Arctic Monkeys’ crowdfunding campaign to save Sheffield music venue The Leadmill has managed to raise well over £100,000 through a charity raffle spearheaded by frontman Alex Turner’s black Fender Stratocaster.
At the time of writing, the campaign has raised close to £125,000 so far which surpassed the goal of £100,000 which they originally targetted and the money is an unexpected lifeline for the iconic Sheffield venue which played a pivotal role in the early days of the Arctic Monkeys. The money will also be split with the Music Venues Trust who will give their share to other grassroots venues across the country.
“I can’t believe we’re over £100,000,” Leadmill general manager Rebecca Walker said to NME. “That’s an insane amount of money and will go so far to securing not only the bricks and mortar of venues but also their key members of staff.
“We so humbled and so grateful. We couldn’t thank the guys enough for listening to us and allowing us to reach out to them, but also just their generosity. To them, it’s just a guitar but to us, it’s a lifeline – it’s a matter of whether a venue can stay open or not.”
Walker was then asked how they executed this intuitive idea: “Everyone in Sheffield knows someone who knows someone who knows Arctic Monkeys. You can’t go very far in the city without someone having a story about them. I happen to know someone with a connection to them so we reached out back in April and then their management said, ‘We’ve actually been speaking with them and they were asking about you guys to see if you were alright’.
“It was so great to know that no matter how big they get or where they are in the world, they’re still concerned with the crisis of how venues are doing back home. They were only too happy to help.”
Arctic Monkeys have helped ensure that the passage for the next artist from their hometown has the same right of passage they had on their way to stardom by keeping one of the Steel City’s cultural landmarks still alive.