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Music Venue Trust unveils music industry supporters of Own Our Venues initiative

By | Published on Wednesday 26 October 2022

Music Venue Trust

The UK’s Music Venue Trust has announced details of some of the music industry companies and organisations supporting its Own Our Venues initiative.

Launched back in May, that initiative is attempting to raise £3.5 million to buy up nine music venues around the UK. The MVT says that currently 93% of British music venues rent their premises, and that this “underpins almost every other challenge” currently being faced by those businesses – including rising costs, licensing issues, and problems resulting from the gentrification of areas where grassroots venues are often based.

Via this initiative, ownership of the buildings that house the nine venues would go to a charitable community benefit society called Music Venue Properties, safeguarding the long-term future of those performance spaces. It’s that entity that is actually raising the cash by selling community shares through ethical investment specialists Ethex and a crowdfunding campaign.

Ed Sheeran recently pledged his support for the Own Our Venues scheme, and today a number of music companies have confirmed their backing, including Sony Music, Warner Music, Ticketmaster and TVG Hospitality, alongside music industry organisations like Help Musicians, MMF, PPL and LIVE.

Sony Music UK CEO Jason Iley says: “Everyone can remember where they were and who they were with when they saw their favourite artist for the first time”.

“These venues are where it all starts and are the jumping off point for artists who go from local venues to headlining festivals and having long and successful careers”, he continues. “Sony Music is delighted to back the Own Our Venues campaign to help provide local music venues with more stability so that they can thrive – for the good of artists, fans and local communities”.

Meanwhile, Warner Music UK CEO Tony Harlow adds: “Britain’s grassroots music venues are an essential part of our musical history and future. Warner Music UK is pleased to be partnering with the Music Venue Trust to help fund this project. We hope it’ll make a real difference to artists, fans and communities across the UK”.

Confirming the mounting industry support for Own Our Venues, MVT CEO Mark Davyd says: “I don’t want to keep walking in and out of people’s offices for the next decade begging for short term cash because this or that beloved venue is under threat of closure”.

“With our Own Our Venues initiative Music Venue Trust has created a real, long term, deliverable solution to the challenges facing grassroots music venues, and we are delighted that its value is being recognised by leading voices in our industry across every sector”, he goes on. “We have a thriving music industry that has survived and is thriving despite a major pandemic, and our job is to ensure the grassroots music venue sector isn’t left behind”.