The UK is a nation of music lovers – in a new survey, 89% said live concerts have a positive effect on their mental health – yet the spiralling cost of living crisis has caused many to forgo that wellbeing boost. Faced with rising prices on everything from housing to food and transport, 68% said they had cut back on the number of gigs they are attending.
This fall in the volume of gig-goers – alongside their own rising costs – is among the many challenges facing grassroots music venues. The Big Issue recently launched the Venue Watch campaign in response to the “full-blown crisis” facing these crucial cultural institutions.
The new insights into concert-goers’ behaviour were revealed in a survey commissioned by FREENOW in association with Music Venue Trust (MVT). It showed that eight in 10 people believe the live music scene is a very important factor for living in any city – but 48% of people were not aware that grassroots music venues have been struggling, 125 of them closing in just the last 12 months.
The research marked a new partnership between MVT and FREENOW – the ‘mobility super app’, which allows consumers across Europe to access all types of mobility services within a single app including public transport, taxis, car sharing, e-scooters, e-bikes and e-mopeds.
FREENOW’s Ride For Music initiative will donate £1 for every taxi ride booked through the app to MVT, at no extra cost to the customer. App users just need to opt in to the scheme to start raising vital funds.
Mark Davyd, founder and CEO of MVT called on live music lovers to support the initiative. “The Ride for Music initiative from FREENOW gives every music fan in the UK an incredible opportunity to play a role in directly supporting grassroots music venues. It’s exactly the type of joined up, creative thinking that we need to tackle the crisis facing our grassroots sector,” he said.