Grassroots music venues in the UK are “in the middle of a full-blown crisis”, according to Music Venue Trust (MVT), the charity that represents and protects the sector.
In the last 12 months, 125 venues have shut their doors for live music, representing 15.7% of all such spaces in the UK.
Analysis by MVT shows these closures represent the loss of 4,000 jobs, 14,250 events, 193,230 performance opportunities, £9 million of income for musicians and £59m in lost direct economic activity.
In an open letter published today, MVT calls on chancellor Jeremy Hunt to extend rates relief granted to grassroots venues during the Covid pandemic when he announces his autumn statement, expected on 22 November.
During the pandemic, then-chancellor Rishi Sunak exempted small music venues from business rates in recognition of the important role these spaces play in their communities and for the music industry. The 100% tax relief was reduced to 75% in the post-pandemic economic climate.
In their letter, MVT argues this rate must be maintained or more venues will close.