Alex Turner’s Stratocaster raffle raises over £120,000 for independent venues

The Crowdfunder was set up by the Arctic Monkeys and The Music Venue Trust.

Arctic Monkeys frontman Alex Turner recently parted with his black Fender Stratocaster in a charity raffle raising funds for grassroots music venues in the UK. The instrument ended up fetching £128,544.

In total, 14,410 tickets were sold over a two-week period. The money raised goes to benefit several venues spread across the UK, including The Leadmill, a music venue based in Sheffield, where Turner played the guitar. Each ticket was sold for a minimum donation of £5.

The raffle was held through a Crowdfunder set up by the Arctic Monkeys and The Music Venue Trust, in addition to a chance at winning the black Stratocaster, each entrant was also granted exclusive access to view the band’s performance at Reading Festival in 2006.

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Arctic Monkeys crowdfunder
Alex Turner playing his black Fender Stratocaster / Photo: Arctic Monkeys via Crowdfunder

As COVID-19 continues to affect the global events industry, more and more venues have found themselves in danger of being shut down. Earlier this month, the iconic Cavern Club in Liverpool, UK reported that it was losing roughly £30,000 a week since lockdown began in March, and recently had to retrench workers in order to stay afloat.

Meanwhile in the United States, Songbirds, an iconic Tennessean music venue and guitar museum, closed its doors for the last time on Saturday, 15 August. Its owners cited the coronavirus as the reason for its closure in a statement made over Instagram.

“Gatherings are our business, and due to the unpredictable course & unforeseeable end of the COVID-19 pandemic, limited touring artists coming through our area, and our lease coming up for renewal in the near future, Songbirds has decided to close our doors.”

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