Industry News

Music Venue Trust makes call to politicians prior to UK General Election

Featured Image: Cantabrigian7/CC BY-SA 4.0

The Music Venue Trust (MVT), a charity which represents grassroots music venues, has called upon politicians before the UK General Election on July 4 to help save the live music industry from the “deepening crisis it finds itself in”.

The group has published a report titled, ‘A Manifesto for Grassroots Music’, which sets out steps that it says need to be taken in order to stop venues shutting down.

It has long campaigned for a £1 ($1.25/€1.20) grassroots investment contribution from every arena and stadium ticket sold to support smaller venues, artists and promoters.

A fan-led review to fully examine long-term challenges to the live music ecosystem has also been called for, as well as a reduction in VAT on cultural ticketing in grassroots venues to 0%.

“The Manifesto is being delivered to every prospective MP in the country with the request that they come out in support of it as part of their campaign to be elected,” said MVT external affairs manager Sophie Brownlee.

“Music communities across the country will also be asking the candidates where they stand on the future of live music in our towns and cities.

“The time to act is now.”

In 2023, at least 150 of 366 small music venues closed while another 72 significantly reduced or ended their live music offer.

Furthermore, 38% of grassroots music venues in the UK made a loss in the last 12 months, and the sector has operated on a 0.5% profit margin overall while running live music events at a £115m loss.

“All of this can be changed if the next government delivers the five simple steps we have set out in this report,” said MVT chief executive Mark Davyd.

“We therefore call on all political representatives, from all parties, to seize the moment and drive forward this change.

“We have a chance to save UK grassroots music venues from the crisis they currently face and we should not let it slip.”