Coronavirus: "The UK live music industry is staring into the abyss right now"

Key venues in Brighton, Portsmouth, Eastbourne and Hastings have been confirmed as being “in imminent risk of being closed down – permanently” as a new national rescue campaign is launched.

Tuesday, 28th April 2020, 6:54 am
Save Our Venues

Music Venue Trust has announced #saveourvenues, a new campaign to save hundreds of grassroots music venues from permanent closure.

Music Venue Trust’s CEO Mark Davyd said: “We need to save our venues. And we need to do it now.

“Without these independent venues the live music scene in the UK will die. These grassroots venues play a crucial role in the development of British music, nurturing local talent, providing a platform for artists to build their careers and develop their music and their performance skills. These venues also play a vital role in the cultural and economic vibrancy of any village, town or city.

“Currently 556 venues are at risk.

“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.”

The trust is urging all music fans to get involved:

1. Donate to a specific venue’s fundraising page by clicking this link www.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. Click www.saveourvenues.co.uk to see a list of shows coming up.

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.

One of the main drivers of this initiative is the musician Frank Turner whose recent series of Independent Venue Love shows raised thousands of pounds and provided a major inspiration for this campaign.

Frank 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.”

One venue saved from closure by Frank’s fundraising gigs is Tunbridge Wells Forum. Co-founder Jason Dormon said “Frank Turner has always championed the grassroots sector, having grown up and learnt his craft in these venues. His generosity and commitment is truly admirable, he inspires live music fans to come together and unite in raising awareness and funds for the UK's grassroots music venues. We were totally overwhelmed and heartened by Frank’s help and the support and generosity of the local community.”

Music Venue Trust’s CEO Mark added: “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.”

Among the at-risk venues are:

Wedgewood Room, 147b Albert Road, Southsea , Portsmouth PO4 0JW

The Pipeline, 6 Little E St, Brighton BN1 1HT

The Brunswick, 1-3 Holland Road, Hove, East Sussex BN3 1JF

The Old Market, 11a Upper Market Street, BRIGHTON BN2 9SF

The Hope and Ruin, 11-12 Queens Road, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 3WA

The Pipeline, 6 Little E St, Brighton BN1 1HT

Green Door Store, Lower Goods Yard, Brighton Train Station, Brighton BN1 4FQ

Komedia, 44-47 Gardner Street, Brighton, BN1 1UN

Latest Music Bar, 14-17 Manchester Street, Brighton, BN2 1TF

Printers Playhouse, 49A Grove Road, Eastbourne, BN21 4TX

Blackmarket VIP, 10 George St, Hastings, TN34 3EG

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