Music Venue Trust initiative attracts widespread investment and endorsements from across the industry

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Music Venue Trust (MVT), the UK charity which represents hundreds of grassroots music venues, has attracted widespread investment, endorsements and support from across the music industry for its ‘Own Our Venues’ initiative.

Key figures from all sectors of the music industry have offered their support to the project, which aims to purchase the freehold of grassroots music venue properties via a Charitable Community Benefit Society (CCBS) named Music Venue Properties (MVP).

MVP has identified nine venues for a pilot project that will allow the scheme to establish proof of concept. Further venue freeholds will then be identified and secured as and when they become available. On completion of purchase the venues will be offered an immediate rent reduction and help with building repairs and insurance, with long term security and market resistant rents guaranteed.

With the grassroots music venues now also facing a critical threat from spiralling energy and cost of living costs Music Venue Trust has reiterated and reinforced its remit to tackle short term threats alongside the need to provide genuine long term solutions.

Music Venue Trust recently unveiled Ed Sheeran as a key backer of the campaign and he has been joined by a wide range of senior industry figures including:

Jason Iley MBE, Chairman & CEO of Sony Music UK & Ireland:

“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. 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.” 

Tony Harlow, CEO, Warner Music UK:

“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.”  

Jon Collins, Chief Executive, LIVE:

LIVE is delighted to support the ‘Own Our Venues’ campaign given its clear objective to provide a more stable trading environment for our much loved grassroots music venues.  Venues that are valued in their communities for fostering new talent and taking risks on bookings that others might not.  Any risk taking business, contributing clear social value as well as economic, needs understanding partners and I can think of no better partner than MVT.  With MVT behind them, operators will have greater leeway to invest in new talent, an investment that will pay off for all music lovers down the line.  And right now, with the multiple operational and economic challenges facing venues, initiatives such as this our vital if we are to avoid closures and build resilience.

Peter Leathem, Chief Executive Officer at PPL:

“PPL is happy to support the ‘Own Our Venues’ initiative. We license the use of recorded music on behalf of more than 130,000 performers and recording rightsholders, music which is enjoyed around the world. Many of these artists and rightsholders built their careers and businesses in grassroots venues, developing their music and growing their audiences step-by-step.” 

Annabella Coldrick, Chief Executive, Music Managers Forum:

“MMF is backing MVT’s ‘Own Our Venues’ initiative. This pilot aims to provide a long-term solution to a long-term problem, and I strongly encourage anyone who can afford it to contribute what they can to help secure the future of grassroots music venues.”

Andrew Parsons, Managing Director, Ticketmaster UK:

“Grassroots venues are fundamental to the live music ecosystem, and they are in troubleWithout these spaces the next Adele or Ed Sheeran won’t have a place to hone their craft, causing a ripple effect throughout the entire live industry. MVT’s ‘Own Our Venues’ initiative will future-proof the longevity of these much loved venues, which is why I am very proud to support this campaign.”

James Ainscough, Chief Executive, Help Musicians:

“The Own Our Venues project is vital if community spaces are to flourish – they need long-term control so they can invest in the future, and that only comes from ownership. I’m proud, as is Help Musicians, to be playing our part in building up a thriving Grassroots Music Venues scene, by supporting the brilliant ‘Own Our Venues’ initiative.”

Ben Lovett, CEO of TVG Hospitality:

The radial impact on the social and economic health of a community is greatly impacted by the existence of a cultural hub, a music venue, a space where ideas can be exchanged and people can gather and interact away from their places of work, their homes or heads down in their phones. We, the people, can’t treat the economics of such buildings in the same way as other businesses. Music Venue Trust’s project to ‘Own Our Venues’ is a great solution to protecting these music venue assets without asking for repeated handouts from government spend that ultimately end up paying rent to private landlords.”

The A&R Awards:

“We are proud that Music Venue Trust are The A&R Awards charity partners for the second successive year and will be the recipient of a donation to the ‘Own Our Venues’ campaign. This contribution that we are making ultimately comes from music industry professionals responsible for artist discovery & development and recognises the importance of grassroots music venues to the nurturing of our future talent.”

Music Venue Trust has also held a parliamentary launch to MPs on October 19th in Whitehall, which was attended by 55 MPs.

Mark Davyd, CEO of Music Venue Trust: 

“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. 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.”

Adam Parry
Author: Adam Parry

Adam is the co-founder and editor of www.eventindustrynews.com Adam, a technology evangelist also organises Event Tech Live, Europe’s only show dedicated to event technology and the Event Technology Awards. Both events take place in November, London.

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