This magazine has been one of the main independent resources for the folk, roots and world music communities for so long now that to younger people it has – literally – always been there. Countless readers, artists, music promoters, record labels and more have gained greatly – on all levels from pleasure to creativity to profit – from our efforts down the years. We’re now well into our 40th year of publishing – every single one on time – and long ago passed our 420th issue! But we need everybody’s support to keep fulfilling our important role. Continuing in the footsteps of a recent successful Kickstarter campaign which greatly helped drive some wolves from the door, we have an ongoing appeal with a simple way of contributing. If even the Guardian can do this, so can fRoots!
fRoots has always stayed connected with the grass roots from which we grew, and operated outside of the mainstream music business. We’ve often been the first to highlight artists and musics that readers may not have been so familiar with, with more attention to cultural and gender equality than most. We’ve often got involved in event promotion and media partnership as well as simply publishing a magazine. Down the years it has been that deliberately non-commercial, involved, activist approach that has helped give us our incredibly loyal readership for which we are so grateful. Many thanks go to you if you are already a subscriber.
Arts Council officers have told us that because of all we do, we tick many of the boxes that they most require from clients in order to support them with funding, but unfortunately the Arts Council has no scheme to support ‘commercial’ magazines, no matter how deserving and uncommercial they agree we are. And we’ve never had the luxury of a publishing house or investor behind us.
fRoots has always operated on a shoestring and, along with most other magazines, has found times increasingly tight. Everybody has been hit by changing reading habits, the recession and subsequent austerity, the decline in the record industry and its advertising budgets, and many titles have fallen by the wayside. At the same time we’ve also seen a contraction in the amount of exposure our music gets in the national media – radio, TV, mainstream publications. Yet, by general agreement, we’ve been in something of a golden age for our music in recent years. This makes makes our role more vital than ever.
Here at fRoots, we have taken many sensible steps to cut overheads including relocating out of London, freezing or cutting wages (in the editor’s case not drawing any pay at all for the past three years) and decentralising our hard working staff. But without outside funding or investment we need the support of our community more than ever if we are going to maintain this valuable role in the current realities.
Here are other things you can do as well as generously supporting…
- If you are in the habit of occasionally buying fRoots in a UK shop, please subscribe directly instead. It doesn’t cost you anything extra but makes a substantially bigger margin for us: you also get the magazine up to a week earlier, you get the digital editions for free as well, and if you subscribe for two years you get a free CD too.
- If you are an artist, a promoter, a record label person or one of the many others who have enjoyed support from fRoots or just seen benefit from our help in strengthening the infrastructure, why not reciprocate by subscribing or advertising if you don’t already do so. Think of our world as an ecosystem – we all help and depend on each other, but that’s a two way thing! We also really appreciate anybody who endorses the magazine and helps publicise it or sell it. Every little thing helps.
- And finally, everybody, please help spread the word. Why not persuade friends to subscribe? We do know that once hooked, people tend to stay readers forever.
Thanks for reading this far, and for any further support you are able to give.
And please feel free to share this appeal, especially if you know any wealthy and philanthropically inclined people with a love of important music!