We're taking a look at The Ferret, a venue in Preston that is being given some help by a new initiative by the Music Venue Trust
Last updated: 21st Nov 2022
The Music Venue Trust is a charity set up to help protect the various live music venues across the UK. Over the course of the pandemic, it was crucial in assisting independent venues to survive, whether it was via the crowdfunder they started or through their contact with the government, as they persuaded them to hand out financial aid.
One of their recent initiatives is called Music Venue Properties which will look to purchase the freeholds of nine independent venues and then rent them back to the operators at a far fairer price than their current landlords. This ensures that the venues will be better protected from financial issues in the future.
They are currently crowdfunding to make this scheme work and, if it is successful, the Music Venue Trust will be able to step in and buy up said freeholds for even more venues, helping to secure their longevity. You can find all the information on the scheme and the crowdfunder itself at this link - here.
We're going through each of those nine venues that the Music Venue Trust have selected and showing why they're so important. The first of which is The Ferret in Preston...
The Ferret opened in 2006 and since then has become the place to be in Preston if you want to see the best upcoming bands. Quickly becoming a much-beloved venue that harbours a real sense of community, it encompasses everything that makes independent spaces for live music so important.
With over 200 people able to fit in, they have welcomed in some truly brilliant names in the past such as Alt-J, Ed Sheeran, Idles and The Orielles. With gigs on pretty much every night, you'd struggle to find some entertainment that you don't enjoy. If you take a look at the list of artists who have played here and are scheduled to play, you'll notice just how diverse the artists they book are.
They are essential in supporting bands and musicians taking their first steps. The only certified grassroots music venue in Preston, you'll find it situated opposite the Students Union and close to the town centre, the ideal location for gig-goers. The Ferret was listed for sale this year and is still at risk of losing its battle against its landlord if funds aren't secured.
Yet, with the Music Venues Properties scheme, the venue can be saved from being sold to someone who may not intend to keep it as a music venue. If you take a look at the events that are coming up at The Ferret, you'll get a glimpse of the eclectic array of entertainment that they have on offer.
There are open mic sessions such as The Ferret Tuesday Showcase which give local acts a chance to take the stage to show off their new tunes or get the crowd going with some recognisable covers. It brings people together in such a simple way. You'll also notice that acclaimed artists such as English rap legend and co-founder of hip hop label YNR Productions, Jehst, are set to perform at the venue in the months to come.
Another nationwide event that will bring much-needed attention to The Ferret and those on the Music Venue Trust scheme is next year's Independent Venue Week. Performing live at the Preston venue on Friday 3rd February as part of the annual celebration, music fans can expect to hear live music from Leeds-based indie-quartet, English Teacher.
It just goes to show how incredible The Ferret's programme of events is. It is an essential venue for Preston which needs as much support as it can get. We need to protect these places of culture, as they teach us so much and offer a safe space for creativity to flourish. You can find all the upcoming events at The Ferret here.
Just over a month remains to help get The Ferret and the other nine venues on the pilot crowdfunder scheme over the line. To make a donation to The Ferret, who've already secured £500,000 towards their cause, and ensure the future of grassroots music in Preston, click or tap - here - now.
Check out our What's On Guide to discover even more rowdy raves and sweaty gigs taking place over the coming weeks and months. For festivals, lifestyle events and more, head on over to our Things To Do page or be inspired by the event selections on our Inspire Me page.