Big Dyke Energy (BDE) has launched a new grant scheme to support and nurture LGBTQIA+ grassroots music event organisers.
The scheme, which is called ‘Save Queer Raves’, will provide both financial and mentorship opportunities across the UK.
It has been created in response to the impact of the cost of living crisis and the increased costs associated with holding live events. This includes minimum bar spends, venue fees, travel costs, artist fees, exclusivities and promotional materials all escalating in price, which puts strain on independent event organisers.
“Speaking to fellow grassroots promoters across the industry over the past few months, it has become evident that the queer-run, independent music-scene is now at a concerning tipping point,” wrote BDE on the announcement of ‘Save Queer Raves’.
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To fund the grant scheme, BDE has created a crowdfunding page to raise funds to support ten grassroot music organisers from February 2024.
Grants of up to £1,500 will be available to those who are successful, as well as mentoring for up to six months.
All those who apply (even if unsuccessful) will be added to a mailing list for key insights from artists, promoters and access to cheaper venue rates.
Melo and Elliott, founders of BDE, have highlighted the importance of sustaining spaces for LGBTQIA+ people to be “authentically themselves without the fear of prejudice.”
“It has never been more important that queer, trans, non-binary and intersex people have spaces where they can be authentically themselves without the fear of prejudice, and the closure of BDE means there will be one less space on the scene. We want to make sure that we leave a positive legacy by supporting new up-and- coming promoters the best we can,” they said.
In August, BDE announced the closure of its queer night events and its final rave, due to take place on Saturday, 9 December.
For one last dance, BDE will take over the Cause in Canning Town, London. This will be followed by an after-party at Venue MOT, where the party has held a residency for four years.
Applications for LGBTQIA+ event organisers open in January 2024 and tickets for the upcoming BDE rave are available here.