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Free Now survey demonstrates importance of independent venues

A new survey from mobility app Free Now has offered a look into the UK’s relationship with music and how the population feels it is important to support and maintain independent music venues. 

The new Mercury Prize sponsor recently partnered with UK charity Music Venue Trust (MVT), which represents and supports grassroots music venues, to underwrite the cost of 120 shows. 

According to a report from Music Week, Free Now’s survey found that only 2% of people asked listened to music less than once a week, while 65.2% listened to music every single day. 

Some 83.6% said they listened to music more than they watched films, exercised, socialised with friends and family or read, while 74.1% said music was a vital part of their daily exercise regime. Roughly 85.6% also said that listening to music was a pivotal part of maintaining good mental health. 

Over two-thirds of those surveyed said it was vital for independent music venues to be supported and maintained in their local town or city. Of those that had attended gigs at an independent venue at any point, 33.6% said that those venues had now closed down. 

Mark Davyd, chief executive of Music Venue Trust, told Music Week: “This survey demonstrates again how important grassroots venues are to people. The results of this survey demonstrate once again how important music is in our communities and to people at a very personal level.

“Two-thirds of people stated that their local grassroots music venue was vital to their town or city, a view that was echoed in the very practical ways that the music community got behind venues during the pandemic and took direct action to ensure they would not be permanently closed by the COVID crisis.”

Davyd added: “The grassroots music sector is facing incredibly tough times with the energy crisis and the cost of living challenges compounding the impacts of the pandemic. This survey demonstrates again how important these venues are and how much it matters to people, and it’s great to see companies like Free Now recognising that value with direct action campaigns bringing more music opportunities to more people.”

Image: John Matychuk on Unsplash