'There's a lot of goodwill behind this': Glen Rowe backs new bands with grassroots live initiative

'There's a lot of goodwill behind this': Glen Rowe backs new bands with grassroots live initiative

Glen Rowe has revealed that he is stepping down as Muse’s tour director to establish a charity to help new bands at the grassroots level of the live business.

Speaking exclusively in the latest issue of Music Week, Rowe (pictured with Matt Bellamy) said that the Neko Trust will aim to launch five small venues across the country - in London, Birmingham, Cardiff, Leeds and Edinburgh - with support from the music industry and government.

“There’s a lot of goodwill behind this as long as we keep it up,” said Rowe. “Momentum is everything. This is a project for life I’m looking at, I’ve got to dedicate a long period of my career to make it happen – and I’m a stubborn bastard!”

Rowe said that the lack of small venues had created a “bottleneck” for the sector that has choked new talent. Between 2007 and 2015, the Music Venue Trust estimates that 35% of grassroots venues closed down. 

Live events education provider Backstage Academy, of which Rowe is MD, will help with staffing at the new venues. Acts would be provided with accommodation and catering.

Rowe, founder of Cato Music, has spent 25 years on the road working with bands including Manic Street Preachers. His closest association is with Muse, whose stadium success he’s overseen since 2000. The band’s film of the technically challenging Drones World Tour hit cinemas last week (July 12).

To read the exclusive interview with Rowe on his big ambitions for the Neko Trust and his time with Muse, pick up the latest issue of Music Week – or subscribers can click here and here. To subscribe and never miss a big industry story, click here.


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