A new campaign to save over 550 of the UK’s grassroots music venues from permanent closure due to the coronavirus lockdown has surpassed £1 million in donations.
Last week, the Music Venue Trust launched the Save Our Venues campaign, with a crowdfunding bid to prevent 556 independent UK venues from closure. A few have already been saved, but there is still a long way to go to prevent “damage that would undermine the UK music industry for 20-30 years.”
MVT CEO Mark Davyd told NME that all of the government’s interventions to help venues essentially expired last Monday (April 27), when the sector started to “lose half a million pounds per day.”
Now, it has been revealed that following the success of the campaign donations have already passed the £1 million mark.
Six-figure pledges have been made by Beggars Group, Amazon Music/The BPI, and the Mayor of London.
“We fully support this campaign,” said Martin Mills, Founder and Chairman of Beggars Group. “Live music in small venues is where it all starts for most of our artists, and many of our best times are spent in them…we need these places to survive and thrive. We miss them.”
Paul Firth, director of Amazon Music Europe said: “The UK live music industry is incredibly special and a key part of British music culture and in uncertain times like these it’s been great to see many in the music community come together for the #saveourvenues campaign to help protect and save grassroots music venues across the UK.”
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, added: “The coronavirus outbreak is having a significant impact on every aspect of life in London, and that includes our culture, creative industries and night time economy. These industries are so important to the fabric of our city during the day and night, and they will play a key role in helping us to recover from this public health crisis.
“I’m pleased to be working together with Music Venue Trust, the LGBTQ+ Venues Forum, the Creative Land Trust and the BFI to offer this emergency funding to those areas most at need, but we need the Government to step forward and provide the comprehensive support this industry needs to protect its future.”
A number of other “very substantial donations” have also been made by the likes of Sony Music SJM, Kilimanjaro Live and DHP.
Davyd thanked those who donated for “stepping up and helping us with the #saveourvenues campaign” but urged more to get involved.
“These are critical times for over 500 grassroots music venues many of whom simply won’t survive this crisis without donations from the music industry and music fans,” he said in a statment. “This is a great start but there is still so much more to do, and we dare not get complacent. We urgently need the music industry to help us so please get in touch if you can support this campaign.”
Visit here to donate to the Save Our Venues campaign, where artists are also encouraged to sign up to play online fundraising gigs.
The news comes after it was confirmed that social distancing restrictions could be kept in place in the UK for the rest of the year. Professor Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Adviser to the UK Government, told the public it was “wholly unrealistic” to expect life to return to normal soon.