Campaign Launched To Save UK’s Grassroots Venues
The Music Venue Trust has announced a new, nationwide campaign to save the hundreds of grassroots venues from permanent closure.
Since the coronavirus outbreak has sent the UK into lockdown, the country’s most loved venues have had to close their doors while still paying rent, bills etc without any income. And while some spaces will be able to weather still storm, the smaller, independent, grassroots venues are struggling.
According to a statement from the Music Venue Trust, 556 venues are currently at risk from closure. Venues where bands of all genres cut their teeth on the live circuit, honing their craft and cultivating a fanbase. Without them, the UK live scene will never recover.
“We’re extremely proud to be a grassroots music venue. These spaces are pipelines for talent and absolute lifelines for the communities they serve and the talents therein,” says Danni Brownsill, chief booker and promoter for The Sugarmill venue in Stoke-On-Trent. “We cannot allow them to be consigned to the past. UK music culture as we know it will simply not exist without these spaces, so it is vital to protect them.
To raise money for grassroots venues, a variety of artists will be performing a series of ‘At Home’ gigs in support of their local venues. For more information on the events and to donate to the cause, visit the Save Our Venues website.
British folk-punk troubadour Frank Turner recently put on a series of shows in support of independent venues including The Joiners in Southampton and The Forum in Tunbridge Wells – the latter of which has been saved from closure thanks to Frank’s efforts.
“The UK live music industry is staring into the abyss right now. I’m not able to save the whole thing on my own, but I decided to do a series of livestream shows to raise money for specific independent venues that I know and love, and that are in serious risk of disappearing right now,” says Frank. “The success of these shows demonstrated the love that exists between music fans and their favourite grassroots music venues so the #saveourvenues campaign is a brilliant way of building on that and hopefully giving artists and music fans a chance to get involved and play a big part in helping them survive.”
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