Last week, 30 grassroots venues found out that they were ineligible for the Culture Recovery Fund which for some of them was the lifeline to keep them open in a post COVID-19 world. Some of the venues include The Lexington, Windmill Brixton and The Venue, which have been instrumental to a mass number of artists rise to popularity within their local scenes and on a national scale. The live music sector was one of the first to close down and will most likely be the last one to re-open, meaning that funds such as these are critical to ensure that once the time comes, up-and-coming bands and artists will have the ability to get on stage.
The Music Venue Trust has focused has created an initiative focussing on the grassroots venues who are marked as ‘Red’, meaning that they are in imminent danger of permanent closure. Alongside those 30 venues, they also highlighted the 353 ‘Green’ venues, which are considered safe until March 31st and the 273 ‘Amber’ venues, those which are at risk of closure between now and March 31st. The ones labelled as ‘Amber’ and ‘Red’ require the most help from the government and the local scene in order to ensure that once it is safe so, they can continue on. This initiative is there to ensure that all venues get the help that they need and a chance to try and reach their targets to prevent their closure.
In order to help those in danger of closure, MVT are urging everyone to write to their local MP, council, local charities, and everyone else to demand action to prevent them being closed for good. The map of venues that are at risk of closure and are marked red can be found here.
There is also a crowdfunding initiative that has been launched to secure the future of these venues which can be found here. People can choose individual venues to donate to and any surplus donations that have gone to a venue that has already reached their goal, it will go towards supporting other venues who are still looking for donations to ensure that as many venues as possible get a chance to stay open. You can also support venues directly by looking into buying things such as vouchers or merchandise that will keep them going during their closure in order to pay rent and other bills, or alternatively, you can buy directly from the save our venues website HERE.