Music venue charity says a church’s pursuit of “maximum profit” is to blame for The Cellar’s closure

The Oxford venue closed its doors last week

The Music Venue Trust have claimed that a church is responsible for the closure of the legendary small Oxford venue The Cellar.

The basement space was known for hosting intimate gigs and previously played host to bands such as Foals, who performed there at the very start of their career.

The Music Venue Trust, which aims to help improve, maintain, and organise music venues in the United Kingdom, now says that an increase in rent caused the beloved venue to have no choice but to close its doors last week.

The venue was unable to reach an agreement over a rent increase by its landlord, St Michael’s and All Saints’ Charities, and now the Trust have claimed that the church’s pursuit of “maximum profit” killed off the live music venue.

Mark Davyd, CEO of the Music Venue Trust, told the Oxford Mail: “The final outcome of two years of campaigning by local people is that the existing venue, run by a much admired family, powered by a passion and commitment to the local scene, has been lost.

“The landlords state that they want to be champions of live music in the city, but they have lost a tenant who was keenly committed to that cause and are now seeking to replace them with another tenant to do the exact same thing.”

Davyd added that whoever takes on the space next will be unable to afford the rent, just like The Cellar, blaming landlords like the St Michael’s and All Saints’ Charities for being “unable to appreciate their duties and obligations to local communities.”

“We are in a very sad and sorry place,” he added.