Regular readers of my blog may have noticed that I wrote for the TeamRock brand. On the evening of Monday, December 19, the media started reporting that TeamRock had gone bankrupt and that everyone – staff and freelance contributors – had been immediately suspended without any pay. I was working from TeamRock’s London offices when the administrators arrived and it all happened very quickly. At around 4.30pm, two men from FRP Advisory came into the office, told us all that the company had gone bankrupt and that, as of that moment, none of us worked for TeamRock anymore. There was no warning and we were told we had 30 minutes to grab our belongings, hand over our security passes and leave the building. Words cannot express how shocked we all were. Although it was known that TeamRock had made a series of redundancies back in April, those redundancies were believed to have been sufficient to balance the books. We now know that this wasn’t the case.
Over the last week or so, I’ve been thinking about the long-term implications of all this. I’ve been a contributor to Team Rock’s magazine portfolio since 2001 (when the magazines were published by Future) and have worked with some amazing journalists, editors, photographers, artists, designers and more – many of whom have been spending the Christmas break not knowing what the new year will bring. With the news of TeamRock’s bankruptcy, the rock, prog and metal scenes have lost an important group of dedicated UK outlets that were broadcasting and writing about bands, record labels and associated lifestyle brands that were often ignored by other mediums. I am hopeful that this loss is only temporary and that the magazine brands will be bought so they can continue to spread the word. I also hope that I will enjoy at least another 15 years of contributing to them.
Since last week, an incredible amount of money has been raised through a Just Giving campaign set up by Orange Goblin’s Ben Ward. At the time of writing, the total had grown to more than £83,000. I believe that if everyone who’s ever read or been featured in Metal Hammer, Classic Rock or Prog, donated just £1 to the Just Giving fund, then all the staff and contributors would benefit.
In addition to the fund, Frank Turner has auctioned a test print, The Fluffy Jackets are donating money from single sales, and Orange Goblin will play a charity gig to raise more money for TeamRock staff in Camden on January 5.
If you haven’t already donated to the campaign, please consider doing so even if you can only spare a small amount. Every pound matters and will be greatly appreciated.