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UK to lose 10 per cent of grassroots venues in 2023, as calls grow for rest of industry to invest

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NME that 67 venues have closed so far this year, with 90 currently working with MVT’s Emergency Response. Roughly half of those are likely to close in 2023 – giving a total of around 100 grassroots music being lost from the UK in 2023; that’s 10 per cent of the number of independent gig spaces in the country.Following action being demanded earlier this year from government, the UK’s eight new large arenas and major record labels to “contribute to the security of the wider music ecosystem”, the MVT argue that the huge profits elsewhere are not justified when the “talent pipeline is about to be cut off”.This comes as Enter Shikari announced that they would be donating £1 from every ticket sold to their upcoming UK and Ireland arena tour to benefit the Music Venue Trust.“It sounds like there’s a lot of focus on providing spaces for the real high-end of the music industry,” Reynolds told NME. “There are a lot of new arenas on the way, while at the same time there is no support whatsoever for the grassroots circuit.

There’s a very clear link between small venues and big venues – especially in the terms of providing new artists with a space to find their way in the industry and find their audience.“We’re going to have all these new arenas without supporting the ways that artists can grow into them.

It just all seems a bit silly!”Speaking of their own initiative to donate money from their tour proceeds, Reynolds said that their example showed how simply the economy from larger gigs can benefit the grassroots.“That’s always the way – you point out a fault in a system and someone comes back with, ‘Oh, well it’s a complex issue and you can’t just do this’,” he explained. “So we just did it, just to shut people up and show how easy.

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