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Music Venue Trust publishes small venues report, launches investment programme

By | Published on Tuesday 10 March 2015

Music Venue Trust

The Music Venue Trust’s full ‘Understanding Small Music Venues’ report has been published, following the release of an interim report in January to coincide with Independent Venue Week.

The report outlines the challenges currently facing dedicated small music venues in the UK, with a view to convincing the music industry, policy makers and brands to do more to protect them from financial uncertainty and potential closure. As such, the publication of the report comes alongside the launch of the MVT’s new Grassroots Investor Programme.

Music Venue Trust Strategic Director Beverley Whitrick explained: “We see the publication of this report as the key moment when the music industry, cultural sector, government and brands can seize the opportunity to listen to and learn from venues, artists and audiences enabling them to respond constructively and strategically to give them the calibre of venues the UK needs. Today, we’re announcing a mechanism by which they can do that: The Grassroots Investor programme”.

She continued: “Grassroots Investor is a two phased strategic intervention into our grassroots music circuit designed in response to what we’ve learned from the report. Firstly, we want to urgently create one central agency that is able to represent grassroots venues and defend them at a national level. Our crisis management programme will employ a central legal team, acoustics team, a lobbying arm and create a central crisis fund so that collectively we do all we can so that music venue closures are halted, national policy is changed, and this sector’s needs, so clearly expressed in the report, are addressed properly by cultural strategy and by licensing, insurance and legislation”.

Finally, she said: “In phase two of Grassroots Investor, our ambition is to put direct investment into grassroots venues so that UK artists and audiences can enjoy the venues they deserve. A combination of low aspiration and severe under investment means we’ve ended up content to describe this sector as the ‘toilet circuit’ and accept conditions in them that reflects all that description implies. There are examples from over the globe of world class venues at this level, and through Grassroots Investor we aim to work with our partners to match those standards here in the UK”.

Find out more about the programme here, and download the full report here.