The Music Venue Trust has announced the Ministry of Sound as its first official partner for Venues Day 2015.
The Elephant and Castle nighclub – home, for the third year running, to the Pro Sound Awards (see PRO SOUND AWARDS 2015: The finalists for a full list of this year's shortlisted entries) – says in a statement: "Regeneration shouldn’t be a threat to our industry. We spent four years and well over a million pounds on one case fighting for our existence. A smaller business would not have survived.
"Th is kind of dispute takes many of us away from our core passion of finding and developing creative talent. We want to share our knowledge and experience and be at the centre of any efforts to stop it happening in the future."
The venue's future was secured in November 2011 when planning permission was refused to property developer Oakmayne, which had been pursuing plans for a 41-storey block of flats on nearby land (see Ministry of Sound saved from closure threat).
The first Venues Day took place in London in December 2014, with over 120 venues from across Great Britain represented among the 340 delegates.
Britain’s live venue operators – especially those of smaller, ‘toilet-circuit’ clubs – have seen their numbers dwindle in the past few years as they fight against encroaching residential property development and unsympathetic local authorities. The Music Venue Trust is an advocacy group and charity set up in January 2014 to “protect, secure and develop the future of grassroots live music venues in the UK”. (See part six of PSNEurope's review of 2014, 'Live music in the toilet', for more.)
Venues Day 2015, billed as "the first ever networking opportunity specifically for people who run and program small- to medium-scale music venues", will take place on 20 October (almost a month after the Pro Sound Awards).