Music Venue Trust launches #saveourvenues campaign
- Arusa Qureshi
- 27 April 2020
National campaign to save hundreds of grassroots music venues to bring artists, fans and local communities together
The Music Venue Trust, the charitable organisation which works to protect, secure and improve the UK live music network, has announced details of a new national campaign to save hundreds of grassroots music venues that are at imminent risk of being closed down. The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have been felt across the industry, and with lockdown and social distancing policies remaining in place for the time being, music venues are in dire need of support if they are to remain open once lockdown restrictions are lifted.
The #saveourvenues campaign brings artists, fans and local communities together to support independent venues, without which the live music scene in the UK would not not exist. 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 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.
Currently 556 venues are at risk, including The Sugarmill in Stoke-on-Trent. Danni Brownsill, the venue's chief booker and promoter, said: '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.'
Music fans can get involved in a number of ways; by donating to a specific venue's fundraising page by visiting saveourvenues.co.uk to see a list of local venues that urgently need help; watching 'at home' shows by artists supporting the #saveourvenues campaign; donating to the national #saveourvenues fund via the website; and by helping to spread the word on social media using the hashtag #saveourvenues and linking to the campaign page.
Frank Turner was a main driver behind the campaign, thanks to the success of his recent series of 'Independent Venue Love' shows for local venues Nambucca (London), The Joiners (Southampton) the Railway Inn (Winchester) and The Forum (Tunbridge Wells), which raised thousands of pounds.
Frank Turner said: '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.'
Music Venue Trust's CEO Mark Davyd said: 'Without the support of music fans and artists, literally hundreds of the UK's grassroots music venues could go out of business, never to return, in the coming months. Please help to save every single grassroots music venue in the UK so that it can reopen after this crisis and continue to be a home to our musicians and our communities.'
Visit saveourvenues.co.uk to find out more about the campaign, to donate and to see a list of shows coming up.