English singer-songwriter Frank Turner has launched a petition urging culture secretary Sajid Javid to adopt the ‘agent-of-change principle’ to protect Britain’s live music venues from closure.
A YouTube video entitled A message from Frank Turner to Sajid Javid, uploaded by Music Venue Trust, accompanied the artist’s petition on Change.org.
Since its founding in January 2014, the Music Venue Trust has spearheaded a grassroots campaign which seeks to protect the UK’s live music network from property developers and the misuse of noise abatement legislation. Its last petition reached over 15,000 signatures, prompting a response from Defra (the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs). It followed this with an open letter to the British government outlining its vision for the future of live music in the UK.
The agent-of-change principle means that the person or business responsible for any change in the area surrounding the venue must take responsibility for managing the impact. For example, housing developers must pay for the soundproofing of venues in order to prevent noise complaints that could lead to the closure of venue itself.
In the video message addressed to Javid, Turner said: “You, as the culture secretary, are genuinely facing a meltdown in the British live music circuit. Music venues are fighting off noise complaints, abatement notices and planning applications – 12 venues are already under threat; an avalanche will follow if we don’t take action.
“We demand that you work with the Music Venue Trust and the UK’s incredible network of live music venues.”
The petition, in need of 25,000 signatures, is a collaboration between Turner and the Music Venue Trust, which has the support of the Musicians’ Union, Music Industries Association and UK Live Music Group.
Sign the agent-of-change petition at Change.Org/SaveMusicVenues.