Skip to main content

Sage Gateshead

 →  Media Room  →  Sage Gateshead thanks music fans across the North East who have donated £1 million to the first phase of its 2020-23 Crisis, Recovery and Renaissance Fundraising Campaign

Sage Gateshead thanks music fans across the North East who have donated £1 million to the first phase of its 2020-23 Crisis, Recovery and Renaissance Fundraising Campaign

Posted on 8 April 2021

SG Building

Sage Gateshead moves its campaign into phase two, from Crisis to Recovery, highlighting how it can help the North East’s communities recover from the pandemic.

A year ago, following the temporary closure of its iconic building and with 80% of its income affected, Sage Gateshead launched its Crisis, Recovery and Renaissance fundraising campaign which set out a three-year arc on which the organisation hopes to raise £3 million towards surviving the pandemic and supporting artists and communities across the North East into the future.

One year on, Sage Gateshead thanks all its supporters who have donated to its Crisis, Recovery and Renaissance campaign. Thanks to music fans all over the North East, it has raised £1 million in the first year of its 2020-23 campaign, championed by Dame Margaret Barbour and Sting.

Covid-19 will have a long-term impact on everybody’s health and wellbeing, on the lives of young people and those in our communities who are most vulnerable, and on jobs and our economy. Sage Gateshead aims to play a proactive and useful role, and place music at the heart of everybody’s recovery.

Sage Gateshead is still operating behind closed doors, and it again faces financial challenges with income from box office and trading set to be significantly less than in pre-Covid times. Thanks to a loan from the government’s Culture Recovery Fund Round 2, it has secured finance which will go a long way to helping it navigate the year.

Today, it launches the second year of its three-year Crisis, Recovery and Renaissance campaign, with the aim of raising a further £1 million from public donations by March next year.

Abigail Pogson, Managing Director of Sage Gateshead said: We are very grateful to have raised £1m in the first year. This has helped us overcome the initial crisis and find new ways to support live music in the North East. We have shared 88 digital concerts, workshops and podcasts which have been enjoyed over 2 million times; children and young people have taken part in over 7,800 online music sessions; and we have supported 199 artists.

“From our audiences who contributed the value of their tickets, to donors who came on board, sometimes for the first time – every penny counted. We would not be where we are today without their support and we would like to say a huge ‘thank you’.

“We still need to raise at least £2 million to get through 2021/22, including £1 million through public support for this next stage of our Crisis, Recovery and Renaissance campaign. This will enable us to support artists to make and perform extraordinary music; to ensure all children and young people from our region can find joy, develop life skills and build careers in and through music; and to bring our communities together safely and support their wellbeing.

“We cannot wait to get back to making music, contributing to the North East’s recovery by bringing people together, supporting health and wellbeing, and nurturing the great talent in our region. A huge thank you to all those music lovers who helped us reach that £1million milestone in the first year. We have seen in the past year that together we can secure the future of live music in the North East.”


For further media information on Sage Gateshead please contact Susie Gray, 07834 073795

Sage Gateshead

  • Sage Gateshead is an international music centre for the North East and wider North. Through music, creative learning and artist development, the organisation shows what music can achieve for communities.
  • Since opening in 2004, Sage Gateshead has worked side by side with partners and the wider community to help address the complex blend of social and economic challenges the region faces.
  • Sage Gateshead continues to be a major employer and has brought investment and tourism into the region, generating c. £500 million contribution to the local economy, a sum six times greater than its combined capital cost.
  • Sage Gateshead has brought social, cultural and educational value to over 10 million people and millions more via digital and broadcast activity. The scale of its artistic, learning and artist development activity places Sage Gateshead amongst the UK’s largest cultural organisations, while reaching a substantially more socially and economically diverse audience.
  • Pre-lockdown Sage Gateshead attracted 2 million visitors; 5,000 people took part in weekly music classes; 17,854 school children experienced live orchestral music and we worked with a further 2,418 vulnerable young people; more than 2,000 adults a week took part in music making designed to tackle social isolation.
  • The North East region is one of the worst affected by Covid-19. The region will be one where the recovery is slow and hard. Arts and culture have a pivotal role to play in regional and nation-wide recovery.
  • Covid-19 presents a major financial challenge to Sage Gateshead, the iconic Foster + Partners designed NE landmark. 80% of its income has been affected, and in 2020/21 £10 million in revenue was lost. The organisation has taken swift action to overcome this crisis. 90% of the workforce was placed on furlough, significant cost savings have been sought and found, and it launched a fundraising campaign to raise £3 million to help secure the organisation during the next three years. Further challenges lie ahead; in 2021/22, Sage Gateshead estimates box office and trading income to be less than half of what would be expected in a normal year.
  • Sage Gateshead temporarily closed to the public on 17 March 2020, five days ahead of the announcement of the National lockdown. Sage Gateshead recommenced performances in October 2020 with a season of socially distanced concerts featuring Royal Northern Sinfonia and artists across genres, made available by live stream; audiences were able to be present in the hall for two weekends of those performances.
  • Sage Gateshead received a grant of £2.8 million from the Culture Recovery Fund to help it through the pandemic and to contribute to the region’s recovery.