A LIVE music venue that supported 1,800 up-and-coming acts is set to close for good unless vital funds can be raised.

Iron Road Live, based at Bar 57 in Pershore having originated from The Railway Hotel in Evesham, needs £95,000 to keep going after the Covid-19 pandemic left it potless.

The move to Pershore had been a temporary one, missing out on bar takings in the short term while finding suitable premises to host acts from the local area and as far afield as America.

Owner Muttley Van Zant said he had been in the “final stages” of finding a permanent solution when Covid forced everything to shut down.

The blow was then doubled when it was discovered the business was too young for financial support from the government, ruling it out of even the furlough scheme.

“We had been in the Railway Hotel trading as Iron Road but the building was sold so we went over to Pershore temporarily, for three months was the plan," said Mr Van Zant.

"A lot of acts came from places like America, it was important that they did not lose those bookings because it can throw the whole tour off for them.

“It worked out okay but it would not have been sustainable without having our own income from the bar.

“We had options and we would definitely have been able to go forward with something but we didn’t want to seal the deal until we felt sure we were in a position to do it.

“Being in existence for only six months we were not eligible for grants or loans, even the furlough scheme. Had it happened a year earlier we would have been okay.

“It is a real shame. This all started as something to save the Railway Hotel when I used to drink there but grew into something much bigger in its own right.

“The Iron Road is a very well known, international brand now. In six years we had 1,800 bands, 1,500 of them were original and in that time we were just short of £1million paid out to up-and-coming artists and support staff such as those who work in sound engineering.

“It shows how even a small venue is so important to the music industry, it is where the bands start.

“Many bands that are now doing well started in The Iron Road, Evesham. The country cannot afford to lose many more grassroots venues.”

Bar 57 had offered a backroom of their premises to Iron Road as a temporary base and is not at risk of closure. 

To contribute to the cause, visit The Iron Road's Crowdfunder page