Newcastle’s illustrious bar and music venue The Globe, conveniently situated a short ten-minute walk from Central Station, became the first bar and music venue in the UK to be owned by a cooperative committed to music back in 2014 following a successful community share issue.
The Globe in Newcastle has been owned by community cooperative Jazz.Coop for the past four years now: Jazz.Coop is a passionate local organisation that aims to: “develop a wider appreciation of jazz and more opportunities for jazz musicians.”
Though The Globe does stage many jazz gigs, it is far from an exclusive jazz bar and venue. With two floors of live music ranging from blues, soul and indie to folk, funk and punk, The Globe is sure to cater for everyone. Asides from a wide range of gigs, they also host various music and dance workshops and courses.
“We operate under a genuine ethos of ‘by music lovers, for music lovers’”
I spoke to Alistair Fyendysh, the manager of The Globe, to find out more about how the venue is coping being cooperatively owned: “Being cooperatively owned has definitely not been without its challenges, however, it has certainly created a rich culture of diversity which has led to us hosting gigs and events from choral groups through to hardcore punk, with pretty much everything in between. Our increased visibility and outreach over the last six months has been largely through better and targeted use of social media, though a great deal of this is also down to promoters and bands who have run events and gigs with us, like how we operate, and then told their friends!”
One hugely advantageous factor of being cooperatively owned, both for the community and the venue, is the fact that The Globe can work towards providing a platform for up-and-coming artists and young musicians making a name for themselves. Alistair spoke of this matter: “From a financial point of view, although we still have to pay the bills, we’re not bound by having to satisfy the wallet of an owner who’s solely out for profit. As such, we’re able to be a little more accommodating and flexible, including offering educational programs and workshops, providing rehearsal space for musicians of all genres, running showcase opportunities for music students from Newcastle College and operating under a genuine ethos of ‘by music lovers, for music lovers.”
This month, The Globe is set to host their very own festival entitled Toonload Festival. With ten local bands announced so far, a lockdown after-party and BBQ, drinks offers and giveaways, it’s set to take Newcastle by storm. Alistair added: “We’ve become a lot more adventurous with our own events too, Toonload Festival being a prime example, and whilst they can be incredibly hard work, through initial planning through to actual execution, they’ve ultimately been rewarding and have opened up The Globe to new audiences and opportunities whilst encouraging us to take on bigger and more exciting projects.”
Over 200 people have now bought shares in The Globe and have in return become members of the cooperative. The Globe is always on the lookout for more shareholders and membership is open to anyone who shares and supports the objectives of the cooperative. To become a member, you must complete an application form and buy shares. Shares cost £1 each. The minimum shareholding is 200 and the maximum is 20,000.
To find out more and to keep up-to-date with their upcoming events, head over to their official website at theglobenewcastle.bar. The Globe in Newcastle can also be found on social media at facebook.com/TheGlobeNewcastleUponTyne.