A new report from the UK’s Music Venue Trust (MVT) indicates that 10 percent of the country’s grassroots music venues will close by the end of 2023.
MVT, a charity which represents over 900 small venues across the UK, told NME that 67 venues have already closed this year, and another 90 are currently working with the organization’s Emergency Response team.
According to MVT, out of those 90 venues, close to half will be gone by the end of the year and closures are likely to reach the hundreds by 2024—accounting for 10 percent of the country’s independent venues.
In a statement posted to their official website, MVT Live Projects Coordinator Rebecca Walker said, “There is a well-documented and evidenced crisis at the grassroots level.”
“We have new and emerging artists who want to tour, venues who are desperate to host them, audiences that want to see them, but the financial obstacles have simply become too great,” she continued.
MVT says an ongoing energy crisis, rising venue costs like rent and staffing, and increased financial demands of touring have created a “perfect storm for grassroots artists,” in which both the total number of tours and the number of dates per tour have significantly declined in the last decade.
The organization argues that despite the huge success of the UK’s large arenas this year, large profits are unjustified when the “talent pipeline is about to be cut off.”
Taking matters into their own hands, MVT launched the Own Our Venues initiative in May 2022, a public ownership scheme used to help protect dwindling independent venues.
Last March, MVT secured the funding necessary to purchase its first set of venues, but CEO Mark Davyd says public ownership is not enough and called on the UK’s large arenas to “contribute to the security of the wider music ecosystem.”
For more information on the Music Venue Trust, click here.
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