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Music Venue Trust launches #saveourvenues campaign

By | Published on Monday 27 April 2020


The Music Venue Trust has announced a three-pronged campaign to help more than 500 grassroots music venues across the UK survive the ongoing COVID-19 shutdown. Artists, music fans and the industry are all being encouraged to get involved.

The organisation says that 556 grassroots venues are currently at risk of permanent closure after being forced to going into temporary shutdown as a result of the measures implemented to restrict and delay the spread of COVID-19. And that’s even after those venues have tapped all of the government support schemes currently available.

At the heart of MVT’s #saveourvenues campaign is a call out to artists to live stream home-based performances in aid of an at-risk venue – maybe a venue that they particularly enjoyed playing at and/or which was a key supporter in the early stages of their career.

This scheme was inspired by Frank Turner, who has already staged four such shows raising thousands of pounds for venues including Nambucca in London, The Joiners in Southampton, the Railway Inn in Winchester and The Forum in Tunbridge Wells.

MVT has now set up a special #saveourvenues website which lists all of the venues which are at risk of closing as a result of COVID-19, and also provides guidelines on how to run a home-based live stream and set up fund-raising tools for each at-risk venue.

Music fans are encouraged to get involved by tuning in to the #saveourvenues shows and donating to their local venue via special crowd-funding pages. Meanwhile the industry at large is urged to support MVT’s existing Grassroots Music Venues Crisis Fund – what will now be known as the #saveourvenues Fund.

Over £182,000 has already been raised for that central fund after significant donations were made by Amazon Music, promoter SJM and various artists and fans. But, MVT says, significantly more is still needed to help the 556 venues at risk.

Welcoming the wider initiative encouraging artists to support venues via live streams, Turner said this morning: “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”.

“The success of these shows demonstrated the love that exists between music fans and their favourite grassroots music venues”, he added. “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”.

Meanwhile MVT CEO Mark Davyd added: “Frank Turner’s amazing initiative proved that together artists and music fans can go a long way to helping at-risk grassroots music venues get through this period of lockdown. We are building on his good work with the #saveourvenues campaign and are confident that we can help create real momentum that will see artists and venues working together to raise much needed funds”.

“We are also calling on the wider music industry to support us too”, he added. “We have received some magnificent support so far from music companies, but we need a lot more to step up and help save this essential part of the music eco-system. We cannot stress enough how critical it is that the music industry supports the #saveourvenues campaign as without them over 500 of the UK’s grassroots music venues could go out of business, never to return, in the coming months. Please help us”.