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Crowd-pleaser: Isaiah B. Brunt entertains the crowd at Yonder back in February before lockdown

By MATTHEW MCKEW

A campaign’s been launched in Queenstown to keep the resort buzzing with the sound of music.

Yonder prides itself on being the place to be for up-and-coming artists in New Zealand.

But, with Covid-19 hitting the purse strings, there’s some concern for its future as one of the resort’s cultural hubs and the bar’s calling for locals to chip in.

Yonder’s been nominated for a national Boosted NZ campaign in collaboration with Save Our Venues and awarded $3000.

But, they’ll get none of that cash if they don’t hit their overall funding target of $15,000 by June 17.

Boosted’s a crowdfunding website allowing people to contribute as much or as little as they can, but only takes that money and dishes it out when a funding target is hit by a certain deadline – otherwise it hands all those donations back.

The starter money comes from Boosted NZ, the Arts Foundation and Music Helps.

Save Our Venues is a grassroots organisation set up in the wake of the virus to save small live music venues that make up the national touring circuit.

Yonder’s event manager Cuillin Hearty says they’ll be hosting several gigs to reach that all-important figure.

“We really want to provide the best experience for musicians in Queenstown, and the community in Queenstown expect different things.

“The money is not for us, it’s so we can pay the artists a fair wage.”

Yonder’s not just a home for musicians, but for spoken-word artists and comedians.

Its gigs are normally free to customers and the bar wants to be able to keep it that way.

The first fundraising gig will be next Saturday in conjunction with Ziptrek Ecotours.

Ziptrek will be hosting various musicians during its ‘Treehouse Sessions’ between noon and 4pm, and those artists will go on to perform in Yonder’s courtyard from 4pm.

With Yonder still closed and social distancing measures in place, revellers will be able to stop by for a few minutes, then enjoy the rest of the free gig via live stream on Facebook.

Those who enjoy the gig will be asked to donate towards future nights by heading to the Boosted website.

Ziptrek will be hosting a second day of gigs at its Bob’s Peak site the next day.

World Bar, Yonder’s neighbour and sister’s temporarily moved inside Yonder to operate as a pop-up until demand picks up.

Both will remain closed until renovation work is complete.

matthew.mckew@scene.co.nz