Boom Leeds – a grassroots venue dedicated to punk, hardcore and metal music – has raised £15,000 from benefit gigs, which has prevented it from permanent closure.
Back in November, the 250-capacity space shared a statement explaining the challenging financial situation it had found itself in. The message cited “large COVID-related debts” and the impact of the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.
“Boom is unfortunately struggling under the pressures,” it continued.
The statement then highlighted a recent report by the Music Venue Trust (MVT), which revealed that 125 UK grassroots venues had shut down in 2023 (the “worst year for venue closures”, as the MVT told NME).
Boom Leeds went on to announce a series of benefit shows and “fundraising initiatives” in a bid to secure its future. Now, bosses have said they have raised £15,000 of their £45,000 target figure.
“This month we have paid off a huge chunk of serious debt that was threatening imminent closure of the venue,” the post continued.
“Without the fundraising, today we would have been writing a statement to explain that Boom would be closing.”
It added: “We would like to thank Loathe, Static Dress, Higher Power, Killing Me Softly, Love Rarely, Bloodfury, Body Web, Mercury, Eternal Rest, The Flex, Pest Control, Cauldron, Disengagement, Impunity & Dandelion for their contributions to the fundraising.
“We would also like to thank all the fans, customers and our friends for their support.”
Despite this step in the right direction, the venue said it “must continue to host fundraiser gigs and access further support to keep Boom afloat” in the longterm.
“We still have large debts to pay and rising operational costs that are making operating Boom successfully incredibly difficult. The future is certainly brighter but it does remain challenging & uncertain,” the statement explained.
“We have a target to raise a further £30,000 to rid the venue of debt and allow us to move forward providing a unique space in Leeds.”
Boom Leeds has various fundraising live gigs coming up, details of which can be found here.
“To everyone that has contacted us offering support and words of encouragement, thank you,” the message concluded. See the post above.
- READ MORE: 2023 was “worst year for venue closures” while “no one in music industry seems to care”, says MVT
Speaking about the importance of Boom Leeds, Higher Power guitarist Max Harper recently told NME: “Leeds would definitely not have the scene that it has without Boom – maybe the desire for other people to travel to Leeds for shows wouldn’t be there as much.
“There are other small venues too, but Boom has been the constant and the foundation, and probably the inspiration for people because it’s a very encouraging space.”
Elsewhere in the feature, NME‘s Emma Wilkes described Boom as “a cornerstone of Leeds’ vibrant alternative music scene” and “a vital, youth-centric community space”.
A report published last week showed the “disaster” that struck the UK’s grassroots music venues in 2023. It came amid increasing calls for a ticket levy on larger arena shows and investment from the wider industry.