but are still selling online. Below is a map that you can use to find your local independent record store. If you’re in Greenwich, we heartily recommend Casbah Records – tell them Meet Bernard sent you.
We hope that this list gives you some inspo, and works a reminder to think about what we've all missed this summer – and how important it is that we put effort into keeping it alive and well.
As ever, stay safe out there, and keep your eyes peeled for the latest Boat Floaters playlist. Distanced or not, we'll dance again!