As Ears To The House frequently likes to remind people, Resident Advisor was bailed out to the tune of £750,000 during the pandemic. They received the colossal sum of British taxpayers money in October 2020 from government quango Arts Council England – having somehow convinced them that they were a cultural institution.
They even posted on their website about how grateful they were to receive the money – a condition of accepting the bailout. Sources close to Resident Advisor have told us in the past that the organisation’s financial state would have “parlous” had they been turned down. And it seems to have worked – the company’s hiring spree, which is still ongoing, is evidence that they’re now in a healthier state.
Arts Council England might now be feeling in need of support themselves – and mercifully for Resident Advisor, it isn’t of the financial kind. Only this week, the chairman of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee asked why they were spending so much money on London’s Royal Opera House compared to other areas of England.
And just a few weeks ago, government ministers were pondering whether to retain it at all. The announcement of new members to its board only yesterday, however, suggests its demise is not imminent.
Either way, it looks like Arts Council England could do with some friends right now. Perhaps Resident Advisor could step in with a sympathetic article all about how they wouldn’t be around today if they hadn’t been showered with taxpayers money? Maybe Ministry of Sound nightclub could speak out in favour of those who bailed them out? Or maybe the now DICE-owned Boiler Room?
Looks like the council is going to have to get into politics to survive. They wouldn’t be the first…