UK Music and the Music Venue Trust (MVT) have warned that hundreds of UK music venues face permanent closure without swift action due to rising energy bills.

UK Music chief executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin has called on the Government to cut VAT from its current 20% and extend business rate help. According to UK Music, the energy price cap does not apply to businesses, which means that music venues are seeing energy bills increase by an average of 300% and in some cases 740%.

Based on a survey of its 941 venue members, the Music Venue Trust (MVT) said venues face an average 316% rise in fuel bills – taking the average fuel bill cost to £5,179 per month per venue – up from the current average of £1,245.

According to the MVT, the surge in energy bills means that around 30% of its network of venues face the threat of permanent closure. It said one venue has been quoted £42,000 a year for fuel – more than treble its previous bill of £13,200 – with the supplier saying it will only accept full payment in advance.

Njoku-Goodwin said venues, studios and other music companies across the UK now face an “existential threat” due to the fuel crisis and urged the Government to take immediate action.

He said, “Spiralling energy costs have created an existential threat for venues and music studios. It’s urgent that Government takes action to support businesses with the costs they are facing.

“We all saw just how miserable life was without live music during the pandemic, when venues were closed for months – the high cost of energy bills could now close them forever.

“The new Prime Minister must ensure that music businesses are included in the support measures that are brought forward to deal with soaring energy costs. The Government should look at cutting VAT and extending business rate support to help music businesses that are fighting for their survival.”

MVT CEO Mark Davyd said the Government must urgently address the fact that the market for energy supply has collapsed: “We have multiple examples where venues do not have any option other than to accept whatever price increases and tariffs are proposed by the sole supplier prepared to offer them power at all. The situation has rapidly deteriorated into a monopoly.”

The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) chair Michael Kill said the night time economy is at risk of collapse in the coming months: “Billions of pounds of public funding spent during the pandemic could be wasted if Government cannot get a handle on current cost of inflation crisis, energy bills have increased over 300% for over 80% of businesses within the Night Time Economy.

“The current climate would see this crisis take more businesses to the point of failure than the pandemic. As we move towards the colder months, where energy consumption increases, we will see costs spiral out of control. The next few weeks are critical, and will require swift action from the new Prime Minister taking over.”