NextUp Comedy & the Live Comedy Association Partner to launch the #SaveLiveComedy fund

A new survey* completed by comedians and other professional individuals in the comedy industry has today confirmed that the situation for most people working in live comedy has continued to deteriorate as the pandemic goes on. In response, NextUp Comedy & the Live Comedy Association have partnered to launch the #SaveLiveComedy Fund, which will provide hardship grants to those within the live comedy industry who are most in need.

It has been over a year since the first comedy shows were cancelled, with no indoor shows at all in that time in Scotland and Wales and only a small window last year where indoor gigs were allowed in England. Now, future indoor gigs are restricted until mid-May at the earliest, and with planned social distancing regulations, very few gigs and tours will be financially viable when reopening does become legal.

The road to live comedy’s recovery is long, with 57% of those in the industry believing that work won’t return to pre-pandemic levels until 2022 at the earliest.

50% of the industry have given serious thought to leaving comedy because of the pandemic, with this rising to 60% of people of colour. It’s for this reason that NextUp and the LCA have launched a fund which will help #SaveLiveComedy – by helping those who make live comedy happen, both on and off-stage.

Alongside this, Panadol have also today announced a new initiative that highlights the value of stand-up comedy in the UK today. Alex Hall, Chair of the LCA’s Board, explains: “The UK’s world-renowned comedy scene has faced disaster over the last year. In the past year so many of our industry, both on and off-stage, have lost their jobs, fallen through the gaps in government support and have seen their income levels halved. Over 50% of the industry have already given serious thought to leaving comedy as a result of the pandemic. We are hoping to raise as much money as possible over the next few weeks to help those most in need and are so grateful for Panadol’s initial support of 25,000 £ towards this campaign.”

The Fund, will distribute grants of £500 over two rounds, with the first open for applications now savelivecomedy.co.uk/apply-to-the-fund. It will target those most in need, focussing on those who are self-employed, unemployed, or who run an organisation that has been ineligible for any existing government support.

The LCA are asking comedy fans all across the UK to help support the Fund, with a Crowdfunder https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/savelivecomedy now live for donations. Owen Donovan from the LCA said “The more that is raised, the more grants will be able to be awarded. The more grants awarded, the better the chances of the UK being able to slowly re-establish the thriving comedy industry it is known and loved for. With your support, we want to work to give everyone who was part of the industry in 2019 the opportunity be part of it when gigs and shows restart again”.

Alongside the Fund, Panadol invites Brits to enjoy an exclusive three-month free trial of premium comedy content on the streaming platform NextUp.

New Panadol research** has revealed that the UK is facing a laughter deficit with 60% of UK adults feeling like they have laughed less than 5 times a day during the past 12 months (before the pandemic adults reportedly laughed 17.5 times a day on average). One in three UK adults (35%) believe their laughter levels are down – the majority (75%) of them claiming this is due to a lack of social interaction. 52% said they were feeling generally low due to the impact of the pandemic. Knowing that laughter can help boost people’s mood and make them feel happier, Panadol set out to launch this new campaign through which all Brits are invited to get their dose of laughter on NextUp.

Spring comedy on NextUp in partnership with Panadol

For the next three months (between April 20 and July 20, 2021) Brits can access over 200 on-demand comedy specials and livestreams across the diverse comedy circuit. All consumers have to do is go to nextup.com/panadol and sign up for free***. NextUp is available worldwide via web browsers, mobile and TV apps.

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