Advertisement
Music

How The Big Issue is helping to keep London’s music scene alive

Village Underground and Earth – two of east London’s most celebrated venues – have had their futures secured thanks to investment from Big Issue Invest.

Any list of beloved live music venues is sure to be littered with closed, gone-but-not-forgotten havens. Think London’s Astoria or Manchester’s Haçienda.

And coming out of the pandemic, having been unable to give their speakers a workout, surviving venues face uncertain times. But two of east London’s most iconic venues have had their futures secured thanks to new backing from Big Issue Invest.

The investment arm of The Big Issue, which helps social enterprises find funding, has backed the company behind Village Underground and Earth Hackney with a multi-million pound investment.

Subscribe to The Big Issue

Support us

Take a print or digital subscription to The Big Issue and provide a critical lifeline to our work.

Village Underground, a venue which repurposes old tube carriages, has played host to acts such as Foals.

Born out of a disused Art Deco theatre in Stoke Newington, Earth (Evolutionary Arts Hackney) features two venues with a combined capacity of just under 2,000 people.

The investment will allow VU X Earth, the venues’ parent company, to continue refurbishing the venues, as well as extend their work with young people in the creative industry.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Article continues below

This February, Earth is collaborating with Hackney Empire to showcase young talent in the borough – one of a number of initiatives aimed at using the venues to bring through a new generation of creative talent.

Auro Foxcroft, CEO, VU X Earth, said: “We are grateful for Big Issue Invest’s support to lead us out of difficult times allowing us to launch new education facilities and programmes, renovate our venues and reopen bigger and better than ever before.

“We’re getting right back to hosting some of the greatest musicians from around the globe, supporting new talent, inspiring people and changing lives.”

Support The Big Issue
Each of our vendors buy their copies of the mag for £1.50 each, selling them for £3 and keeping the difference. Visit our interactive map to find your nearest vendor.

After years as a derelict building, Earth was born in 2017 when funding from Big Issue Invest helped Village Underground to purchase and redevelop the site.

John Gilligan, director, Big Issue Invest Fund Management, said of the investment “Post Covid, we all need the chance to get together and share experiences again.

“We are helping emerging and ignored artists break through and people who have been left behind get trained to make a contribution to an industry where the UK leads the world.”

Advertisement

Every copy counts this Christmas

Your local vendor is at the sharp end of the cost-of-living crisis this Christmas. Prices of energy and food are rising rapidly. As is the cost of rent. All at their highest rate in 40 years. Vendors are amongst the most vulnerable people affected. Support our vendors to earn as much as they can and give them a fighting chance this Christmas.

Recommended for you

Read All
With Together in Vegas, Michael Ball and Alfie Boe have hit the festive jackpot
Interview

With Together in Vegas, Michael Ball and Alfie Boe have hit the festive jackpot

English National Opera cuts speak of a deeper problem
funding

English National Opera cuts speak of a deeper problem

Wilko Johnson 'inspired a generation to do something different with their guitars'
in memory

Wilko Johnson 'inspired a generation to do something different with their guitars'

Wilko Johnson: 'I believed I was going to die – then started to feel alive'
Letter to my younger self

Wilko Johnson: 'I believed I was going to die – then started to feel alive'

Most Popular

Read All
Here's when and where nurses are going on strike
1.

Here's when and where nurses are going on strike

Pattie Boyd: 'I was with The Beatles and everything was fabulous'
2.

Pattie Boyd: 'I was with The Beatles and everything was fabulous'

Here's when people will get the additional cost of living payment
3.

Here's when people will get the additional cost of living payment

Why do people hate Matt Hancock? Oh, let us count the ways
4.

Why do people hate Matt Hancock? Oh, let us count the ways