Café to hold outdoor music events and stream gigs, thanks to grant

Anna Southwell from Loves who is offering takeaway roast dinners and selling vegetable boxes.

Anna Southwell from Loves who is offering takeaway roast dinners and selling vegetable boxes. - Credit: Archant

A Weston café and bar has been awarded a grassroots music grant to enable the venue to continue to attract well-known artists. 

Loves Café has been given the funding from Arts Council England and owner Anna Southwell is planning to use the money to put on outdoor events, stream gigs and bring big names to the town. 

Anna, who owns the café in West Street, said: “We are so unbelievably happy to have been awarded our first ever arts council England grant.

"We’ve been running music events at Loves for a decade. They’ve never been a profit-led arm of the business but about bringing great artists to the town. 

John Smith at Loves Cafe

John Smith at Loves Cafe - Credit: supplied


 
“In order to book some of the highly-acclaimed acts we have, we need to sell tickets to the venues capacity to pay their fee. With social distancing we are unable to do this, so part of our grant is financial support for booking acts with smaller audiences.” 

Some of the money will also be used to update music equipment to improve production quality.

Anna is also investing in streaming equipment so fans who miss out on tickets can pay to watch the gig from home. 

She has also taken on an apprentice from Weston College to work alongside her and local industry experts. 

Ben Ottewell performing at Live on the Lawn.

- Credit: Archant

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Loves Café has attracted a wealth of top artists including Ben Ottewell - from Gomez - Magic Numbers, Michelle Stodart, Matt Owens – from Noah And the Whale - and popular Weston musicians Alex and Adam Lipinski. 

In August last year, Anna also ran successful music festival Loves Live on Lawn, on the Old Putting Green, with the support of Culture Weston.

She is hoping to do more outdoor events later this year, as long as restrictions allow.

Culture Weston's green champion Paula Birtwistle (back) and Loves owner Anna Southwell with musician

Culture Weston's green champion Paula Birtwistle (back) and Loves owner Anna Southwell with musicians Marvin Muoneke (left) and Alex Lipinski (right). Picture: Culture Weston - Credit: Archant

Anna has praised Culture Weston for its support in helping her to apply for the grant. She said: “I’ve put a lot of work into establishing the venue as a credible space for artists over the last decade, and I feel like that has been recognised with the award of this grant and I am very pleased.

"I plan on using it for a wealth of culture and diversity that the town needs and deserves at this time.” 

Socially distanced fans enjoying the Loves Live on the Lawn music festival.

Socially distanced fans enjoying the Loves Live on the Lawn music festival. - Credit: Archant

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