The Cavern Club, the historic venue in Liverpool where the Beatles performed nearly 300 shows before the British invasion, is at risk of closing permanently due to the coronavirus, club owners and local government officials warned on Friday.
Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson told the Liverpool Echo that – even though UK venues have been allowed to reopen with reduced attendance and social distancing guidelines – the Cave “could shut down forever” if the club’s bid for the government’s Cultural Recovery Fund fails.
“The fact that the world-famous cave can shut down forever due to Covid-19 should give the government a sense of how much our extremely valuable music industry is in peril. This virus has caused unimaginable pain and sorrow, but it turns out to be an existential threat to our cultural scene, ”Anderson told the newspaper.
“The prospect of losing a national gem like the Cave is a horrific scenario for everyone involved, be it Beatles fans, music lovers and especially those whose livelihoods depend on it.
One of the club’s current directors, Bill Heckle, told the Echo that the Cavern Club has lost £ 30,000 ($ 39,000) per week since the start of the pandemic and that the site recently laid off 20 employees with more layoffs expected. “We made the decision a few years ago to keep as much money in the bank as possible for a rainy day, not realizing it would be a thunderstorm,” Heckle said, adding that the club’s cash reserves had been halved by the pandemic.
“It’s a very vibrant part of Liverpool’s economy which is why we are reaching out at the end of August and reopening the Cavern for a week, virtually and groups from all over the world have been sending messages. and recorded sets, ”added Heckle. . “We know we’re not going to make any money, it’s really about reminding people that we’re here and the only goal is to get out on the other side. I’m sure we will, but it’s about survival.
The Cavern Club is one of the countless sites on both sides of the Atlantic that risk being closed without the help of government intervention; earlier this week, the Restart Act and the Save Our Stages Act – two U.S. bills pushed by the National Independent Venue Association and the National Independent Talent Organization – went into limbo when Congress went into suspension without a new bill. Covid-19 relief law.