Venue – what you can do
Had to go to Plymouth today (the National Marine Aquarium is overrated, if you ask me; a visit to our own local Bristol Aquarium is better, and spares you the two-hour drive down the tramp’s heartbreak that is the M5) and switched off the phone to temporarily escape the madness of the last 36 hours.
Returned to overwhelming number of phone messages, emails, Tweets etc. expressing shock, sympathy and support re planned closure of Venue. Hope everyone understands it’ll take a while to reply to all.
As we’re all saying, the closure is not necessarily a done deal. It might be saved in its present form, and if not, there is at least one completely serious and, in my humble, financially viable, plan for a successor.
In the meantime, lots of people are asking what they can do. Here are some suggestions:
There’s a SAVE VENUE MAGAZINE group on Facebook. Like it.
You can follow SaveVenue on Twitter, and Tweet messages of support with the #savevenue hashtag.
Here is a message from Venue editor Joe Spurgeon. Please pass it on to friends, relatives and even people you don’t like:
Venue faces closure
If you follow the local news, blogging world, Twitter or indulge in the odd spot of pub gossip, you may have heard that we are facing closure. This is true. A relatively small decline in readership coupled with a thundering decline in ad revenue has meant that what we do is no longer sustainable. We are looking at solutions and rescue packages. There might be a way. But we need your help. If you’ve ever read anything you like in Venue, used it to pick a film to see, gig to go to, restaurant to treat your mum in, we need you to go and buy a copy of the magazine. Now. Then tell your friends to do the same. And your work colleagues. Let us know via http://www.venue.co.uk/isawyou whether you think Bristol and Bath need an intelligent what’s on, arts and cultural magazine. Tell us what you think about us going. Tell us your Venue memories. Tell us anything. If we have any chance of surviving, we’ll need every word.
Joe Spurgeon, Editor
Thank you all for your support so far, and like the man says, buy the mag. It’s not an empty gesture at all; it’s proof to existing owners or future backers that there’s life in the old dog yet.
Just a couple of observations (which are mine alone and don’t reflect anyone else’s policies or plans):
I profoundly and utterly disagree with the almost-conventional wisdom that print is dying. Regional newspapers are faced with apparently inexorable decline, but magazines are not the same at all. There are plenty of magazines doing very well at the moment.
Anyone can compile what’s on information and give it away for free on the web, but people also want informed comment, features and interviews on the local cultural & entertainments scene. And where necessary, it needs to be set in wider social and political context. There is a handful of good local bloggers covering various aspects of local life, but only Venue can do the whole picture.
A print publication, which might only be fortnightly or monthly, is still required. It’s needed as part of a mix which might also include a website, smartphone apps, online subscription services and whatever other opportunities emerging technologies present.
If you build it, if you know what you’re talking about, if you are passionate and committed to what you’re doing, if you’re determined to embed yourself in the community and if you’re not just trying to screw readers and advertisers for as much cash as possible … If you can do all these things, they will come.
I’m sure I speak for all the rest of the Venue crew when I say that the end of today has left us all feeling a lot more optimistic.
Filed under: Uncategorized | 9 Comments