4 of 10 live venues gone in 8 years


The Music Venue Trust have launched a bid to secure more political support for their attempts to save premises that put on live music across the UK.

They’ve compiled a report that says around four out of every ten venues have closed since 2007 – and many of them have gone as a result of heavy-handed environment laws.

If the trend continues, commerce worth £1.6bn a year could be lost to the UK.

Many pubs and clubs have been forced to shut down after homes were built nearby and new tenants complained about noise, with only one complaint being necessary to make closure possible in some cases.

The Trust will present their report to London mayor Boris Johnson, highlighting that the number of live venues in the city has dropped from 430 to 245 in eight years.

And they’ll mark Venues Day on October 20 with a call for the government to conduct an urgent review of noise laws.

Trust Chief exec Mark Davyd tells the Guardian: “Venues are so inspirational – they’re places where people can get involved in culture as a first step.

“The point of a grassroots venue is that you’ve got a maverick who’s prepared to put on a guy dressed as a plant, making white noise through a trumpet, that everyone thinks is awful.”

He adds: “These are incubators for other industries. They’re places where the guy who becomes the lighting engineer at the Royal Opera House started out.”

The Trust aims to concentrate on the UK capital, but Davyd argues: “As we lay out clear and achievable plans in London, other local authorities will look and think, ‘Yes, the music venue is an important part of our local economy.”

Patron Frank Turner says: “The large successful acts of this world didn’t pop fully-formed into this world. These are skills and talents that have to be honed somewhere. If we’re careless about the places where this sort of culture can evolve, then it won’t exist.

“The only thing you will be left with at the top of the food chain is Simon Cowell.”

Is your favourite venue about to close?