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PRS launches new Back To Live Music prize to support independent venues

"Venues play such an important part in the music industry ecosystem," say PRS.

By Nick Reilly

Grassroots music venues (Picture: Pexels)
Grassroots music venues have struggled since Covid (Picture: Pexels)

PRS for Music has announced details of a new Back to Live Music Venue Prize to support struggling grassroots music venues in the UK.

The new competition will see independent venues vying for one of six regional prizes of £10,000 and has been launched as a direct result of data collected by the organisation which revealed the pressures they faced.

According to PRS, live performances reported to the organisation dropped by 84 percent between 2019 and 2021. 124,000 performances were reported in 2019, while just 19,300 took place in 2021.

The Back to Live Music prize scheme remains open for the rest of the year and is open to all independent venues, with applicants required to outline why the prize fund would benefit them and how they would spend the money.

Individual prizes will be given out in Wales, Midlands & North England, East & South England, London, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

PRS For Music CEO Andrea Czapary Martin said: “Back to Live Music Venue Prize will shine a light on independent music venues across the UK. Venues play such an important part in the music industry ecosystem, with many featuring live performances by emerging talented songwriters and composers.

“We look forward to music creators once again taking the stage, and revelling in the joy that live music brings with it. Last year, we launched our ‘On with the Show’ campaign to support our members returning to performing live, this initiative builds on that to ensure we can joy that live music.”

It comes after grassroots venues faced a battle for survival during Covid, with many forced to close their doors due to restrictions on large crowds during the pandemic.