Music Venue Trust (MVT), the charity which represents over 900 hundred grassroots music venues across the UK, has warmly welcomed a new £5million investment in Grassroots Music Venues announced by Secretary of State for Culture Lucy Frazer. The additional funding will be made available over 2 years through the Supporting Grassroots Live Music Fund administered by Arts Council England.
The Government’s Creative Industries Sector Vision, launched today, describes the Grassroots Sector as “the lifeblood of our world-leading music sector and cornerstones of communities” and recognises the urgent need for direct financial support that addresses the collapse in touring. In 2022, the number of shows taking place at grassroots level fell by 16.9%, representing a significant threat to the talent pipeline which underpinned the global success of British music artists such as Adele, Coldplay, The 1975 and Ed Sheeran – all artists who started their careers with extensive touring at Grassroots Music Venues.
Rising costs for venues, in the shape of energy bills, rent, and staffing, and the lack of funding to meet the increasing financial demands of touring have led to a perfect storm for grassroots artists, with not just the number of tours cut but also the number of dates per tour significantly declining in the last 10 years.
Rebecca Walker, Live Projects Coordinator for Music Venue Trust, said:
“There is a well-documented and evidenced crisis at grassroots level. We have new and emerging artists who want to tour, venues who are desperate to host them, audiences that want to see them, but the financial obstacles have simply become too great. With this additional £5million we are going to be able to work with the sector to get artists back out across the country, producing thousands of shows that simply wouldn’t be able to take place without this funding.”
Music Venue Trust recently announced a groundbreaking partnership with Enter Shikari which will see £1 from every ticket sold for their arena tour in 2023 go into the Pipeline Investment Fund to support Grassroots Music Venues. The Trust is continuing to press arenas and stadiums to play their part in addressing the need for financial support for the sector,
Mark Davyd, CEO and Founder of MVT, said: “This additional £5million is a fantastic response from the Government, recognising that we have a crisis at grassroots level which threatens the talent pipeline and the future prosperity of the entire live music industry. It’s now time for that industry to step up, take responsibility, and match this government action with its own positive response. At the top level, we are enjoying the greatest ever summer of live music in the UK. We need to ensure that Grassroots Music Venues share in that financial success, and that can be achieved simply and effectively through a contribution from every ticket sold at every arena and stadium event.”