Music Venue Trust (MVT), the UK charity which represents hundreds of grassroots music venues, has moved to create a more resilient and sustainable service to support the expanding membership of the Music Venues Alliance with the announcement of a number of key staff appointments
Rebecca Walker has been appointed Live Projects Coordinator. She joined MVT in March 2021 on a freelance contract to coordinate The National Lottery’s Revive Live and will now report directly to MVT CEO Mark Davyd. Rebecca had previously spent 11 years at Sheffield’s LeadmilI venue where she rose through the ranks become their senior promoter.
Jay Taylor and Sophie Asquith have assumed the positions of MVT Coordinators (England).
Jay and Sophie both became freelance coordinators in April 2020 and worked to support venues in NW England and London respectively as part of a wider regional team until October 2021. Jay has worked for the Musicians Union, SJM Concerts, PRS Foundation, Sound City Festival and In the City Festival and has played a key role in the success of Manchester’s Night & Day Café. Sophie, who originally studied sculpture at the word famous Slade school of Fine Art spent six years as General Manager & Booker at London’s Bush Hall venue.
Their roles have now become permanent and they will be the primary point of contact for MVT member venues. Both will report to Clara Cullen, Venue Support Manager, and will work with her and Beverley Whitrick, COO, to appoint and develop a team of coordinators across the UK.
Matthew Otridge has been announced as MVT’s lead coordinator on its groundbreaking new initiative #OwnOurVenues. Reporting to Mark Davyd, Matt has been working with MVT on a freelance basis since 2020, initially as a Coordinator for SW England during the pandemic before helping develop the #OwnOurVenues community ownership project, which will help realise MVT’s long-term goal to secure the future of grassroots music venues by taking them out of the commercial rental market. Matthew started working as a promoter in Bristol venues 20 years ago. This eventually led to becoming the owner of The Croft and then a new venue, Exchange in 2012 and in 2019 spearheading a successful community ownership campaign to help ensure its longevity.
Chris Sherrington, who previously held the freelance position of MVT Coordinator for NE England has been appointed Policy & Strategy Support Officer. Having transitioned into a guidance role, updating the team and membership on legislation and policy during the pandemic, he will report to Mark Davyd while working closely with Clara Cullen and Beverley Whitrick. Chris has been involved in live music and club nights for over 20 years, the last six of which have been running his own venue, The Fulford Arms in York.
Beverley Whitrick, COO of Music Venue Trust said, “These permanent appointments of amazing colleagues who have already proven themselves invaluable members of the grassroots music community during an incredibly challenging period for the sector will take MVT’s ability to innovate, advocate and coordinate to a new level. All five bring proven experience, skills, insight and passion to our team and we are delighted to welcome them on board.”