The Music Venue Trust (MVT) has hit the £1 million mark in its fundraising effort to save the UK’s grassroots venues from closure during the coronavirus crisis.
Beggars Group, Amazon Music/BPI and The Mayor Of London have made six-figure donations, while other companies including Sony Music, SJM, Kilimanjaro and DHP Family have made “very substantial” pledges.
The Music Venue Trust launched the campaign at the end of March, and boss Mark Davyd spelled out the severity of the situation facing the 670 small venues under the organisation’s stewardship. “It’s impossible to exaggerate the scale of the problem,” he told Music Week, adding that he planned to adopt “guerrilla tactics”.
Since then, the MVT has launched the #saveourvenues campaign, which was widely circulated on social media. Now, the body has announced that donations have passed the million pound mark.
Venues have launched individual fundraisers linked to the MVT campaign, while artists have been raising money for venues close to their hearts. The campaign is hosted at www.saveourvenues.co.uk.
Martin Mills, founder and chairman of Beggars Group, said: “We fully support this campaign. Live music in small venues is where it all starts for most of our artists, and many of our best times are spent in them. Whether it’s White Stripes at the Dome, Dry Cleaning at the Lexington or Adele (and Aldous Harding) above a pub in Islington, we need these places to survive and thrive. We miss them."
Live music in small venues is where it all starts for most of our artists
Martin Mills, Beggars Group
Paul Firth, director of Amazon Music Europe said: “The UK live music industry is incredibly special and a key part of British music culture and, in uncertain times like these, it’s been great to see many in the music community come together for the #saveourvenues campaign to help protect and save grassroots music venues across the UK.”
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, added: “The coronavirus outbreak is having a significant impact on every aspect of life in London, and that includes our culture, creative industries and night time economy. These industries are so important to the fabric of our city during the day and night, and they will play a key role in helping us to recover from this public health crisis. I’m pleased to be working together with Music Venue Trust, the LGBTQ+ Venues Forum, the Creative Land Trust and the BFI to offer this emergency funding to those areas most at need, but we need the Government to step forward and provide the comprehensive support this industry needs to protect its future.”
We urgently need the music industry to help us
Mark Davyd, Music Venue Trust
Mark Davyd said: “We cannot begin to say how grateful we are to Beggars Group, Amazon Music, The Mayor of London, Sony Music, SJM, Kilimajaro Live, DHP and others for stepping up and helping us with the #saveourvenues campaign. These are critical times for over 500 grassroots music venues, many of whom simply won’t survive this crisis without donations from the music industry and music fans. This is a great start but there is still so much more to do, and we dare not get complacent. We urgently need the music industry to help us, so please get in touch if you can support this campaign.”
Read our Mark Davyd interview in full here and revisit our Q&A with Independent Venue Week founder Sybil Bell here.
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