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Hope Works launches crowdfunder

Well-loved warehouse venue, which has hosted some of electronic music’s biggest DJs and live acts, reaches out to audiences for support after “six months of closure and uncertainty”.

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The team behind independent music and arts venue Hope Works are reaching out for financial help following a tough period caused by Covid-19 restrictions.

The Sheffield venue, which opened in 2012, is a cornerstone of the city’s underground music scene and its team also hosts the annual No Bounds Festival.

Having had no success with grant applications, founder and owner Liam O’Shea set up a crowdfunder this week which has raised over £14,000 in four days.

“I’ve always wanted Hope Works to be a community space, and at a time where I’ve had to come knocking for help it’s shown that there is a community that care, which is not something you can manufacture. It’s either there or its not, and to feel that is wonderful,” Liam told Now Then.

Many creative spaces across the country are struggling in the face of huge financial challenges, with the government’s furlough scheme not extended to cover theatres and live music. “Hope Works is how I pay the bills for myself and my family, and there’s many other people like me.

“There’s an ecosystem of people who earn a living through the venue, from sound engineers to bar staff and cleaners, so this is partly to keep the wheels turning but also for the whole ecosystem.”

Liam has been kept busy over lockdown planning this year’s No Bounds 3D Virtual Festival, which will be held across Hope Works and Kelham Island Museum, primarily online but with selected in-person events with social distancing measures in place.

There will be live DJ sets, a 3D sound system and film screenings in collaboration with Sheffield Doc/Fest. Viewers at home will be able to enjoy the programme via live stream, with all online events running on a ‘pay as you feel’ basis.

“I love Sheffield, I am an advocate for Sheffield, and this is just an example of exactly why that is. Not everyone who has donated is from the city, but a lot are and it shows the community we have here is special.”

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