Blog: How To Support Independent Bands, Breweries & Businesses During Lockdown

Jamie Lenman Live At Signature Brew East London

Now we’re into Lockdown 2.0 it’s now more important than ever to support independent businesses ahead of the holiday season.

Independent industries and communities are, after all, built on the people who make it all happen and the people who support it. So without further ado, here’s a list of different ways you can show your support through lockdown. 

Buy merch & music directly from your favourite band

With festivals, live shows and opportunities to promote new releases cancelled throughout the year (and with minimal support for the creative industries from the government), musicians have found 2020 particularly tough without these sources of income.

So, if you’re thinking of showing some support for your favourite band that you might’ve missed out on seeing live this year, or if you’re looking for Christmas gift ideas for a mate, then have a look directly on the artists’ websites, and buy their merch and music directly from them. With the recent boom in vinyl collecting, this is a really nice way to show your support for your favourite band and expand that record collection of yours. 

There are too many incredible artists to shout out here so we'll just say make sure you check out the talented man from the photo at the top of this article, Jamie Lenman. His music rules.

Be vocal and active online

However, if you're not in the position to be spending so freely, there's still several ways you can support your favourite artists by being vocal and active online. If you're looking for ways to help, then take a look at groups like Music Venue Trust and #LetTheMusicPlay to help demand more support from the government to protect our creative industries. 

Support independent musicians online

Similarly, with lockdowns being in effect throughout the year, and fewer people visiting performance venues, spoken word artists, theatre performers and buskers have also had to find other means to finance their passions. So if you're looking to do your bit to support local artists and keep the culture alive, then check out online busking platforms such as Big Heart Busk, which will start hosting performances which you'll be able to donate to.


Buy from your local record store

With vinyl collecting in mind, independent record stores have also struggled with the recent takeover of streaming services, and recent lockdown rules have also made it difficult for some to stay open. Independent and underground music communities begin in record stores, and some have really extensive histories and heritages as they’ve often provided local communities with access to music & culture. Similarly, with Record Store Day having to migrate online this year, a lot of stores have had to focus their efforts towards online orders. So again, if you’re thinking about adding to your collection, or if you’ve got your eye on a particular record for a mate or loved one, then do a bit of research into record stores in your area and order from their online shop instead of settling for Amazon. 

Order takeaway pints & meals from your local restaurants

Sadly with the newest lockdown restrictions in place, most bars, cafes and restaurants are no longer allowed to have customers eat in at their establishments. However, the government are still allowing takeaways to operate, and are allowing takeaway pints to be sold if you can collect them without entering the premises. So if you’re sad your local burger joint is closing its doors for November, then 100% get some food ordered in when you can as this is massively supportive. 

If you’re local to the Walthamstow area, then look no further than The Collab - a joint venture between ourselves and We Serve Humans. Order award-winning wings and burgers for takeaway or click & collect here.

Order cans, merch, and collections online from your favourite breweries

In a similar vein, independent pubs and breweries will be depending on online orders now more than ever as they won’t be allowed to have punters indoors on a cold winter weekend. So just like your local takeaway, odds are the watering hole in your area will also be doing takeaway pints or click & collect services for snacks and cans. Just because the pubs are shutting doesn’t mean you won’t be able to treat yourself and support a local business all the same. 

With that in mind, our Blackhorse Road, Walthamstow brewery and Taproom & Venue in Haggerston will both be providing takeaway and click & collect services throughout Lockdown 2.0. We’d love for you to swing by, say hello and pick up some delicious beers whilst you’re here.

For more information on our opening times, keep your eyes on our socials, or find out more here


Turn up when Bandcamp waive their fees

Since the start of lockdown, Bandcamp have regularly been waiving their fees online to ensure musicians gain a larger revenue share from music sales. Back in May, as Bandcamp reported, “The Bandcamp community showed up in a massive way, spending $4.3 million on music and merch—15x the amount of a normal Friday— helping artists cover rents, mortgages, groceries, medications, and so much more. It was truly inspiring.” Although there’s no guarantee they’ll be doing this any time soon, it’s absolutely worth keeping your eyes peeled on their channel and turning up to support your local bands when they do. 

For more information, visit Bandcamp’s page here.

monthly Bandcamp Friday artist fundraisers will continue through 2020

Book festival tickets for next year

Indeed, it's hard to know what the state of the world is going to be like in 2021, but a lot of smaller, independent festivals rely on ticket sales to operate and get lineups together, so booking your tickets for next year not only gives you something to look forward to, but also helps out the good guys. Festivals like 2000 Trees, ArcTanGent and Slam Dunk, don't have the support of massive car companies or phone networks and are often a lot more affordable than most weekenders. So if you've got the extra money to spare, then this is a great way to guarantee these festivals can go ahead when everything's back to normal again.

Shout about companies you love on social media

We totally appreciate that we might not all be fortunate enough to be able to support our favourite bands or companies financially, but we know for certain independent musicians and businesses hugely value your support on social media.

Thankfully, it costs us nothing to offer a retweet or share a post to Instagram stories using the “support small businesses” sticker to give them a bit of exposure. Word of mouth is a wonderful way to drive some traffic to their channels, so if you see anything you like, definitely give it a shout on socials! 

If you haven’t already, then do check out our Instagram here for our latest updates.

Plus, see our full range of fresh beers here. Thanks for reading. Support independent Support local. Support your mates.