A co-operatively owned and run music venue, The Globe in Newcastle, is testament to the power of co-operation to help communities thrive, even during a pandemic.
The Globe was a failing pub when the community formed the Pink Lane Jazz Co-operative and raised funds through community shares to buy it. They create the UK's first co-op-owned music venue and education centre in 2014.
Surprisingly, 2020 was the co-op’s best year for delivering its objectives, engaging with the community and involving members and volunteers. When lockdown started, the co-op invited its supporters to shape the future of The Globe.
Dave Parker, Chair of Pink Lane Jazz Co-op, said: “We received a very positive response including donations, investment and volunteer help.
The Globe was refurbished, and new equipment installed by volunteers, with funding from Power to Change and the Culture Recovery Fund.
Gigs in autumn 2020 were performed to socially distanced audiences at the venue while being livestreamed worldwide. The livestreams were viewed by thousands and raised more than £40,000 for musicians.
These in-venue/livestreamed hybrid performances allowed people at The Globe to see musicians in an intimate but safe environment, while those who preferred not to travel could still enjoy an online gig experience.
“We’re proud to have provided income for musicians, employment for staff and entertainment for isolated people. This was all down to our members coming together, making decisions and taking action.
“This may have been a reaction to crisis, but the way we operate, our co-operative ethics and values are sustainable. They’ll enable us to build back better from this pandemic and long into the future too.”