Arctic Monkeys raise more than £120,000 for indie music venues in Fender guitar raffle

The Arctic Monkeys have raised more than £120,000 for independent music venues by raffling off a Fender guitar.

The Arctic Monkey's have raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for independent music venues by raffling off Alex Turner's Fender guitar.

Arctic Monkeys started the raffle to support struggling grassroots music venues who have had to cancel events and face an uncertain future because of the pandemic.

After forming in Sheffield, the band performed at several venues around the country during the early stages of their career, and regularly played at The Leadmill in the city.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The Leadmill has also played host to Pulp, Coldplay, Arcade Fire, Muse, Oasis, Stone Roses, The White Stripes, Jorja Smith and Michael Kiwanuka over the last four decades.

The Leadmill in Sheffield.

It has rescheduled or cancelled more than 120 events since closing its doors in March.

Frontman Alex Turner put his black Fender Stratocaster guitar up for raffle, which he used for many of the band's early performances at the much-loved venue.

The raffle has now raised £128,507

More than 14,000 people have it to be in with a chance of winning.

All funds raised will go to Music Venue Trust to support The Leadmill and other independent UK grassroots music venues.

Venues across the country are struggling due to coronavirus pandemic.

In Leeds, Crash Records owner Ian De-Whytell said venues are in "serious danger".

-> 'There are venues in Leeds in serious trouble' - How the Covid pandemic is affecting the city's music sceneMr De-Whytell, owner of the 35-year-old record shop on the Headrow, said: “It’s very worrying. There are venues in Leeds that are in serious trouble and in serious danger of not being able to re-open unless they get a lot of help.”

He has joined a chorus of musicians and venue bosses in Leeds urging the Government to provide more support to an industry which has been left "in limbo" throughout the coronavirus pandemic - throwing the future of this city’s vibrant music scene into real doubt.

The Government announced that live music venues could open, with restrictions in place, from August 15.

However, the move has left many people in the industry scratching their heads due to the nature of enforcing social distancing at gigs.

Venue owners are also concerned at how they can justify the high cost of tickets with a vastly reduced capacity.

Mr De-Whytell said: “I do think people are getting really fed up now. They just can’t see any light at the end of the tunnel.

“'Socially-distanced gigs' just seems a contradictory statement.

“A socially-distanced celebration of a band of artist - and you want to be up close and personal not just with the band but with each other. It’s a real shame.”

He added: “The problem is, particularly with the stand up shows, there’s just no way of being able to socially distance people properly. No way of being able to calm people’s enthusiasm down. People are going to want to sing along, which apparently is something you’re not allowed these days because of the potential to spread infection.

“Everything just seems to work against it.

“And even when they do open, it can only really work if they can get capacity crowds in, not a third or even half capacity.

“The only alternative is to hike up the price of tickets and obviously that isn’t an answer. There’s no desire from promoters to do that and no appetite from people to pay £30 for what was a £10 gig.

“There’s no immediate answer to it. Until there’s a magic vaccine and people feel comfortable and safe about being crowded in together. But boy are people missing it so much.”

The Crowndfunder raffle at was open until 6pm on August 25.