A (second) open letter to the industry and our customers
By Ben Sebborn
- 28 Mar 2021
- 4 min read
It’s now nearly six months since we last spoke.
Things have changed. We are still somewhere in the depths of a global pandemic, but on UK shores at least, things seem to be getting better. A roadmap is published, the sun is shining and the industry is flying towards the all important date of 21st June 2021 where we hope to see the majority of life as normal.
Skiddle as we hoped, has come through the pandemic. Through hard work, grit and determination we have survived. There have been challenges. There have been tears. And now that doors have reopened to our wonderful industry we are presented with new tests that we must overcome.
Operational challenges to make sure we can offer the same 10 star level of service we have always strived for. Staffing challenges as the pace and volume of work has accelerated substantially – whilst on a reduced, remotely operating workforce. Remembering where we left our wellies so we can get ready to stand in the fields again. That kind of thing.
You will remember in our last letter we were critical of how the Cultural Recovery Fund was distributed. We are pleased to say that a number of our criticisms were addressed and a number of venues were awarded funding after initially being denied it. We are also pleased to say that Skiddle had several open discussions with various authorities about our position and classification in the industry, with Preston City Council finally recognising our importance to the local economy, our role in hospitality and granting us business rates relief.
This time around, we’ve applied for the CRF funding – and as a business that prides itself on honesty, we wanted to tell you. This pandemic lasted a lot longer than we ever imagined, and that comes at a cost. A big cost.
We have no clue if we will be awarded this money, and we openly recognise that some people may see this as hypocritical – something which we are willing to accept. However if we do receive any of the fund, it will be used wisely, to fully secure the future of Skiddle and to enable us to continue to support a wide cross section of the events community.
It is easy to be angry as you watch 20 years of hard work crumble around you, and perhaps our anger towards the governmental state of affairs was somewhat misdirected to other industry colleagues. Ultimately we wanted to vent at the abhorrent shower of shit that was this whole damn situation, but now we would like to apologise for the naming of anyone, it was never meant to be the highlight.
The road to recovery has begun. We’re proud to still be here, but not too proud to apologise or ask for help. We can’t wait to see you all again soon. Here’s to the 21st of June.
From Rich & Ben
Skiddle is currently the UK’s biggest What’s On guide, providing a free facility for event promoters across the UK to list their events online and sell tickets through our independent ticketing service. We currently work with over 35,000 UK and European promoters, at over 30,000 venues. We specialise in helping events through that critical growing phase by providing the marketing and technology support that you need. Start listing your events today!