In December 2014 music charity Music Venue Trust organised the first national gathering of small and medium scale music venues from across the UK, Venues Day 2014. This week sees the publication of the research conducted by the Institute of Contemporary Music Performance in the lead up to and during Venues Day.
Over 120 venues and 300 delegates took part in the research project, which depicts a culturally rich grassroots sector upon which a diverse range of stakeholders depend for employment, training, social interaction, community engagement and cultural sustenance. The report highlights significant challenges (regulation, licensing, public perception and the rapidly changing urban environment) which threaten their survival and have combined to have a demoralising impact on venues, artists and audiences. However, the report also highlights that that there is will, know-how and ingenuity to take positive steps to secure the future of grassroots music venues, and concludes with a call for activism, advocacy, support and above all investment in the network so that artists and audiences can enjoy the world class music venues the UK deserves.
A full copy of Understanding Small Music Venues can be downloaded online here