Thursday, March 20, 2014

Our Artist Patrons

The Music Venue Trust is proud to be supported by musicians from across the UK. Our first Patrons are Enter Shikari, David Gedge ( The Wedding Present), Jeremy Pritchard (Everything Everything), Moya, Andy Dunlop ( Travis) and Savages. Each of our Patrons has written a special message for us explaining why they want you to support this project and what live music means to them.

Enter Shikari
Salient points regarding Enter Shikari and its position on “small venues” :
1) Enter Shikari cut its teeth playing small venues the length and breadth of the UK over a period of 2 years+, so knows from whence it speaks.
2) Small venues are the bootcamp that prepares a band for taking on the bigger venues and festival stages that hopefully make up its live future.
3) Enter Shikari strongly believes the UK music industry should do more to support small venues.
4) Enter Shikari is proud to add its name to the list of patrons of Music Venues Trust.

David Gedge, The Wedding Present
I’ve always maintained that The Wedding Present are, essentially, a “live” band. By that I mean that one of the main reasons I started playing music in the first place is that I was really excited and inspired by seeing other people’s concerts. So, when it came to my turn, it was incredibly fortunate that there was a network of small venues across the country where we were able to play live. In those venues we honed our craft and developed our style... and obviously enjoyed some memorable nights in the process. And the same applies to countless other artists, of course, which is why these places are so vital. There’s nothing like an intimate venue to experience the raw energy of a band.

Jeremy Pritchard, Everything Everything
Were it not for presence of the Tunbridge Wells Forum while I was growing up, I very much doubt that I would be a professional musician now. The same would be said of countless other individuals who have been inspired and nurtured by similar community live music venues - Southampton Joiners, Bristol Thekla, Oxford Jericho, Manchester Night and Day, Hull Welly, Newcastle Cluny, etc. The UK music industry needs to do more to support its live grassroots, and government needs to recognise that the health and future prosperity of this important British Industry relies on us nurturing these seeds. Very often the commercial value of the property outweighs its commercial value as a music venue, but never its social or cultural value, which is what the Trust aims to protect.

The small venue circuit is absolutely vital to an active and vibrant music industry. Without these gigs how are artists supposed to start making a career for themselves, improve as performers and build a fan base? They are a fundamental part of artist development, especially for those signed to small labels as I am, who cannot throw large sums of cash at instant success. Fans have to be earned, and that can only be done by going out and playing to people. I have learned so much from playing these places, and have had some of my best performance experiences in them, that intimacy can never be replicated in bigger rooms. People will argue that fanbases are built on social media now, but a like on Facebook can never replace seeing a new act for the first time in a small room. We must do everything we can to protect this network.

Andy Dunlop, Travis
These classic little venues dotted around Britain are the Petri dishes in which British music was cultivated over the last half century. To see them disappear would be a crime and in an age where all our town centres are becoming increasingly indistinguishable, we would be denying future generations an independent and individual place to experience live music. They are every bit as important to our cultural heritage as any country house and fundamentally, still provide a cultural service. It's great that the Music Venue Trust has stepped in to do something to protect them.

There are many great small rooms in this country who do great work with limited resources, and they should be applauded and supported. There are also great bands, great musicians and great audiences who love music and deserve the best. It definitely seems a shame that when you ask musicians around the world about the touring conditions in the UK, backstage, PA system quality… you don’t get a more positive response. I come from years of touring the UK and experiencing the worse and the best, it isn’t a secret for anybody : there is still progress to be made. The music industry can definitely affect a change. Labels, managers, big promoters, booking agents, artists and bigger live venues can group together and start to repair the UK’s reputation in live music by supporting initiatives like the Music Venue Trust.

The Music Venue Trust is looking for music fans across the country to become Venue Champions. We have the tools and the support to enable them to protect their local venue. Just send us an email with the title "Venue Champion" to


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