Music Venue Trust (MVT), the charity that represents hundreds of UK grassroots music venues (GMVs), has announced eight new patrons.
Joining the charity are singer/songwriters Jamie Webster, Hamish Hawk and Hannah White, DJ Jeff Automatic, bands Reverend and the Makers, Noah & The Loners (pictured) and CHROMA, and Minister for Creative Industries John Whittingdale.
The new patrons join musicians including Sir Paul McCartney, Nova Twins, Frank Turner and Tim Burgess, broadcasters including Steve Lamacq and Gemma Bradley, and patrons from industry and politics including Sony Music’s Jason Iley and Kerry McCarthy MP.
Whilst the top tier of the live industry (arenas, stadiums, outdoor concerts) had a successful year in 2023, promoting hundreds of additional large-scale events at significantly increased ticket prices, MVT said the UK lost a record number of Grassroots Music Venues – over 120 grassroots venues (15%) have closed, with more than 80 currently in crisis.
Speaking about becoming a patron Scottish musician Hamish Hawk said “My life in music has been a life spent in grassroots music venues, and I can say without hesitation that it’s to those venues I owe my career. I don’t expect I will ever repay the debt I owe to those dedicated venue teams who have supported and encouraged me over the years; to this day their passion, dedication and expertise are a vital source of inspiration for me. They are the lifeblood of British music and must be safeguarded by any means possible.”
Working with patrons to highlight the value of GMVs is one of several initiatives put in place by the charity to protect, secure and improve the UK’s grassroots music sector. In 2022 the charity launched new initiative Music Venue Properties, which is, by purchasing the freeholds, helping to secure long-term futures for Britain’s treasured GMVs. To date more than £2.3million has been raised and the first venue – The Snug in Atherton – was purchased this autumn.
MVT has also been campaigning for the wider live music industry to financially support the grassroots music sector, proposing that every ticket sold at an arena and stadium should make a £1 contribution into its Pipeline Investment Fund.