Steve Lamacq calls for Music Venue Trust boss Mark Davyd to get a knighthood

Davyd has been at the forefront of the efforts to save and protect the UK's grassroots venues during the coronavirus pandemic

Steve Lamacq has called for Music Venue Trust boss Mark Davyd to be honoured for his work in helping save independent grassroots venues across the UK from closure during the coronavirus pandemic.

The BBC Radio 6 Music DJ praised Davyd, who is behind the successful #SaveOurVenues campaign which has so far raised over £1.2 million for the 556 venues at risk of closure, in a new interview.

The impact of those funds was bolstered last month by the UK government announcing emergency grants to the first 135 venue beneficiaries of its Culture Recovery Fund.

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Speaking to Music Week, Lamacq praised the work of Davyd and the MVT as “unbelievable”.

“If Mark doesn’t get an MBE at the end of all of this then I shall be thoroughly annoyed, because he deserves one for services to live music,” Lamacq said.

“The MVT has been unbelievable. Mark and Beverley [Whitrick, strategy director] have been terrific, the hours they’ve been working.

Save Our Venues
Save Our Venues (Picture: Press / Save Our Venues)

“Even when the news of the grant money came through from the chancellor, you then have to apply for it and Mark has been holding the hands of several hundred venues through the process. He’s been brilliant.”

Lamacq, who is an ambassador for the MVT, also praised the “forensic” work of the organisation: “They were up for five hours going through every line of the government documents making sure no one was getting screwed over.”

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Lamacq added that he “didn’t realise how much money it costs to keep 600-plus grassroots venues going, and if I don’t realise then I’m sure the audience don’t, and it’s not their fault”.

“Until you actually say, ‘These are the costs, if you add this business rate to this rent, to this, then this is how much it takes to keep even your local pub open for live music’. That’s the point we have to hit home.”

Earlier this week, the Scottish Government announced details of its Culture Organisations and Venues Recovery Fund, which will support cultural organisations in Scotland which have been severely impacted by the pandemic.

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