Music Beyond Mainstream Consortium Joins #saveourvenues Campaign

Archive Recording of John Grant & Royal Northern Sinfonia Orchestra live at Sage Gateshead, Made Available to Raise Funds for Grassroots Music Venues

Music Beyond Mainstream, a consortium of larger UK regional concert halls collaborating to programme and produce tours, has teamed up with Music Venue Trust to participate in their #saveourvenues campaign, which is supporting the UK’s Grassroots Music Venues during the current pandemic.

Music Beyond Mainstream has 12 partner venues of over 1100 capacity who are all committed to artistically ambitious programmes and works collaboratively with artists to create experiences in live music that would be unlikely to be produced in any other way.

One member of the consortium is the 1640 capacity Sage Gateshead, which is home to the UK’s only full-time chamber orchestra Royal Northern Sinfonia. The organisation led on producing a collaboration for Music Beyond Mainstream between American singer-songwriter John Grant and Royal Northern Sinfonia in 2014 and has now made a film of this concert available to stream this coming Friday (June 12th) to raise funds for the #saveourvenues campaign, which has to date raised over £2m towards helping Grassroots Venues.

The project saw John Grant artistically paired with the 34-piece chamber orchestra for a UK tour and included the commissioning of four new songs from him that would be released on his third album ‘Grey Tickles, Black Pressure’. The orchestral arrangements were composed by violinist and composer Fiona Brice (Anna Calvi, Roy Harper, Placebo) and the concerts were conducted by Christopher George. No strangers to contemporary collaborations, Royal Northern Sinfonia has previously collaborated with artists as diverse as Pet Shop Boys, Joanna Newsom, Efterklang and Spiritualized.

Now 10 of the Music Beyond Mainstream member venues will stream the concert simultaneously from their Facebook pages at 8pm this coming Friday (June 12th) as follows:

Sage Gateshead
THSH Birmingham
Bristol Colston Hall
Edinburgh Usher Hall
Liverpool Philharmonic
Manchester Bridgewater Hall
Nottingham Royal Concert Hall
Poole Lighthouse
The Anvil, Basingstoke
London, Southbank Centre

The concert will be free to view but donations can be made to #saveourvenues via the campaign’s main fundraising page:

Beverley Whitrick, Strategic Director, Music Venue Trust

Beverley Whitrick, Strategic Director, Music Venue Trust
“We hugely appreciate this act of solidarity from Music Beyond Mainstream, who recognise that all venues are part of a live music ladder, that sees artists start their careers in Grassroots Venues before progressing onto larger stages. Their help and generosity is very much appreciated by the many venues we represent. We would particularly like to thank the team at Sage Gateshead for making this remarkable archive performance available to the #saveourvenues campaign.”


Tamsin Austin, Associate Director of Programming, Sage Gateshead

Tamsin Austin, Associate Director of Programming, Sage Gateshead
“Covid19 is challenging every aspect of the music sector. Musicians’ livelihoods are at risk and venues large and small are in peril of closure because of financial challenges. It is important that all this sector makes it through this crisis. We made this wonderful show with one of our all-time favourite artists, several years ago, as a group of larger UK venues in the network Music Beyond Mainstream (MBM). In streaming this show for free, we would like to encourage you to donate, if you feel able, to the Music Venues Trust crisis fund. This fund is set up to support Grassroots Venues across the country. These Grassroots Venues are crucial to us as larger venues, just as they are to musicians and audiences across the country and create our rich live music scene. If you can donate to the fund, it will help secure a grass roots venue near you. #saveourvenues.”

To access this online gig on Friday 12 June visit