For the last eight years Music Venue Trust has led the campaign to protect, secure and improve Grassroots Music Venues in the U.K, supported by treasured community of music fans, artists, and crew. “The charity has grown from strength to strength and currently provides support for over 900 venues in the U.K.” Now they want to make the most radical change of all by changing the ownership model saying. “We believe these vital venues should belong to us. All of us that care about them, that play in them, that visit them,” adding, “We want you to join us. Let’s Own Our Venues. “ Over the last 20 years, 35% of Grassroots Music Venues (GMVs) have closed. Since the launch of the ‘Own Our Venues’ initiative, hundreds of individuals, companies and organisations have already pledged their support to the project. These include high profile investors such as Ed Sheeran, Frank Turner and musician-turned-venue-owner Ben Lovett, alongside major music industry companies such as Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music among many others. Arts Council England has also confirmed a grant of £500,000 to the project, which is not included in the crowdfunded total. The deadline to secure investment is 30th March.
Singer- songwriter, Frank Turner said in a Facebook post,” I am a proud patron of The Music Venue Trust and I support the Own Our Venues Campaign because it is a bold new idea to change the way that Grassroots Music Venues are owned and operated, thereby safeguarding them for now and for the future and protecting that corner of our culture. We only have a few days left to reach the target of 2.5 Million pounds to show that community ownership is the way to protect Grassroots music venues so if you can afford to invest please do get involved and be part of this and join us.” Donate: https://crowdfunder.co.uk/p/own-our-venues-donations” MVT posted, “We are SO close to hitting our target, and with your help we can. Even a £5 donation makes a difference! ” As the deadline of 30th March gets closer with only days to go, more people are coming forward to show their support.
Ellie Rowsell of Mercury prize winning band, Wolf Alice, tweeted her support saying, “@musicvenuetrust have launched an initiative to save our beloved grassroots music venues from being shut down. The long term plan of this initiative is to take control of the freeholds of the venues so they can protect them from being turned in to flats or Costa Coffees etc“ She continued, “To do this they are asking anyone who can afford it to invest money to support this plan. you can invest as little as £100 but they need to reach their target before the end of next week!”
“if you know anyone who wants to be a part of this community share model that has been so effective in saving local pubs and the like (my nan’s fave pub actually still thrives today because of this) then please pass on this link!“
“This is an exciting plan that with enough people involved could help save part of Britain’s incredible music culture we are so proud of yet are watching slip away. Here is the link: Own Our Venues – a Music crowdfunding project in United Kingdom by Music Venue Properties (crowdfunder.co.uk)
Frank Carter and Dean Richardson from Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes discussed the negative repercussions that venue closures have on the live music industry and its community on Facebook.
Dean Richardson said, “I think it’s really sad when any venue of any size closes… because it’s just going to mean less shows. It’s a really delicate ecosystem…as a band you learn a lot by going on different stages so they’re all integral, so if you take one out everything gets a bit disjointed and a lot of people suffer- bands and fans and music as a whole. Anytime a venue gets taken out it causes a lot of disruption to the whole thing.”
Frank Carter said, ” It’s not only that you are closing down all the inspiration that could have been. You never know who is at that gig as a young kid. I remember being in the front row at the Astoria watching System of a Down and I left that gig going. I’m going to be a bass player and it didn’t quite work out…he laughed but I do own a bass now. ” I did write the bass for Parasite though.” … “The Astoria, was right around the corner from the Borderline, the LA2 went and then you had Denmark Street where you would go for a guitar as a kid, I queued up for tickets to see Green Day, then saw them do a secret gig .. You went to London and you had your moment and without venues none of that can happen so what you have is destabilisation, not just of a city and not just of a scene, but of every single generation that would have come after that and it’s about what is lost….and you are not just talking about gigs, you are talking about artists you’re taking about future and that’s the thing that is so disappointing to me. When The Peel in Kingston shut that was heart breaking.” Dean Richardson continued, “We’ve been playing long enough that we go round the UK and we rock up in a town and ask “Why are we not playing there?” and they say “It’s gone” and because we’re not living in Manchester we don’t realise that somewhere has closed -it’s a bit of a shock to the system- it’s happening all over the country” The Facebook video ended with MVT saying, with your help we can stop places like The Astoria closing with a link Own Our Venues – a Music crowdfunding project in United Kingdom by Music Venue Properties
“Since MVT was created in 2014, we have tried to secure and protect venues from closure, and we are now days away from the end of our most important campaign yet; #OwnOurVenues“
Rob Rolfe from Enter Shikari also posted a Facebook video saying,
“ Enter Shikari are patrons the Music Venue Trust. Today I’m here at the Pioneer club. The first time I played here I must have been fourteen years old. Enter Shakri have got a long history with the building and I just want to say that I really support the Own Our Venues Campaign. It’s really really important it feels like every day we’re loosing more and more grassroots venues and they are such an important part of our upbringing as a band cutting our teeth and not just for where we’re moving on to but for the the social aspect around the venues and the people who gather there. It’s a real thriving hub of culture for our country so they are really really important so that’s why I support this campaign.”
“Join us to make the most radical collective and collaborative positive change to the Grassroots Music Venue sector since Music Venue Trust was formed in 2014.”
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