Nick Benson

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The Music Scene: #saveourvenues

A national campaign has launched with the aim to save hundreds of grassroots music venues at imminent risk of been closed down permanently due to the Covid-19 pandemic, writes Nick Benson.

With the UK in lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic many areas of life have been hit by social distancing restrictions and temporary closures and, as these measures continue, the UK’s live music scene is at risk of becoming extinct.

Music Venue Trust, a charity created in January 2014 to protect and improve the UK live music network by securing the long-term future of iconic grassroots music venues, has launched the #saveourvenues national campaign in order to save hundreds of these grassroots music venues that are currently at imminent risk of being closed down permanently.

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.

With more than 500 of these venues at risk, artists are supporting the #saveourvenues campaign by performing ‘at home’ gigs in an effort to protect their local venues that are currently in crisis.

As part of the campaign, each venue will have their own fundraising page with a clear target of money it needs to stay afloat throughout this difficult period. Once a target is reached any excess donations will go to the central #saveourvenues fund to help the wider grassroots music venue community.

Appealing to music artists and fans to support the initiative, Mark Davyd, chief executive of the Music Venue Trust, said the charity is confident that it can help create real momentum that will see artists and venues working together to raise much needed funds.

“Without the support of music fans and artists, literally hundreds of the UK’s grassroots music venues could go out of business,” he said.

“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.”

The Music Venue Trust is also calling on the wider music industry show its support too.

“We have received some magnificent support so far from music companies, but we need a lot more to step up and help save this essential part of the music eco-system,” he said.

“We cannot stress enough how critical it is that the music industry supports the #saveourvenues campaign as without them over 500 of the UK’s grassroots music venues could go out of business, never to return, in the coming months.

“Please help us.”

• To find out more information; watch ‘at home’ shows by artists supporting the #saveourvenues campaign; or to make a donation, see: saveourvenues.co.uk

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