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Music Venue Trust launches #GoLocal campaign to support local shows

"The safest way to enjoy live music at present is to do so at a local level," says the MVT

By Nick Reilly

A crowd enjoys an independent gig
The Charlatans' Tim Burgess raised the issue of merchandise commission on Twitter last month. (Photo: Alamy)

The Music Venue Trust (MVT) has launched their #GoLocal campaign in the latest bid to support the UK’s vast number of grassroots venues.

The future of live music venues was thrown into renewed uncertainty last month, after the rise of the Omicron variant saw many artists being forced to reschedule and cancel gigs.

Now, MVT CEO Mark Davyd says that the current “difficult and uncertain period” is an opportunity to “put the focus firmly back on local music venues”.

“From day one of this crisis we have liaised directly with government and medical experts and have been at the heart of the discussions around how to stage responsible live music events and reopen every venue safely,” said Davyd.  

He added: “We continue to offer full support and guidance to the grassroots music venue sector and with them have implemented numerous groundbreaking initiatives such as the Take A Test campaign to protect the health of audiences, artists, crew and venue staff, whose wellbeing has always been and remains our number one concern.”

Davyd went on to explain that enjoying live music at a local level could be the safest option on offer, given that the Omicron variant is thought to be highly contagious in large crowds.

“It is clear to us, given the current data available to us, that the safest way to enjoy live music at present is to do so at a local level, avoiding mass transport and large crowds of people,” said Davyd.

“We see this difficult and uncertain period as an opportunity to put the focus firmly back on local music venues and to encourage people to investigate the many amazing opportunities to safely experience live music within their own communities.”

Last month, the MVT also warned that grassroots venues are at risk of “permanent closure” due to a “catastrophic” drop in attendance since the government announced its ‘Plan B’ approach in tackling COVID-19.

The MVT – which acts to protect, secure and improve UK Grassroots Music Venues for the benefit of venues, communities and upcoming artists – cites 140,000 no-shows from ticketholders, leading to a 27 per cent decline in gross income.

Results from a survey conducted by the charity found that the grassroots venues sector faces losses in earnings of almost £2million.