Music Venue Trust (MVT) has announced its series of sessions at Venues Day 2016, which will give venues the information and advice they need to drive down costs, increase audiences and improve relationships with their key partners.

The series, titled Localism & Community, is a series of six panels featuring MPs, councilors, lawyers, tax and rate specialists. A wide range of examples of best practice will encourage venues to restructure, relaunch and re-examine how they manage partnerships.

Panelists include Feargal Sharkey, Thangam Debbonaire MP, Cllr Jonathan Cooke (LB Wandsworth), Rebecca Walker (Sheffield Leadmill), Lohan Resencer (Ministry of Sound), Vic Galloway (BBC Radio Scotland), Vanessa Reed (PRS for Music Foundation), Richard Robinson (Help Musicians UK), Eamonn Forde, Jane Beese (Roundhouse), Nick Wright (Altus RatesRecovery), Mal Campbell (Hebden Bridge Trades Club) and Guto Brychan (Clwb Ifor Bach).

“One of the key things we’ve noticed impacting on the economic and political stability of music venues is a failure to pick up on existing opportunities which are fully used by arts centres, theatres, museums, libraries and other parts of the cultural sector,” said MVT’s Beverley Whitrick. “On VAT, for example, it’s been a running suggestion across three years of work that tickets in these venues should be exempt from VAT. A method to do that already exists, deliberately created by the Treasury to support cultural institutions and activities, but music venues aren’t set up to take advantage of it. In this series of panels, we are going to explain how to recognise and utilise such opportunities.

“We’re aiming to make a big difference to how venues structure themselves, but also how others see them. Your local music venue is a cultural and social hub. We are going to give them advice on how to engage with local councils to make sure they are perceived that way, and advice on how being perceived that way opens up access to rate relief, local and national grants.”

Venues Day 2016 takes place on 18 October at London’s Roundhouse. For more information, go to