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Music Venue Trust partners with Mercury Prize sponsor Free Now

UK charity Music Venue Trust (MVT), which represents grassroots music venues, has partnered with Mercury Prize sponsor and mobility app, Free Now. 

Free Now will support grassroots music venues across the UK by underwriting the costs of 120 shows by future artists hoping to secure the music prize across 60 locations.

As part of the new initiative, British music group Public Service Broadcasting will play a show at Peckham Audio at the end of August. The performance will be the first of three ‘hero’ shows that will see big artists return to small grassroots music venues. 

Public Service Broadcasting’s J. Wilgoose Esq said: “I honestly don’t think Public Service Broadcasting would be a going concern without grassroots music venues. Years before our first EP came out I was gigging around London and further afield as a solo act, learning what worked and – more often – what didn’t. 

“If we’re going to continue to have such an extraordinarily successful musical and cultural scene here in the UK (not to mention profitable to the Exchequer), we have to ensure that these venues not only survive but thrive, giving the next generation of musicians and artists the platforms they need to hone their acts and learn their trade.”

Sara De-Velasco, head of marketing, Free Now, said: “We are excited to support grassroots venues through our partnership with the Music Venue Trust and as part of our commitment, Free Now is proud to sponsor Public Service Broadcasting performing at Peckham Audio. 

“After a challenging two years, we’re joining venues, artists and our amazing local music communities in celebrating the UK’s vibrant and creative music culture. We’re thrilled to be supporting these essential, magical places that give rise to the acts we’ll all fall in love with tomorrow; and connecting music enthusiasts of all backgrounds with their passion through fast, flexible and friction free mobility in cities across the UK.”

Mark Davyd, chief executive of MVT, added: “It’s great to be working with Free Now to be connecting people with their next favourite artist. Music Venue Trust is working hard with venues to identify acts which we know are the next Mercury Prize nominees and give people the chance to experience them early on in their careers in some outstanding venues before they move up to the biggest venues and festivals. 

“It’s great to see this partnership with Free Now kick off with this very special show from a band like Public Service Broadcasting who really epitomise that journey.”

Image: John Matychuk on Unsplash