A national campaign has been launched by the Music Venue Trust to save hundreds of grassroots music venues at imminent risk of closures.
Independent music venues are vital to the UK live music scene, playing a crucial role in the development of music, providing local and national talent with a platform to build their careers, grow a fanbase and develop the music and performance skills. The venues also play a huge role in the culture and economy of cities, towns and villages.
The Music Venue Trust says that 556 venues are currently at risk, including several across the North West.
Venues at risk in Manchester including, The Stoller Hall, including Manchester’s Stoller Hall, The Snug Coffee House in Atherton
Across the North West Liverpool’s The Jacaranda, Phase One, Heebie Jeebies and The Caledonia are also at risk. Additional Chester’s The Live Rooms and Alexandra Live are part of the appeal, with two other legendary venues Stoke’s The Sugarmill and The Leadmill in Sheffield also at risk.
Speaking about the campaign, Danni Brownsill, chief booker and promoter at The Sugarmill commented, “We’re extremely proud to be a grassroots music venue. These spaces are pipelines for talent and absolute lifelines for the communities they serve and the talents therein. We cannot allow them to be consigned to the past. UK music culture as we know it will simply not exist without these spaces, so it is vital to protect them.”
Artists will be performing ‘at home’ gigs in support of their local venues, chosen from a list of venues currently in crisis which can be found at the campaign website www.saveourvenues.co.uk. Each venue will have their own fundraising page with a clear target of the funds it needs to raise to stay afloat throughout this difficult period. Once a target is reached any excess revenue will go to the central #saveourvenues fund to help the wider grassroots music venue community.
How can music fans get involved?
1. Donate to a specific venue’s fundraising page by visiting saveourvenues.co.uk to see a list of local venues that urgently need help.
2. Watch ‘at home’ shows by artists supporting the #saveourvenues campaign. Show details will be added to the events page at www.saveourvenues.co.uk
3. Donate to the national #saveourvenues fund via the website www.saveourvenues.co.uk
4. Help spread the word on social media using the hashtag #saveourvenues and the campaign link www.saveourvenues.co.uk.
So far artists including Frank Turner have raised thousands of pounds for local venues. Frank himself explained, “The UK live music industry is staring into the abyss right now. I’m not able to save the whole thing on my own, but I decided to do a series of livestream shows to raise money for specific independent venues that I know and love, and that are in serious risk of disappearing right now. The success of these shows demonstrated the love that exists between music fans and their favourite grassroots music venues so the #saveourvenues campaign is a brilliant way of building on that and hopefully giving artists and music fans a chance to get involved and play a big part in helping them survive.”
Author: Mark Kelly
Music lover. Gig reviewer.
Often found at the merch stand.