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A survey commissioned by Music Venue Trust among members of the Music Venues Alliance has indicated the extent to which grassroots music venues in England are planning to re-open their doors from 17 May and beyond.

It found that 2,534 socially distanced shows are on sale in 266 venues from May 17 to June 21, with more than 4,000 shows across more than 400 venues expected to take place during that period.

By the end of September, the survey indicates that more than 17,000 full-capacity shows are confirmed to take place, with nearly 30,000 shows likely to take place in front of 6,803,481 audience members. With support artists factored in, it is estimated that there will be 91,500 individual live performances during the period, offering more than 300,000 work opportunities for musicians as they finally get the chance to return to paid employment.

MVT said the grassroots music venue sector turned over £360m in the year prior to the pandemic, delivering over 200,000 events and more than half a million performances to 33m ticket holders. The sector provides full time employment for 10,000 people with approximately 150,000 musicians, crew, sound engineers, lighting engineers, security personnel, bar staff and other casual employees working in grassroots live music as part of portfolio careers.

MVT strategic director Beverley Whitrick said, “It’s incredible to see the enthusiasm for getting live music back into our towns and cities being shown by venues, artists and crew. These socially distanced shows aren’t being delivered for financial return, in fact precisely the opposite. The grassroots sector is stepping up and putting its own time and money into answering the demand for live music in our communities.”

Mark Dayvd, CEO of Music Venue Trust added, “As we emerge from the darkness of the last year and move towards our plan to Revive Live it is incredibly exciting and heartening to see the positivity with which UK grassroots music venues are approaching re-opening their doors.”