National Lottery partners with Music Venue Trust to help revive grassroots live sector

National Lottery partners with Music Venue Trust to help revive grassroots live sector

The National Lottery has partnered with leading UK charity Music Venue Trust in a unique initiative to help revive the UK’s grassroots live music sector. 

The National Lottery will contribute £1 million to directly underwrite the touring and production costs of over 300 live performances this summer, enabling the grassroots live music industry to start promoting shows again in the knowledge that the upfront costs associated with touring are covered.

The National Lottery’s Revive Live Tour will run throughout the summer and will see a diverse range of headline artists including Olivia Dean, Twin Atlantic, The Magic Gang and The Futureheads perform at hundreds of grassroots music venues throughout the country. More than 20 tours will be taking place, once venues are able to open, in line with government guidance, with National Lottery players having a chance to gain access to every show for free.

Special one-off shows by Sir Tom Jones, Rag ‘N’ Bone Man, Mahalia, James Arthur, Frank Turner, Sam Fender and Fontaines DC will also take place at grassroots music venues to support the initiative and celebrate the return of live music.

Sir Tom Jones said: “Musicians can record in their bedrooms, but they can’t learn to perform in public without a place to play. Without that, there is no way you can communicate directly to people. It’ll be tough to hone your skills and you’ll never have the thrill of feeling their feedback. Without a grassroots music venue, the neighbourhood won’t have a place where people can come together to discover and support a new talent.

“So support your local pub, club, gym or church or wherever someone has the guts to bring in some entertainment, it makes all the difference both to budding artists and the community. I’m delighted to be able to perform a special show as part of The National Lottery’s Revive Live Tour and to be celebrating the return of live music” 

Up to 30,000 tickets – or around half the capacity of these shows – will be gifted to National Lottery players, giving music fans the opportunity to get back to live gigs as soon as possible. Every National Lottery ticket-holder will be invited to bring a “plus one” for free - all they need to do to qualify for this offer is to show a National Lottery ticket or Scratchcard purchased in-store or online/via the National Lottery app when they attend the gig

Tickets for The National Lottery’s  Revive Live Tour go on sale on Monday, July 12 from 8pm.  

Nigel Railton, chief executive of National Lottery operator Camelot, said: “The National Lottery is very excited to be working with Music Venue Trust in what we believe is a truly ground-breaking initiative. The last year has been incredibly challenging for many industries and we hope The National Lottery’s Revive Live Tour will help kick start the return of grassroots live music. With every ticket having a built in plus-one, we hope The National Lottery can bring friends back together this summer to once again share the experiences we’ve all missed, while thanking players for the amazing things they make happen just by buying a ticket.”

Grassroots music venues play a crucial role in the development of British music

Mark Davyd

Mark Dayvd, CEO of Music Venue Trust, said: "It's so important to get artists and crew back out and working, to get our grassroots music venues back up and running, and to get friends, families and communities back together enjoying live music.  

“Grassroots music 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. The National Lottery’s Revive Live Tour is a fantastic initiative which will kickstart the return of great events across the country. We can't wait to get started!"

Culture Minister Caroline Dinenage said: “It’s been a challenging period for our brilliant grassroots music venues which is why we’ve provided more than £200 million to over 800 music organisations from our unprecedented Culture Recovery Fund.  As we continue to work towards live events being fully reopened from July 19, I’m pleased that this collaboration will help get many artists back playing live at local venues across the country.”

Jo Whiley, Radio 2 DJ, broadcaster and ambassador for The National Lottery’s Revive Live Tour, said: “We have fantastic venues all over the country that provide a stage for an amazing range of musicians, and all have been impacted by the pandemic. The National Lottery’s Revive Live Touris an amazing opportunity to showcase the incredible artists and support these grassroot music venues that are so integral to our cultural fabric.

“I’m sure many people have missed the experience of live music over the course of the lockdown, myself included. I can’t wait to go to see these amazing musicians on stage again!“

Over the last 14 months grassroots music venues have been heavily impacted by the pandemic - 83% of venues have faced closure during this period and are emerging from lockdown burdened with a collective debt of £45m.

A recently conducted LIVE survey of music fans shows that the majority are now ready to return to live music, with over 75% ready to attend shows immediately.

The money for this initiative comes from a National Lottery promotional fund. It is not being funded by money allocated for National Lottery Good Causes or by Camelot.           

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