Sounds Jazz Club (Sounds Live ASBL), which co-manages Sounds since its relaunch in November 2021, has met with enthusiasm not only from audiences but also from critics. This is based on the high quality of the acts performing and the very warm welcome offered by the club, which is unique in Brussels. Despite this, the harsh reality of rising prices for raw materials and production costs have already obliged us, like many other venues, to increase our ticket and bar prices in an attempt to address these rising costs. There is a long list of costs and expenses faced by our small venue, whose ambition is to ensure culture not only survives but thrives. These costs include: various indexed costs, an energy bill that has increased by 700% (!), transport and hotels for foreign artists whose cost has rocketed, massive employer contributions for salaried staff, our determination to maintain a decent level of remuneration for musicians, performing rights charges that are equivalent to those of a much larger venue, sound engineers and maintenance of our essential equipment (sound, lighting), etc. Not to mention the huge hit we took as a result of the mean, vicious burglary we suffered last July. Sounds does enjoy some very low level public subsidies (€15,000 non-guaranteed aid from Ixelles Commune every year) but these are woefully inadequate compared to annual expenses of more than €500,000. The conclusion is stark but unavoidable – a small venue such as Sounds is unable to keep its head above water simply on the basis of its operating profits and for the first time it is difficult to give any undertakings that we will be able to continue our activities. Because artists constitute the soul of Sounds’ musical endeavours we refuse to consider paying them less than they deserve and we equally refuse to become an elitist establishment charging prohibitive prices out of reach of our diverse audience. This is why we are today making an appeal for solidarity.

Other actions may follow but we are initially asking you for financial contributions of upwards of €10, or to become a member for €50 per year (giving you a 10% reduction on concert tickets and an invitation to our end of year drink) or to buy a solidarity gift voucher.

You have already supported the launch of the Sounds Live project and you honour us with your presence and your applause at our concerts. But we would really appreciate it if you could now spread the word and help us to stay on course through the post-COVID cultural crisis so that music, jazz, blues and our Brusselaire ‘joie de vivre’ (‘zwanze’) can continue to resonate within the walls of 28 rue de la Tulipe.

* For larger contributions, with the possibility of a tax deduction, please contact us.