Save music venues campaign

Round & About

small business

A new national campaign has been launched by Music Venue Trust to save hundreds of grassroots music venues at imminent risk of being closed down – permanently.

Without these independent venues the live music scene in the UK will die. These grassroots venues play a crucial role in the development of British music, nurturing local talent, providing a platform for artists to build their careers and develop their music and their performance skills. These venues also play a vital role in the cultural and economic vibrancy of any village, town or city.

Currently 556 venues are at risk including The Northcourt Centre, Abingdon; The Boileroom, Guildford and the Fiery Bird, Woking.

Artists will be performing ‘at home’ gigs in support of their local venues, chosen from a list of venues currently in crisis which can be found at the campaign website www.saveourvenues.co.uk.

Each venue will have their own fundraising page with a clear target of the funds it needs to raise to stay afloat throughout this difficult period. Once a target is reached any excess revenue will go to the central #saveourvenues fund to help the wider grassroots music venue community.

HOW CAN MUSIC FANS GET INVOLVED?

1. Donate to a specific venue’s fundraising page by clicking this link www.saveourvenues.co.uk to see a list of local venues that urgently need help.

2. Watch ‘at home’ shows by artists supporting the #saveourvenues campaign. Click here www.saveourvenues.co.uk to see a list of shows coming up.

3. Donate to the national #saveourvenues fund via the website www.saveourvenues.co.uk

4. Help spread the word on social media using the hashtag #saveourvenues and the campaign link www.saveourvenues.co.uk.

One of the main drivers of this initiative is the musician Frank Turner whose recent series of ‘Independent Venue Love’ shows for local venues raised thousands of pounds and provided a major inspiration for this campaign.

Turner said: “The UK live music industry is staring into the abyss right now. I’m not able to save the whole thing on my own, but I decided to do a series of livestream shows to raise money for specific independent venues that I know and love, and that are in serious risk of disappearing right now. The success of these shows demonstrated the love that exists between music fans and their favourite grassroots music venues so the #saveourvenues campaign is a brilliant way of building on that and hopefully giving artists and music fans a chance to get involved and play a big part in helping them survive.”

Music Venue Trust’s CEO Mark Davyd said: “Without the support of music fans and artists literally hundreds of the UK’s grassroots music venues could go out of business, never to return, in the coming months. Please help to save every single grassroots music venue in the UK so that it can reopen after this crisis and continue to be a home to our musicians and our communities.”

To find out more

Hoppy ever after

Round & About

small business

Danielle Bekker explains more about her journey to set up her award-winning local business Binary Botanical & how Woking has inspired her

I love beer but I have never enjoyed having beer with food and would typically switch to wine to have with dinner, which is far more alcoholic. So the original idea was to come up with beer that would go well with food and we have done everything to turn beer on its head. We infuse it with hop leaves (which are normally a waste product) and brew with a wine yeast to give a product which is aromatic, tangy like prosecco aromatic but not at all bitter. We have a 4% ABV version which is the low alcohol alternative to wine and the 0.5% which is the perfect adult drink when you aren’t drinking.

My real passion is the 0.5% ABV – it took a lot longer to get this recipe right . A lot of non-alcoholic beers are quite bitter and it took a lot of experimentation to develop something which was aromatic and flavourful but without the bitterness.

My favourite tipple at the moment is actually the binary 0.5.  I don’t drink very much and I love having an adult alternative to lime and soda.

In terms of inspiration there are quite a few – the range of delicious gins that are out there with the various botanical infusions  shows the range of flavours that can be achieved with different botanicals.   I think Seedlip have paved the way for elevating the non-alcoholic cocktail.

Because binary is so different biggest it is not aimed at the traditional beer consumer  – when people taste the liquid the invariably love it but it does confuse the brain – Is it a low alcohol sparkling wine? Is it a beer?.    Beer can be premium, drunk out of a wine glass with a meal by men and women.  It can make delicious low calorie cocktails.   Secondly – you have to get involved in so many different areas of the business  – from sourcing ingredients to packing boxes and trying to understand how to post a story on Instagram (I didn’t have an Instagram account before starting binary!)

Our highlights have been our listing in Harvey Nichols and Ocado – who both said they were excited to genuine new news and innovation in beer.  The second highlight would be being included in craft gin club as the cocktail mixer for their cocktail of the month – they took a big risk including us as their first ever beer and the feedback has been really positive.  And then lastly any time someone says – I don’t like beer and ends up loving binary is probably the biggest highlight of all.

On a more personal level, in my previous role in corporate I had to travel a lot so was away from home a lot so felt as though I missed out a lot on every day family life like hearing about the day at school.  So although I probably work harder now – I am home for dinner every day and see the kids off for school in the morning which is a real privilege.

My favourite part of Woking is probably Horsell Common (thanks to War of the Worlds –  nearly as famous as the Pizza express is now) – the perfect place to re-charge and go for a walk.  I think we are very lucky to live in a town which is so close to London but still has a great village feel about it.

It is so amazing to see how people want to support local businesses – the people we meet at Farmers Markets and festivals are all very passionate about supporting small, local businesses and events like Woking Food Festival go a long way to show casing local businesses in an affordable way.  I am always humbled by how many volunteers  give their time to the various events.   Locally, our aim is to convince more restaurants that innovation doesn’t just have to be in London.  With this in mind we are running a unique Cocktailcompetition for mixologists and bartenders to mark Dry January by creating a new low alcohol cocktail to demonstrate that no/low alcohol drinks can be exciting and delicious  and its only open to for people in the South East.

 

Q. What would be your dream for Binary Botanical?

My dream would be that we can exemplify a business which integrates its purpose and product into a single story.  By using a waste product (the hop leaf) as a core ingredient, not only are we are driving sustainability in the supply chain and revenue for local farmers we are also championing  the trend for moderation – drinking less or not drinking at all doesn’t mean a compromise on flavour.  We believe that the joyful wellbeing and sociability of beer can be enjoyed by many more people than it is today…. And we plan to convince people of this one sample cup at a time!

More info

To try these wonderful beverages or to find out more about the business head to the Binary Botanical website

LoLo app

Round & About

small business

How about being rewarded when you shop and eat? That’s the simple idea behind a new app – LoLo which has just launched in Reading.

The loyalty app encourages customers and businesses to be true to their high street and buy and eat at local retailers and restaurants.

And it couldn’t be simpler to use, all you need to do is download the app and you’ll get free access to £20 of ‘loyalty tokens’ to receive discounts at multiple participating businesses.

The mobile app has three functions: LoLo Local – for local high street retailers businesses, tradespeople and more all giving discounts by accepting local loyalty tokens; LoLo Eats – whether eating in or enjoying a takeaway at home there’s a discount to tuck into too; LoLo Mall – major retailers will offer exclusive discounts to members.

The app means shoppers enjoy discounts and businesses get to connect with customers to help them build creating vibrant communities.

LoLo co-founder and CEO, Ian Jones said: “The beauty of LoLo is the more local businesses and customers that join the free loyalty platform, the more they will all benefit.  Each time a customer makes a purchase with a local business using their loyalty tokens, they receive more tokens back that they can then spend again at the same business or redeem at another participating shop, mechanic, butcher or restaurant. LoLo is the gift that just keeps giving.

“Every time people spend money they are casting a vote on the future community they want. If we want vibrant local communities then we must support the local businesses who employ local people and pay local business taxes.

“When we spend money with international online giants we send the money away from our community and add to the local decline.

Supporting local businesses helps to keep the money circulating in our local community.”

You’re a winner and the business is a winner too – so what are you waiting for! 

Download the app

Oh what a night…!

Liz Nicholls

small business

As the ten of us representing the Round & About team sit at the table in the Grand Ballroom of the Park Lane Hilton, it’s fair to say that we already feel like winners…

Here we are at this black-tie industry awards giant, rubbing shoulders with the “big guns” of media, alongside tables of people from the likes of Google and Channel 4. Being part of a small team, we at Round & About have always punched above our weight when it comes to ambitions, results and success, but dare we dream that we could actually win..?

And, as we sit poised and happy, event host Colin Murray announces the results and we’re all reflected in golden glory. Round & About has scooped gold for Regional Commercial Team of the Year and Regional Media Brand of the Year as well as bronze for Regional Editorial Content Team of the Year…

The rest of the evening is a joyful whirl of congratulations, clinking of glasses, cigars and dancing well into the early hours.

“Standing with the R&A team, amongst some of the biggest names in the uk media, having just won two gold and a bronze award was a perfect 25th anniversary celebration,” says Peter Savage, our founding editor.

Indeed, this family business has grown from humble beginnings to a heavyweight industry contender, thanks to our team’s dedication to serving our customers and readers with a well-loved magazine that delivers every month. With sales and editorial teams working together, Round & About has earned the respect of the British Media Awards judges by increasing sales year on year, expanding the magazine into new areas, developing new projects and maintaining a high level of quality in print and production.

In April Round & About was 25 years old – and in that quarter century the team have seen huge changes in the media industry. All the hard work that it’s taken to build upon our successes and find a way to serve our communities and customers gave us a precious milestone to celebrate earlier this year… And Wednesday’s wins have given us golden memories to treasure going forward into the next phase.

Speaking of which, back to the grindstone to prepare our best-ever July editions!

Read more about the Round & About team

Celebrating 25 years

Round & About

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Whoooosh… and 25 years have passed in the life of Round & About Magazine!

And you, dear readers, helped us achieve this!

25 years ago, in April 1994, I launched R&A on an unsuspecting audience in Oxfordshire… every home in OX10/OX11 received it, whether they wanted it or not(!) via the postman. It was to be full of local events and happenings; from shows to nearly new baby clothes sales. Every month since, we’ve continued to receive your news to use.

In a way it was a small revolution as most free-distribution magazines went into shops and garages but we were about the first to go via Royal Mail to every home in a postcode. The reason it was important? We needed to reassure advertisers people would actually GET their magazine.

Since then we’ve grown and grown, from 20,000 copies in our first postcode edition to a staggering 26 editions, spread across nine counties with over 562,000 copies delivered every month.

I play a much reduced part now. The challenges, stresses and strains of the modern world are now borne by my son Christopher. He and his team have taken the magazine to new heights and we hope that you’ll continue to find what we produce useful, informative, educational and FUN to read.

Over the years, many people have played a part in R&A. Some “old stagers” are still with us such as Steve Warner, Luke Maitland and Sarah Readings. It would not be right to leave this brief account without mention to the incomparable James Risk who did so much for us but died a young man three years back.

I owe a debt of gratitude to all those who made, or continue to make, our magazine live, and to my family for putting up with me during the tough bits. My thanks to you all….

Peter Savage

Read more about the Round & About team

Peter Savage, Founder

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Comment below with your favourite edition, cover, story, memory or just what you enjoy most about Round & About!