A number of high-profile artists have voiced their support for Music Venue Trust, a charity supporting grassroots venues across the UK.
Slaves, Charlotte Hatherley (pictured) and The Anchoress (Catherine Anne Davies) have become patrons for the charity, and Everything Everything bassist Jeremy Pritchard is the first musician to step up as a trustree.
Pritchard, who was previously a patron for MVT, said: “Were it not for presence of the Tunbridge Wells Forum while I was growing up, I very much doubt that I would be a professional musician now. The same would be said of countless other individuals who have been inspired and nurtured by similar community live music venues – Southampton Joiners, Bristol Thekla, Oxford Jericho, Manchester Night and Day, Hull Welly, Newcastle Cluny, etc. The UK music industry needs to do more to support its live grassroots, and government needs to recognise that the health and future prosperity of this important British Industry relies on us nurturing these seeds.”
Hatherley and Davies play in large venues when supporting big name acts such as Birdy and Simple Minds, and in smaller venues when performing solo.
Hatherley said: “Grassroots and independent venues are the classrooms in which musicians learn and hone their craft as well as providing vital social spaces for audiences throughout the country. It is our duty as artists to preserve these spaces, not only to safeguard the heritage and future health of our culture as a nation, but also to continue to provide alternative social spaces in which people of all ages, backgrounds and cultures can explore and express themselves safely and freely.”
Davies added: “I’ve been a touring musician for 20 years now both as a solo artist and as a session guitarist for a number of bands. I was 15 when I joined my first band and we played pretty much every small London rock venue. Many of those venues sadly no longer exist. Touring
continues to be a major part of my life and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to support the Music Venue Trust in their vital work in protecting grassroots venues.”
The charity is hosting Venues Day 2017 in London on Tuesday October 17, which will feature a series of panels discussing the importance of grassroots venues. Each panel will feature musicians, venue representatives and other voices pertinent to the themes. A small number of tickets for Venues Day 2017 are still available here.