How to help prevent music venues from permanent closure

A national campaign has been launched to try and prevent independent music venues from closing permanently.

Hundreds of grassroots venues up and down the country, including a number in Bristol, are at risk of not being able to reopen due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

These grassroots venues play a crucial role in the British music scene, nurturing local talent by providing a platform for artists to build their careers and develop their performance skills.

They also play a vital role in the cultural and economic vibrancy of towns and cities across the country – and we all know that definitely applies here in Bristol.

Sunflower Bean at Exchange (Image: Bristol Live)

To support these venues, the Music Venue Trust has launched #SaveOurVenues, a campaign which has so far raised £26,519 with a target of £1 million.

One of Bristol’s best venues, Exchange, said in a tweet it is joining the campaign despite being “safe for now”.

The tweet reads: “We’re joining @MusicVenueTrust‘s nationwide campaign to #SaveOurVenues. Exchange is safe for now, but the music community must act together to prevent other local music venues from permanently closing.

Other independent music venues in Bristol include the Louisiana, The Fleece and The Crofters Rights.

Giant Rooks at The Louisiana (Image: Robin Murray)

How to support the campaign: 

  • Donate to a specific venue’s fundraising page by clicking this link to see a list of local venues that urgently need help.
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  • Watch ‘at home’ shows by artists supporting the #saveourvenues campaign. Click here to see a list of shows coming up.
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  • Donate to the national #saveourvenues fund via this website.
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  • Help spread the word on social media using the hashtag #saveourvenues and the campaign link.

One major supporter of the #SaveOurVenues initiative so far is Frank Turner, who recently raised enough money to save four venues which he regularly performed in when he was cutting his teeth as a musician.

He said: “The UK live music industry is staring into the abyss right now.

“I’m not able to save the whole thing on my own, but I decided to do a series of livestream shows to raise money for specific independent venues that I know and love, and that are in serious risk of disappearing right now.

“The success of these shows demonstrated the love that exists between music fans and their favourite grassroots music venues so the #saveourvenues campaign is a brilliant way of building on that and hopefully giving artists and music fans a chance to get involved and play a big part in helping them survive.”

The Music Venue Trust estimates that 556 venues in the UK are at risk as a result of coronavirus.

For more information about the campaign and to donate towards it, visit its website

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