9 New Voices of Support for Music Venue Trust19 November 2020 - Press release
To tackle the challenges of 2020 every cause needs its advocates. Music Venue Trust, which works to protect, secure and improve the UK’s Grassroots Music Venues, relies on patrons to help spread the charity’s message. We are therefore proud to announce a list of 9 new patrons who are powerful voices of support as artists - Kathryn Williams, Public Service Broadcasting, KAWALA, Lady Nade – broadcasters – Eddy Temple-Morris (Virgin Radio), Bethan Elfyn (BBC Radio Wales), Gemma Bradley (BBC Radio Ulster) and music industry professionals – Jane Beese (Head of Music, Manchester International Festival) and Tre Stead (Tour Manager).
Public Service Broadcasting have supported Music Venue Trust’s work since performing at the Fightback fundraiser in October 2016 at Roundhouse, London. J. Willgoose Esq. said, “Like so many bands, Public Service Broadcasting relied on grassroots music venues in our formative, early years to hone and practice our stage show. In the process we moved from a very static, one-man show with no video element at all to the multi-screen, multi-member outfit we are today. Without those venues at which we could practice, experiment and - crucially - get in front of people, I'm certain we wouldn't have a career in music. I am very proud to have to have been asked to become a MVT patron and as a band we will do our best to pay back our debt to grassroots venues, and give artists and bands the chance to find their feet (and voices) the way we found ours.”
This sentiment is echoed by up and coming artist Lady Nade, “My enduring passion and love affair with music began at the tender age of 14, I sought out venues in my hometown of Bristol that allowed me to witness music and art as an audience member. Grassroots music venues across the country have been fundamental to my development at every stage of my career.”
By broadcaster and artist Gemma Bradley, “Coming from a small rural town in Ireland, I know just how important grassroots venues are. They are where I saw a band live for the first time, played my first gig, grew friendships and in general, I was always left in awe at the talents that graced the stage - shaping and forming my love for new and unsigned music forever. Without them I wouldn’t be in the position that I am today. Opportunities that I have been given as a performer and broadcaster wouldn’t have been there if it wasn’t for grassroots venues.”
And by Mercury-nominated singer songwriter Kathryn Williams, “Grassroots music venues are the places where you get to discover new artists supporting the person you went to see. It’s the place where you go again as a punter because you get to know the owners and the staff. On the other side, as an artist touring, they are ports in the seas of motorways and hours on the road. I go back to some venues that I’ve played at for years and feel the warmth from promoters and audiences. It’s like shopping local or supporting small business. You see the heart and the love that goes into them.
Gigs are beautiful events that are a one-time thing. It’s a kind of magic really that you can get to play and sing and connect in these places. They are so important to me as a player and listener. Music Venue Trust plays a huge part in supporting and promoting and I’m overjoyed to put my name to the good work they do.”
The Music Industry is an ecosystem and it’s not just musicians who are powerful advocates for the importance of Music Venue Trust’s role. Tre Stead is an award-winning Tour Manager, she said, “I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Grassroots Venues. They were the first place I discovered and nurtured my passion for music as a teenager growing up in Kent, and they were the venues that moulded and shaped me as a Tour Manager – the settings in which I made my mistakes and learnt my craft. Now more than ever, the live music industry is struggling and needs people who will stand up and fight for it. The MVT team have shown their passion and dedication to saving so many Grassroots Venues, ensuring that music will stay a vital part of our future and culture.”
BBC Radio Wales DJ Bethan Elfyn expressed both her love of these venues and her fears for them, “I’m writing this after months of Covid-19 crisis, with little reprieve ahead. We’re facing an unprecedented threat to the UKs unique, organic, and unmatched music legacy - these venues are the heartbeat of our cities and our culture, and we wait with baited breath to see if they can make it through, the void in our landscape without them doesn’t bear thinking about! To all the unique spaces, tireless promoters, friendly bar staff, enthusiastic DJs, otherworldly musical talent, grumpy engineers, and everyone in the club - we salute you!”
Jane Beese, Head of Music at Manchester International Festival, previously hosted national networking events for MVT and the people who run the venues they serve in her previous roles at Southbank Centre and Roundhouse. “I’ve been a massive admirer of Music Venue Trust since their inception in 2014 and the first Venues Day which we hosted at the Southbank Centre.
I am delighted to be asked to be a Patron of this amazing charity. I look forward to working with Bev, Mark and the incredible MVT team to see where we can take this extraordinary journey next in what is the most difficult time we could ever imagine for the live music industry. Together we are stronger, and we will get through this. I look forward to seeing you all down the front.”
London-based KAWALA are among the artists who have live-streamed to raise money for the #SaveOurVenues campaign. Daniel McCarthy & Jim Higson said, “It’s a complete honour for us to be made patrons of this incredibly important charity to help campaign for the protection and funding of Grassroots Music Venues. The thought of losing venues across the country due to our politicians failing to prioritise the value in arts and culture is a real concern for us as a touring band, and we need to make sure the venues and the people that work in the sector are protected so that there is an industry to come back to. We will do everything in our power to support the amazing work that Music Venue Trust do behind the scenes.”
Musician and broadcaster Eddy Temple-Morris gave the most succinct reason for becoming a patron, “We are, pound for pound, per-capita, the greatest nation in the world for music. One in every seven albums sold in the world is by a British artist. Small venues are the lifeblood of music, without them we have no grass roots…nowhere for the next Ed Sheeran, the next Adele, to connect with their audience for the first time.”
Music Venue Trust is currently working to secure the 30 venues most in peril of permanent closure across the UK. Please donate if you can: saveourvenues.co.uk
You can see all of MVT’s patrons on the website: http://musicvenuetrust.com/patrons/