"We need money to survive the crisis" – Music Venue Trust fires back at the UK government's five-step plan

(Image credit: Future)

The Music Venue Trust has responded to the UK government's recently-announced five-step 'road map' for live music's return with its own plan, and has reminded it of the urgent financial assistance UK grassroots music venues need to survive the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The charity is calling for the government to provide £50 million to save the grassroots sector that many of the UK's musicians rely on. 

Now Mark Dayvd, CEO of MVT, has responded to the UK government's road-map for live music's return with the following:

"An alternative five step plan: 

Step 1: Create the sector support financial package that is immediately required so that any sort of grassroots music venue sector survives to require any more steps at all.

Step 2: Check if you have completed step 1. If not, keep checking until you have

Step 3: Get out of the way of one of the most dynamic and innovative creative industries in the world and let them get on with it.

Step 4: Continue to receive massive social cultural and economic benefits for decades to come because you got Step 1 right.

Step 5: Realise this doesn’t need 5 steps, it only needs step 1"

(Image credit: Joby Sessions/Future)

Dayvd adds: "We have consistently told government that what the culture sector needs is the support to enable them to do what they do best. 

"We don't need guidance on how to organise creative activity and connect with audiences, this is what our venues do professionally. We need the money to survive the crisis and plan our own route back to full use.

The MVT is calling for a sector-specific rescue package to help a large number of it s member venues to survive the "catastrophic effects" closure has had during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition, the MVT are proposing a one-off cut in VAT on ticket sales for the next three years for venues and promoters.

(Image credit: Future)

"It is frankly ridiculous to put a £5 billion a year industry at long term risk for lack of a short term £50 million investment”

As MVT notes, the live music industry in the UK generates £5.2bn for the UK economy and a further £2.7bn in export revenues. With 90% of venues and festivals currently facing permanent closure, the sector is in serious danger of collapse. 

Beyond musicians, job cuts would affect promoters, production companies, managers, agents, artists and more. 

“When we eventually emerge from lockdown, grassroots music venues, the absolute bedrock, the foundations, the cornerstone on which our world beating £5.2 billion per year industry has been built, are going to be essential to live music bouncing back," says Dayvd. 

"It is therefore economically short sighted and frankly ridiculous to put a £5 billion a year industry at long term risk for lack of a short term £50 million investment.”

The Music Venue Trust launched its #saveourvenues campaign in April and has so far successfully raised over £2m to help support grassroots music venues through this crisis.

For more information on the campaign and the MVT's work visit musicvenuetrust.com

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.