Business News Live Business

#saveourvenues campaign takes 140 grassroots venues off the critical list, but much more needs to be done to help venues survive COVID-19 shutdown

By | Published on Tuesday 19 May 2020


The UK’s Music Venue Trust says that the #saveourvenues campaign launched last month has now raised over £1.5 million, ensuring that 140 grassroots music venues are no longer on the ‘critical list’ as a result of the COVID-19 shutdown.

When it launched the #saveourvenues campaign, MVT said that 556 grassroots venues in the UK were at risk of permanent closure after being forced to temporarily close their doors as a result of COVID-19. Artists were encouraged to stage fundraising live-streamed gigs to raise money for their favourite venues, while a call went out to the wider music industry to support a venue network that plays a key role in new talent development.

Reporting on progress made so far, MVT stated this morning that “As a result of donations from music fans, music industry companies and other organisations, alongside important interventions from public bodies such as The London Mayor’s Office, Creative Wales and Arts Council England, 140 grassroots music venues are now protected from imminent closure”.

Though, the organisation added, that means that there are still more than 400 venues in urgent need of support, while the 140 venues no longer on the critical list will face further challenges the longer the COVID-19 shutdown runs for.

MVT CEO Mark Davyd said: “The fact we have managed to remove 140 grassroots music venues off of our critical list in the last three weeks is, of course, a cause for celebration but we are not complacent as this is only a relatively short-term fix. Whilst the immediate threat of closure for these venues has been halted they are still under real threat in the coming months, as are over 400 others”.

“This is a good start and we can’t emphasise how grateful we are to those music fans, music industry companies and public organisations who have supported the #saveourvenues campaign so far”, he went on, “but we cannot relax as we still have a mountain to climb to secure the long-term future of this sector. We still desperately need more music industry companies to step up and help with donations alongside real action from government specifically around rent relief, more financial help and clearer guidance”.