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Night and Day Café signs with TicketWeb

TicketWeb, Ticketmaster’s indie ticketing platform for independent venues and promoters, has signed Night and Day Café, one of Manchester’s most famous music venues, the company revealed to IQ at Venues Day earlier this week.

The 220-cap. venue (pictured) moving over from Dice to TicketWeb follows a year of strong growth for the latter’s Backline service, a joint venture between Venues Day organiser Music Venue Trust (MVT) and TicketWeb which serves as a way for small (sub-1,500-cap.) venues and promoters to sell tickets directly to fans through their own platforms.

Launched at Venues Day 2016, there are now more than 25 new MVT venues using Backline, said TicketWeb International’s director of marketing and artist services, Jon West.

“We have a special deal with MVT members with a capacity of 500 or below,” he explained, highlighting new Backline clients including the Booking Hall in Dover and the Brook in Southampton.

grassrootsvenues.tickets, meanwhile – a website and service by TicketWeb and MVT that has “rapidly become a hub for fans wanting to learn about their local grassroots music venues” – launched in July.

“TM had its busiest day ever when Ed Sheeran’s stadium tour went on sale – but that story started on TicketWeb in grassroots venues”

“It’s great to work with iconic venues from cities with a rich music heritage, but the other important part of what we do with MVT is recognising that live music exists outside major cities,” West continued. “It’s been really cool seeing these pockets of music, these cultural hubs that are at the centre of their local communities, and it’s really important to support them.”

As an example, West referred back to Steve Lamacq’s Venues Day keynote, in which the BBC radio DJ became noticeably teary as he talked about his “old stomping ground” in Harlow, Essex, where the town’s main venue, the Square, has been closed since last December.

TicketWeb, explained West, also plays an important part in Ticketmaster’s artist services division, with Sam Isles simultaneously serving as TicketWeb MD and VP of Ticketmaster artist services.

“Grassroots venues are the breeding ground for new talent,” he said. “Ticketmaster had its busiest day ever earlier this year, when Ed Sheeran’s stadium tour went on sale – but that story started long ago on TicketWeb in grassroots venues across the country, and that’s just another reason why these stages are so important to the whole music industry”.

 


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Grassroots Venues Tickets goes live

Grassroots Venues Tickets (grassrootsvenues.tickets), the ticketing platform for independent venues announced by Music Venue Trust (MVT) at last year’s Venues Day, went live today, listing tickets to shows at an initial 16 UK partner venues.

In addition to offering fans what MVT calls “the lowest service charge on the market” – 5% – a proportion of that 5% is allocated to MVT to fund its campaigning to stop the closure of grassroots music venues (GMVs) and maintain and improve existing ones. A fixed donation of 50p is also paid directly to the venue hosting the show to help pay for its upkeep.

MVT CEO Mark Davyd says the new platform offers both “a great deal for fans and a major step forward in funding for venues”.

Grassroots Venues Tickets is a joint venture between MVT and TicketWeb, Live Nation/Ticketmaster’s ticketing platform for independent venues. TicketWeb managing director Sam Isles comments: “Today we are proud to unveil Grassroots Venues Tickets alongside our partners, MVT. Together we continue to work in the interests of GMVs around the UK.

“The launch of this site is a culmination of lots of work behind the scenes to ensure it empowers both independent venues and music fans alike.”

“We wanted to bring a ticket product into the market that was all about supporting the grassroots music venues sector”

In addition to providing small venues with much-needed funds and concertgoers with cheaper tickets, Davyd says Grassroots Venues Tickets is good for writers and publishers, too. “In our exclusive ticket offer to venues, MVT is going to be able to track, monitor and pay collection agencies such as PRS for Music on behalf of grassroots music venues,” he explains, “while filing great information that ensures grassroots writers and artists are getting paid when their work is performed. It removes a significant burden of work and responsibility from venues and is a real win for writers and artists at this level.”

Grassroots Venues Tickets follows the October launch of TicketWeb Backline, a joint venture between MVT and TicketWeb, which serves as a way for small (sub-1,500-cap.) venues and promoters to sell tickets directly to fans through their own platforms. More than 60 venue clients are using the service.

Commenting on the launch of Grassroots Venues Tickets, Davyd says: “We wanted to bring a ticket product and service into the market that was all about supporting the grassroots music venues sector. There’s been a lot of talk about ethical ticketing and the music industry’s concerns about these venues. We wanted to work with a partner to develop a grassroots ticket that genuinely enables fans to know that what they are buying is directly supporting the venues they love that really need help.

“We’re delighted to be working with TicketWeb to deliver just that product, and to be able to do it at no extra cost to the customer.”

 


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Keeping the lights on

But, as Eamonn Forde learns,  like-minded venue owners around the world are staging a battle to preserve music’s grassroots proving grounds

The Beatles at The Cavern and The Star Club; The Rolling Stones at The Crawdaddy Club; pretty much every British punk band at the 100 Club, The Nashville Rooms, the Vortex and The Hope & Anchor; every UK indie or alternative rock band of the past 25 years at The Water Rats, The Dublin Castle, King Tut’s and The Leadmill.

Tuning up
Without these small venues (and thousands like them all around the world), music today might be very different, and might also be nowhere near as diverse and exciting as it is. These are the tiny spaces where acts cut their teeth, learn their craft and build their following. They are, to paraphrase Malcolm Gladwell in Outliers, where bands and artists put their 10,000 hours in. But these venues are seriously under threat, for a multitude of reasons – relating to rising overheads; unsympathetic local councils; gentrification; opportunistic and avaricious landlords; noise complaints; and demographic changes.

There is, however, a vociferous backlash against these oft-iconic spaces closing and becoming little more than a fading memory.

 


Read the rest of this feature in issue 67 of IQ Magazine.

To subscribe, click here.

Long-running Leicester venue changes hands

Leicester’s oldest grassroots music venue will soon be under new management.

As of 1 January 2017 The Shed will be operated by local promoter Dreaming in Colour Productions, whose managing director, 25-year-old Elisabeth Barker-Carley, has announced a full refurbishment the 200-capacity venue.

“The Shed is an integral part of the music industry, not only in Leicester but in the UK scene as a whole,” says Barkey-Carley. “It’s one of the longest-running venues around, with so much history from the many bands having found their live performing feet there. I just wish the walls could speak.

“It’s such an honour for me personally to be taking this venue on. I hope we do it justice with the acts we’ll be bringing in.”

“I know Elisabeth loves The Shed as much as me and I’m delighted to see her taking the venue forward”

Kevin Holyland, who has run the venue since its opening in 1994, adds: “Having opened The Attik in 1985 and then The Shed in 1994, I’m delighted that live music will be continuing at the venue and am especially happy that the running of this will now be passed on to someone who grew up coming to shows at The Shed. I know Elisabeth loves the venue as much as me and I’m delighted to see her taking the venue forward.”

Bands who performed at The Shed early in the careers include Ellie Goulding, Kasabian and the Arctic Monkeys.

The venue’s final event under its current management will be on new year’s eve.

 


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