Greater Manchester’s United We Stream live gig platform has announced it will be winding down its weekend shows from June 7 in order to focus efforts on rebuilding the night time economy.
United We Stream was initially launched to help raise funds for those who are unable to work or operate during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The project has raised over £382,000 since its launch last month (April 3).
Sacha Lord, Night Time Economy Adviser, who created the platform alongside the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), has said today that the weekly shows will now give way to one-off exclusive events and that efforts will now be refocused on distributing the funds to the businesses suffering in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
From June 7, the platform will convert to an online stage for upcoming Greater Manchester talent. Acts will be able to upload showcases to the platform and view legacy content, as well as benefit from a purpose built recording studio in Spinningfields, donated by Allied London.
United We Stream has had a total reach of 14 million people, who have tuned in to date to watch music acts on United We Stream including Spice Girl Melanie C, Paul Oakenfold and Roger Sanchez as well as comedians Jon Richardson, Alan Carr and Russell Kane. It’s two Hacienda House Party 12 hour events were watched by over 3.5 million alone, reaching viewers as far afield as California.
Greater Manchester’s Night Time Economy Adviser, Sacha Lord, said: “Today we announce that we are winding down United We Stream to focus our efforts on rebuilding the sector.
“When United We Stream was launched, we weren’t sure anyone would watch it, let alone donate. Yet the public has helped raise over £382,000 in just under two months, and for that I, and all the businesses who will benefit from these funds, are eternally grateful.
“The night time economy is one of the biggest sectors for employment in Greater Manchester and has been hit hardest by the pandemic. To see our community come together to support these businesses is humbling and demonstrates the unmatched community spirit of our city-region.
“The platform will now echo this spirit of togetherness and go on to provide a free space for disadvantaged musicians and artists across Greater Manchester. I’m sure that by providing a platform for unsigned talent that we will go on to discover more of the household names that our region is so famous for.
“As we wind down, 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.
Applications for the United We Stream Solidarity Fund are still open on the GMCA website for those affected by the crisis.
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 UnitedWeStream 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.
Donations to United We Stream can still be made by texting UWS 70660 for a £5 donation.
*70% of all donations to UnitedWeStream.co.uk 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).