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MVT’s #saveourvenues secures £1 million in donations, but more needs to be done

By | Published on Monday 4 May 2020


The Music Venue Trust has announced that its #saveourvenues campaign has now received more than £1 million in donations following six figure pledges from Amazon Music in partnership with BPI and the Beggars Group, as well as substantial donations from the likes of Sony Music, SJM, Kilimanjaro Live and DHP. Plus, of course, the £450,000 donated by a Bloomberg-backed cultural support initiative launched by London major Sadiq Khan last week.

MVT announced last month that at least a million was needed to ensure the UK’s network of grassroots venues can survive the COVID-19 shutdown. Then last week the trade group launched its multi-layered #saveourvenues campaign, encouraging artists to stage fundraising livestreams in aid of their favourite venues, while also calling on a music industry that relies on the grassroots venue network as a key talent development channel to donate more cash.

Confirming its support for the campaign, Beggars Group boss Martin Mills said this morning: “We fully support this campaign. Live music in small venues is where it all starts for most of our artists, and many of our best times are spent in them. Whether it’s White Stripes at the Dome, Dry Cleaning at the Lexington, or Adele – and Aldous Harding – above a pub in Islington, we need these places to survive and thrive. We miss them”.

Meanwhile, the Director of Amazon Music Europe, Paul Firth, added: “The UK live music industry is incredibly special and a key part of British music culture, and in uncertain times like these it’s been great to see many in the music community come together for the #saveourvenues campaign to help protect and save grassroots music venues across the UK”.

The MVT confirmed that last week’s donations will have major positive impact, but stressed that more still needed to be done to ensure all of the country’s grassroots venues are able to come out at the other end of the COVID-19 pandemic still in business.

The group’s CEO Mark Davyd said: “We cannot begin to say how grateful we are to Beggars Group, Amazon Music and the BPI, the mayor of London, Sony Music, SJM, Kilimajaro Live, DHP and others for stepping up and helping us with the #saveourvenues campaign. These are critical times for over 500 grassroots music venues many of whom simply won’t survive this crisis without donations from the music industry and music fans”.

“This is a great start but there is still so much more to do, and we dare not get complacent”, he added. “We urgently need the music industry to help us so please get in touch if you can support this campaign”.