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Music Venue Trust announces show in support of struggling grassroots venues

By | Published on Monday 19 September 2016

Music Venue Trust

The Music Venue Trust has announced a show at The Roundhouse in Camden on 18 Oct to raise money to help halt the rapid closure of music venues across the UK. And as a way of highlighting the urgency of the campaign, they didn’t book any acts or crew before announcing the show.

“We’re announcing an event today which has no artists booked and no infrastructure confirmed because this is urgent”, said Mark Davyd on Friday. “What’s happening to our music venues is an emergency which should concern every music fan, every musician, and everybody working in the music industry in the UK”.

He continued: “As of 9am this morning we genuinely don’t know who is playing. It might be me with a ukulele and a bass drum tied to my back, or it might be the biggest artist in the world. We’re asking music fans from across London to please join us for just one night to say loudly and clearly that we’ve all had enough of music venue closures and we aren’t going to put up with it anymore”.

“We hope musicians and music fans will believe that’s a cause worth joining”, he concluded. “If it turns out someone who believed in that cause paid £10 to hear me whistle the national anthem and rant about the importance of venues for half an hour, then the cause will still be worth it. And if you buy a ticket on Monday for £10 and it ends up being stuffed full of BRIT Award winners and the people around you paid £100, then lucky you”.

Meanwhile, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr were quizzed last week on their views about small venues being shut down, while being interviewed about new documentary ‘The Beatles: Eight Days A Week’. They agreed that it was a bad thing to lose all these grass roots music spaces, but wondered what could be done about it.

“I’m writing you this letter to tell you exactly what we can do”, said Davyd in an open letter published by Louder Than War. After explaining what MVT does, he suggested recording a video message, making a donation or becoming a patron of the charity. “Of course, the biggest thing you could do would be for you to come and play”, he slipped in at the end of the list. “We know that’s a massive ask. But when watching you perform in Eight Days a Week, you can hear and feel the incredible power of live music, the way it connects and energises people. This is why saving our music venues is so important, and this is why a performance from you would be the most powerful message you could send”.

Whether or not McCartney and Starr put in an appearance, money raised by the show will be put towards MVT’s new ‘Emergency Response’ initiative, which aims to counter the prohibitive costs for grassroots venues seeking legal advice and expert opinion when faced with planning, development, noise and licensing issues. Venue operators will be able to fill out a single form outlining their problem, receiving a guaranteed response within 72 hours for free – saving them between £2000 and £5000 in getting that initial advice.

“Too often, venues are going to the wall because they don’t get the best advice they can as early as they can”, says Davyd. “Developers and local authorities have got deep pockets to pay for the best legal advice; venues need somebody in their corner and that’s what we’re going to do”.

Tickets for the show went on sale this morning and can be booked here. And if you’re an artist, sound engineer, lighting technician, backline supplier or anyone who could help get this event up and running, you should email