Industry News

Music Venue Trust launches ‘The Artist Pledge’ to support grassroots venues

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Music Venue Trust has launched ‘The Artist Pledge’, a campaign that is asking renowned artists to commit their support for grassroots music venues.

Before international stars were headlining festivals, arenas and stadiums, they were cutting their teeth at smaller venues earlier in their careers.

Artists such as Frank Turner and Enter Shikari have already pledged their support; Enter Shikari donated £1 from every ticket sold for their recent 2024 UK arena tour to help grassroots music venues.

According to the charity, 16% of the UK’s grassroots music venues closed or ceased to programme new music in 2023. This was attributed to the cost-of-living crisis, and the soaring costs of energy, accommodation, staffing, supplies, rent and rates.

“We are asking artists today to stand with all of us in the grassroots sector as a show of solidarity,” said Toni Coe-Brooker, campaign and communications lead at Music Venue Trust.

“We are asking for a commitment that when you reach a point in your career when you can insist on change, you will demand that change. We want you to be clear, now, at this stage in your career that when you reach the arena and stadium level, you will expect everyone working for and with you – your manager, agent, promoter, the venue itself – to find a way to send financial support back down the pipeline.”

Music Venue Trust has been campaigning for a levy on arena tickets to support grassroots music venues for some time.

Tunbridge Wells Forum, which is owned by Music Venue Trust founder and chief executive Mark Davyd, became the first music venue to implement the levy. A donation of £1 (€1.16/$1.25) from every ticket sold will be made to the Music Venue Trust’s Pipeline Fund.