The Music Venue Trust publishes recommendations ahead of UK general election

today11/06/2024 2

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The Music Venue Trust (MVT) has launched its Manifesto for Grassroots Music, calling on politicians from across the board to back its recommendations and “seize the moment”.

The recommendations are designed to save the struggling live music sector, following the worst 2023 for venue closures in history, and 2024 which has seen on average five grassroots music venues (GMVs) close per week.

The report calls this “a once-in-a-generation opportunity to save the UK’s Grassroots Music Venues”, emphasising the importance of implementing the Culture Media & Sport Select Committee recommendations for the “wider live music industry to invest in the future of grassroots music.”

Read this next: Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham backs calls for £1 ticket levy on large-scale music events

The report lays out the steps needing to be taken to halt the closures of GMVs across the country, and as well as echoing its previous calls for a £1 ticket levy, it also includes a proposed VAT cut for cultural ticketing and a fan-led review.

Mark Davyd, CEO of MVT has stressed the importance of implementing the recommendations, saying, “38% of GMVs in the UK made a loss in the last 12 months. The sector operated on a 0.5% profit margin overall while running live music events at a £115 million loss.”

He continued, “All of this can be changed if the next government delivers the five simple steps we have set out in this report. We therefore call on all political representatives, from all parties, to seize the moment and drive forward this change.”

The five key steps listed in the report are:

  • .A £1 grassroots investment contribution from every arena and stadium ticket sold to support grassroots music venues, artists and promoters
  • A fan-led review to fully examine the long-term challenges to the live music ecosystem
  • The agent of change principle in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) to be put on a statutory footing at the earliest opportunity
  • A reduction in VAT on cultural ticketing in GMVs to 0% and reduce VAT on cultural ticketing in the live music industry to the European average (5–7%)
  • The creation of a specific business rates premises definition for GMVs and the removal of properties satisfying that definition from the requirement to pay business rates

Read this next: ‘The Artist Pledge’ calls on arena-selling artists to support grassroots music

To read the full report click here

Jamaal Johnson is Mixmag’s Digital Intern, follow him on Instagram

Written by: Tim Hopkins

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