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MVT releases Manifesto for Music Venues 2017

Music Venue Trust will officially launch its "three deliverable, achievable and sensible" recommendations for MPs at The Great Escape conference later this week

By IQ on 15 May 2017

Mark Davyd, Music Venue Trust, Manifesto for Music Venues 2017

MVT's Mark Davyd at Venues Day last year

Music Venue Trust (MVT) has followed UK Music and the Creative Industries Federation in releasing its own manifesto for 8 June’s general election.

Entitled A Manifesto for Music Venues 2017, the document comprises three commitments MVT is asking prospective MPs to make as part of their election campaigns that will help protect grassroots music venues (GMV).

From the manifesto, they are:

1. Reform cultural funding – invest in GMV infrastructure

  • Less than 3% of the grassroots music venues sector has received any funding at all in the last ten years
  • Less than 1% of grassroots music venues below 500 capacity reported any external investment in 2015/16
  • Music Venue Trust has laid out a clear and achievable plan to improve the infrastructure in 101 grassroots music venues: Sound + Vision
  • Sound + Vision will reinvigorate, re-energise and relaunch a world-class UK touring circuit by 2022
  • Sound + Vision can be delivered by adjusting the distribution of existing cultural funding by just 0.15%. It requires just 0.8% of the capital cultural funding envisioned for 2018–23

2. Take action to increase and reward private investment

3. Cut red tape and reduce costs

  • Extend the Live Music Act 2012 to remove regulation from additional grassroots music venues
  • Clearer direction and guidance to local authorities on the intent and implementation of the Licensing Act 2003
  • Remove grandfather clauses and outdated practices and conditions from premises licences
  • Adopt the agent of change principle
  • Establish a statutory right of consultation on planning and development
  • Reform business rates in this sector
  • Review of VAT on ticketing
  • Review collection of royalties across the sector – get the money available into the hands of the artists that need it

Mark Davyd, CEO of MVT, comments: “Grassroots music venues are vital incubators of talent, the ignition system of a global industry that is worth £4.1 billion to the UK economy. In 2016, UK artists accounted for seven of the year’s ten best-selling artist albums in the world. If we want future UK musicians to continue to produce that music for us, they – and the technicians, crew, promoters, security who work with them – deserve world-class grassroots music venues to create, develop and grow that music.

“We’ve been researching, discussing and debating what’s happened to our grassroots music venue touring circuit for the last three years. It’s time for action. We are laying out three deliverable, achievable and sensible actions a future government can take to support them to achieve their full potential. We want every prospective MP to read those commitments and pledge to support them.”

The manifesto will be officially unveiled at a panel at The Great Escape in Brighton this Thursday.

Britain goes the polls on 8 June following the calling of a snap election by incumbent Prime Minister Theresa May. Current polls predict a landslide victory for her Conservative party, which is committed to a clean, or ‘hard’, break from the EU and the European single market.


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