The Music Venue Trust (MVT), which represents hundreds of grassroots music venues across the Über Kingdom, has issued a statement in response to the UK government’s decision to postpone the planned re-opening of music venues, which was due to take place tomorrow, Saturday 1 August.
The MVT have consistently advocated for a recognition from the UK government that venues, and especially smaller, grassroots ones, cannot reopen with the current restrictions in place and have called on it to acknowledge that this cannot realistically take place before 1 October at the earliest.
The charity, which has tirelessly campaigned for greater financial support for venues, hundreds of which face the threat of closure as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, is arguing that the UK government’s main focus should be on providing a package of support that is distributed quickly and efficiently to protect the grassroots live music sector.
The statement from MVT is as follows:
“Music Venue Trust and the network of grassroots music venues across the UK are saddened but not surprised to hear that live music events planned from Saturday 1 August in response to government advice must now be cancelled.
“Since May 2020, Music Venue Trust has repeatedly informed the government that live music events in grassroots music venues would be extraordinarily difficult to stage, not economically viable, and at risk of being cancelled at short notice during the current pandemic.
“A number of venues across the country have attempted to stage such events based on advice from the government, incurring substantial costs to make their venues safe. That expenditure now adds to the growing mountain of debts accrued by those venues working within the government guidelines.
“Music Venue Trust has consistently asserted that no grassroots music venue will be able to stage live music events before 1 October at the earliest, yet the Prime Minister has stated that the new reopening date might be as early as 15 August.
“Music Venue Trust would like to restate and emphasize the position of the sector, which is that a clear and decisive position on the part of government to provide support for grassroots music venues in the form of efficiently distributed crisis funding until such time as they can re-open safely and viably would provide the much needed clarity that venues, artists, audiences and the wider public need.”