By Paul Cannon 25 September 2020
Due to covid live music is muted. The well-being of Wells is compromised in more than medical terms. The cultural life of this most musical of cities is in danger. Many fine musicians are being denied opportunities to play together. Incomes are shrinking, performance skills are eroding.
Hence the need for the Wellspring Project, to aid the recovery of live music in and around Wells. Building on the success of a trial event in the Market Place in August, the aim is to showcase a wide range of local talent across the summer of 2021. This will help replace that part of the live music economy that has all but dried up.
Because it will be staged outside, the Wellspring programme should be able to proceed even with covid control measures still in place. Our historic market place is an ideal location now that it is car free. The many cafes and restaurants that border it are spreading their seating areas out across the pavements giving the area a continental feel. It is becoming known as the cafe quarter.
As a local sax player and co-ordinator of the Wells Jazz Collective, the notion of a live music recovery campaign came to me in lockdown. Just before it hit I had never been busier – booking bands for the Friday night shows at the Full Moon in Southover, running the regular jam sessions at The Venue, gigging with the two bands I am a part of.
As the easedown began I floated the idea of an outdoor live music event for August bank holiday. It was eagerly received and actively supported by the many people necessary to make it happen. The overwhelmingly positive response on the day led to the creation of Wellspring.