Radar Festival announces Music Venue Trust partnership

Radar Festival
(Image credit: Press)

Radar Festival, the modern prog, post- and math-rock festival, has announced a brand new partnership with the Music Venue Trust which will see it become the first festival to donate ticket sales proceeds to MVT, to support grassroots music venues.

A percentage of every ticket sold for his year's Radar Festival will support the MVT's Pipeline Investment Fund whic has thus fard has awarded more than £260,000 to 61 UK grassroots music venues since it was founded in 2022.

The announcement follows renewed calls from the Trust for a ticket levy on all major stadium and arena gigs to support the grassroots, in the wake of the news that 16% (125) of UK grassroots music venues were lost in the last 12 months, with 38% of all UK grassroots music venues posting a financial loss.

"I’ve seen the journey in my own venue of young artists playing for the first time and stepping onto a small stage that they know has previously hosted artists that they admire and want to emulate" says Co-organiser Catherine Jackson-Smith, who also owns The Lounge Bar in Alton. "Time and again I’ve watched these nervous artists blossom in confidence, ability and stature within the scene, waiting to be discovered by the masses. When that happens, they know how to interact with a crowd, how to control a room, pace their set and perform to the best of their abilities.

"These are all crafts that you can only develop with a small, raw audience that the grassroots music scene cultivates every night up and down the country. If we don’t protect the smaller venues then there isn’t a pipeline for the next headliners, and this ticking time bomb is something that the music industry can, and must, take action on."

"Many of the crew working at Radar - lighting and sound engineers, stage and production managers, merchandise sellers and more - gained first-hand experience at grassroots venues," adds Radar co-organiser Joe James, former events manager at The Boileroom in Guildford added. "As well as nurturing artists these training grounds support the whole talent ecosystem.”
"We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to Radar Festival, for taking this bold step as the first festival to champion the Pipeline Investment Fund," says MVT CEO and founder Mark Davyd. "Their support is a strong commitment to the heart and soul of the UK's music scene, nurturing its roots through the vital network of Grassroots Music Venues."

This year's event takes place at Manchester's O2 Victoria Warehouse from July 26-8 and among others features Danish/Swedish prog rockers VOLA, Australian prog guitar whiz Plini, fellow Aussie  trio The Omnific and Swedish prog fusioneers Dirty Loops.

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Jerry Ewing

Writer and broadcaster Jerry Ewing is the Editor of Prog Magazine which he founded for Future Publishing in 2009. He grew up in Sydney and began his writing career in London for Metal Forces magazine in 1989. He has since written for Metal Hammer, Maxim, Vox, Stuff and Bizarre magazines, among others. He created and edited Classic Rock Magazine for Dennis Publishing in 1998 and is the author of a variety of books on both music and sport, including Wonderous Stories; A Journey Through The Landscape Of Progressive Rock.