Thursday, March 5, 2015

Monday, February 2, 2015


Music Venue Trust is delighted to formally announce the launch of the Music Venues Alliance, an association of venues and organisations that have united behind the work of the Trust to engage with the industry, the cultural sector, and politicians to take actions that protect, secure and improve the UK's music venue network.

Emerging from Venues Day 2014, the Music Venues Alliance is the first significant response to the recent ICMP summary report "Understanding Small Venues", which painted a picture of a UK live music venue circuit that is in a perilous and precarious state, facing an uncertain future at real risk despite the passion of the people involved in it.

Members of the Alliance have united behind the work of the Music Venue Trust to enable the Charity to speak up on their behalf, discussing and airing those challenges with live music industry colleagues and the cultural sector, and seeking ways to work together to tackle a range of issues so we not only maintain and preserve this circuit but actively start to improve it.

On behalf of the Music Venues Alliance, Music Venue Trust has already been invited to be part of the UK Live Music Group and to play a lead role in the Mayor of London's Taskforce on Live Music. The Trust has taken up issues raised at Venues Day with PRS, and is working with MPs to identify tax and investment opportunities that will directly improve the venues through a series of projects. The Trust will be making a major announcement about the future of the grassroots circuit at the International Live Music Conference in London on Friday 6 March, and will follow this with the launch of their full report on "Understanding Small Venues" in Parliament on Monday 9 March.

Over 80 venues are already represented within the Alliance, alongside live music agencies, campaign groups, and cultural organisations. Membership is open to any UK venue that wishes to join the campaign, and the Alliance welcomes applications from industry bodies and professional organisations that want to add their voices to support this vital part of the sector. You can contact the Alliance at

13 Artists * Academy Music Group * Attitude is Everything * Band on the Wall (Manchester) * Birthdays (London) * Cellar 35 (Aberdeen) * Culture in Planning Alliance * Echoes & Dust * Electric Circus (Edinburgh) * Ents24 * Exchange, Bristol * Exeter Phoenix * Fallow Cafe (Manchester) * Generator * Glee Club (Birmingham/Nottingham/Cardiff) * Half Moon Putney * Independent (Sunderland) * Ironworks (Inverness) * Koko (London) * Live Music Exchange * Musicians' Union * Music Industries Association * Paradise by Way of Kensal Green (London) * Pocklington Arts Centre (York) * Regent Music Agency * Rich Mix (London) * Sneaky Pete's (Edinburgh) * Sound Connections * Splendid Communications * Sticky Mike's Frog Bar (Brighton) * Strongroom (London) * Surya (London) * The 1865 (Southampton) * The Agency Group Ltd * The Bedford (London) * The Blues Kitchen (London) * The Boileroom (Guildford) * The Cookie (Leicester) * The Ealing Club Community Interest Company * The Fleece (Bristol) * The Good Ship (London) * The Hairy Dog (Derby) * The Harley (Sheffield) * The Hope (Brighton) * The Horn (St Albans) * The Hunter Club (Bury St Edmunds) * The Joiners (Southampton) * The Lexington (London) * The Lighthouse (Deal) * The Louisiana (Bristol) * The Nest (London) * The Old Blue Last (London) * The Old Queens Head (London) * The Phoenix Artist Club (London) * The Railway (Winchester) * The Roadhouse (Birmingham) * The Ruby Lounge (Manchester) * The Servant Jazz Quarters (London) * The Soundhouse Leicester * The Stillery (London) * The Sugarmill (Stoke-on-Trent) * The Theatres Trust * The Tin at the Coal Vaults (Coventry) * The Troubadour (London) * The Victoria, Swindon * The Victoria Inn (Derby) * The Wedgewood Rooms (Portsmouth) * The Woolwich Grand Theatre * The Zanzibar Club (Liverpool) * Tunbridge Wells Forum * Village Underground (London) * West End Centre (Aldershot) * Windmill Brixton * York Fibbers * XOYO (London)

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Music Venue Trust Publishes Interim Research Report: "Understanding Small Music Venues"

In December 2014 Music Venue Trust organised the first national gathering of small and medium scale music venues from across the UK, Venues Day 2014. This week sees the first publication of the research conducted by the Institute of Contemporary Music Performance in the lead up to and during Venues Day. Understanding Small Music Venues: An Interim Findings Report is intended to be a discussion document about how these venues operate, the challenges they face and the role they play.

Over 120 venues were represented at Venues Day and 107 participated in the research project which is still ongoing. Music Venue Trust CEO Mark Davyd explained the need  for action:

"There is a national challenge to our live music venue circuit brought about by a sequence of events and developments which have left that network in a perilous and precarious state. Music Venue Trust feels that we need to take an overall view of the challenges out there. We need to be openly discussing and airing those challenges with our live music industry colleagues, and working together to tackle that range of issues so we not only maintain and preserve this circuit but actively start to improve it. We feel that past failures to talk about the ecosystem of UK music have meant that people who don't actively work in it perhaps don’t understand the structure of the industry, or the vital role that this network of venues plays in maintaining it. 

The UK is, quite literally, a music world leader, punching vastly above its weight in terms of the impact our artists and musicians make across the globe. A huge proportion of the music we export, which generates thousands of jobs, develops the artistic careers of our best writers and musicians, and is such an important part of the UK's standing on the international cultural stage, starts in a small venue. This is the grassroots of our industry, the research and development department of our major international music industry partners. It is impossible to overstate this enough; no Troubadour or 12 Bar Club, no Adele.

Our UK music scene, arguably the best in the world, is built on a robust ecosystem that starts with a first live concert in front of as few as ten people on a Tuesday night in Guildford and climaxes with 3 nights at Wembley Stadium. And it's not just the musicians - our industry and other parts of the creative sector are filled with people who cut their teeth promoting, booking or simply working the door at a small venue. This small venue circuit is the training ground and the entry level experience for our lighting engineers, sound technicians, and cultural organisers at all levels; we need to ensure we do all we can to protect it."
The interim report is available to read online or download from this link:

A full report will be released on Monday 9 March 2015, when Music Venue Trust will be announcing its response to what has been learned.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015


Happy New Year to all our venues...... somebody sneaked you a Xmas present out on 24 December. 

Paragraph 6 of the Planning Practice Guidance on Noise Guidance was amended on Christmas Eve to include specific mention of the need to recognise live music venues within planning development. The relevant section now reads:

"The potential effect of a new residential development being located close to an existing business that gives rise to noise should be carefully considered. This is because existing noise levels from the business even if intermittent (for example, a live music venue) may be regarded as unacceptable by the new residents and subject to enforcement action. To help avoid such instances, appropriate mitigation should be considered, including optimising the sound insulation provided by the new development’s building envelope".

If you are faced with a development that may potentially impact on your venue, please direct your local planning officer to the new advice and guidance, the full text is available here:

This is a tremendous breakthrough for live music venues, and simply wouldn't have been achieved without all the campaigning done by supporters of live music in 2014 and by working together collectively to call for change.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Merry Christmas from Music Venue Trust

The dust is settling, the admin is being dealt with and we are thinking through the outcomes from Venues Day 2014. We will be back in 2015 to shake things up some more. Have a good break and enjoy our official film.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Venues Day 2014 Timetable

Venues Day 2014 will take place in The Purcell Room, Southbank Centre, London on Tuesday 9 December. Delegate passes are available from or if you represent a small independent venue by contacting us at

The programme:

Housekeeping, introduction to the day and survey feedback
Music Venue Trust, Independent Venue Week & Southbank Centre

What makes a good venue into a great venue? What could venues do more of to increase their value to music fans and to musicians? How do we reach new audiences and talk to the industry better?
Sean Adams (Chair) - Drowned in Sound
Horace Trubridge - Musicians' Union
Suzanne Bull MBE - Attitude is Everything
Sybil Bell - MVT/IVW
Mike Weatherley MP - Rock the House
Steve Tilley -Kilimanjaro Live/Sugarmill, Stoke
Guest panelist to be announced

What are the factors that can make your music noise a nuisance and how can you manage it? Do we need an Agent of Change principle?
Kerry McCarthy MP (Chair)
Lisa Lavia - Noise Abatement Society
Howard Price - Chartered Institute of Environmental Health 
Dom Frazer - The Boileroom
Niall Forde - Islington Council
Andrew Jarvis (Moderator - Acoustics)
Jeremy Mills (Moderator - Legal compliance)

Afternoon tea & coffee with a chance to meet other venues, talk to your local MP and ACE representative, and to hear new ideas for venues

What have we learned and what can key stakeholders do about it?
Jane Beese (Chair) - Southbank Centre
Geoff Meall - The Agency
Jo Dipple - UK Music
Ben Lane - Arts Council England
Rob Challice -Coda
Mark Davyd -Music Venue Trust
Guest panelist to be announced

17.45: WRAP UP
Closing remarks


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The Music Venue Trust was formed in January 2014 to protect and preserve the UK small music venue circuit.