PROFILE

MY SUBSCRIPTION

LOGOUT

x

The latest industry news to your inbox.

    

I'd like to hear about marketing opportunities

    

I accept IQ Magazine's Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

MVT issues arenas warning after report findings

Music Venue Trust (MVT) chief Mark Davyd says the UK business “cannot go on building more and more arenas” without safeguarding the grassroots network, amid the findings of a new report.

The MVT, which represents almost 10,000 UK grassroots music venues, is proposing that all new arenas opening in the UK contribute to the security of the wider music sector by investing a percentage of every ticket sold into the grassroots ecosystem.

The organisation has already issued a direct request to the City of Manchester, Manchester mayor Andy Burnham, Manchester City Council and all Manchester MPs to ensure the new 23,500-capacity Co-op Live Arena pledges its support to the initiative.

“We cannot go on building more and more arenas with no plan of how to fill the stages they create in five, 10 or 20 years time and without these new facilities playing their part in helping protect the grassroots ecosystem,” says MVT CEO Mark Davyd. “Eight new arenas are planned for the UK. We should collectively have a considered and constructed plan of research and development investment that will fill those arenas with new talent.”

The move follows the publication of the MVT’s 2022 Annual Report which, it says, shows the grassroots scene is “now past the tipping point”.

A survey of the 960 members of the Music Venue Alliance (MVA), which employs more than 30,000 people throughout the sector, found that they staged 177,000 events in 2022, attracting audience visits of almost 22 million. However, this represents a decline of 16.7% from the last pre-pandemic year of 2019, as venues were forced to make significant cutbacks to continue operating solvently.

“The threat is real: we need more from the music industry and we need it now”

The decline saw the number of events staged per week in individual venues fall from 4.2 in 2019 to just 3.5 in 2022 with only 1.97 of those identified as ticketed live music shows. Davyd says the conclusions of the report make for “grim reading”.

“The threat is real,”he adds. “We need more from the music industry and we need it now, otherwise what is currently a crisis will soon become a terminal decline for venues, their staff, artists and audiences.”

The report also identified that in 2022, the average grassroots music venue capacity was 308, of which 40% was utilised per event, down from 2019 when the average capacity was 51%. The total income from those events was over £500m but venues reported an average profit margin of just 0.2% resulting in them subsidising live music performances by around £79m last year.

“Obviously we are pleased to highlight the fact that grassroots music venues contribute over half a billion pounds to the UK economy and to emphasise their enormous impact on the cultural life of our country; but it is also necessary to reiterate the precarious financial position that much of the sector still finds themselves in – the current economics no longer stack up,” says Davyd.

“We need a coherent long term economic plan that recognises the importance of what our members do and gives them a chance to keep nurturing up and coming artists”

The MVT has slammed the VAT applied to venue ticket sales as “crushing the economic viability of this sector and reducing the ability of the grassroots to create new British talent”, and demanded it be reduced to the average European level of 5% – or removed entirely. It is also calling for a thorough review of what it refers to as “excessive and anti-competitive” business rates.

“We need urgent action from the government on all these factors as well as a full review of VAT on ticket sales,” says Davyd. “In short, we need a coherent long term economic plan that recognises the importance of what our members do and gives them a chance to keep nurturing up and coming artists and contributing to their local communities.

“It doesn’t make any sense for the government to continue to tax what is clearly research and development. We don’t penalise any other industry like this and we need to stop putting barriers in the way of risk taking and investment in new British talent.

“The spiralling cost of energy bills, rents, excessive & anti-competitive business rates, and other overheads, combined with the effects that the cost of living crisis is having on the disposable income of our audiences, means that venues are operating on razor thin margins and in many cases struggling to survive.”

View the report in full here.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Live groups blast government’s energy relief plan

Live music organisations have reacted with disappointment to details of the UK government’s new Energy Bills Discount Scheme (EBDS).

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt unveiled the scaled-back initiative, which will replace the existing Energy Bill Relief Scheme from 1 April and will run for 12 months, earlier this week.

Sky News reports the EBDS will cost taxpayers £12.5 billion less and will reduce rather than cap energy cost. Businesses will only able to benefit from the scheme when bills reach £302 and £107 per MWh for electricity and gas, respectively.

Previously, wholesale prices were fixed for all non-domestic energy customers at £211 per MWh for electricity and £75 per MWh for gas for six months between 1 October and 31 March 2023.

“The government has been clear that such levels of support were time-limited and intended as a bridge to allow businesses to adapt,” says a statement from HM Treasury. “The latest data shows wholesale gas prices have now fallen to levels just before Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and have almost halved since the current scheme was announced.

“The new scheme therefore strikes a balance between supporting businesses over the next 12 months and limiting taxpayer’s exposure to volatile energy markets.”

“The average energy bill for live music venues has gone up by nearly 300% which is leading to permanent venue closures as owners struggle to cover costs”

However, Jon Collins, CEO of trade body LIVE, says the latest measures have increased the level of uncertainty for venue operators.

“The average energy bill for live music venues has gone up by nearly 300% which is leading to permanent venue closures as owners struggle to cover costs,” he says. “This decision further jeopardises these well-loved establishments – restricting access to live music, inhibiting venues’ ability to turn a profit, and damaging town and city centres at a time when we desperately need growth.”

Mark Davyd, CEO of grassroots venues organisation Music Venue Trust, describes the latest measures as “bizarre” and is calling for further clarification from the chancellor.

“The challenges caused by energy bills to grassroots music venues is understood by Jeremy Hunt and the government to be so bad that he has been compelled to write to Ofgem asking that they take action and do something about it,” says Davyd. “That’s good – something does need to be done, because the charges and conditions being forced upon the sector are absurd. The average increase in the sector is 278%. Demands are being made for excessive deposits, suppliers don’t actually want to supply and frankly, there is no market. There is simply an expensive monopoly with extraordinary prices and conditions.

“However, apparently the same evidence that has caused Jeremy Hunt to send the letter to Ofgem laying out these issues was considered insufficient that it would cause him to include Grassroots Music Venues within the specific support he subsequently announced. Venues, alongside the whole of hospitality, have been dumped into a general category of support that is so insufficient that it must inevitably result in permanent closures of venues.

“We are therefore forced to conclude that whilst Jeremy Hunt fully accepts that these energy bills will close music venues, he is not prepared to do anything concrete about it… except send letters”

“We are therefore forced to conclude that whilst Jeremy Hunt fully accepts that these energy bills will close music venues, he is not prepared to do anything concrete about it… except send letters.”

He continues: “The package of supported industries includes libraries and museums, who have neither comparatively high energy bills nor a non-functioning energy market and the basis on which he seems to have made the decisions on what would and would not be included in a package of support from 1 April are, at best, highly unusual.

“Mr Hunt has told Ofgem he would like to see the results of the investigation he has asked for in time for the budget. We would strongly urge them to complete that work with sufficient expediency that the chancellor can revisit the support in that budget and recognise that grassroots music venues should have been included within the exceptional support he has offered to libraries and museums.”

Elsewhere, Night-Time Industries Association chief Michael Kill says the announcement highlights that the government is “out of touch” with businesses.

“The scaling back of the energy relief scheme by government at the end of April will without doubt mean thousands of businesses and jobs will be lost in the coming months,” he adds.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

MVT fund distributes £40k to UK grassroots venues

The first recipients have been announced of the Music Venue Trust’s major new funding initiative, which provides grants for UK grassroots music venues.

The Pipeline Investment Fund was established with the support of members of the Music Venues Alliance and was primarily funded by donations from ticket sales of MVT’s recent Revive Live programme of gigs around the UK in partnership with The National Lottery.

Grant applications for up to £5,000 were invited from UK-based grassroots music venues to support small scale capital projects, including lights, sound, access, ventilation and minor building alterations, as well as staff and training; workforce diversification, succession planning, skills development and strengthening local community ties.

A total of £40,000 was distributed to 11 venues: Alexander’s Live (Chester), Venue38 (Ayr), The Louisiana (Bristol), The Grayston Unity (Halifax), Retro (Manchester), Chats Palace (London), Backstage At The Green (Kinross), Dorothy Pax (Sheffield), Servant Jazz Quarters (London), Snug (Atherton) and Three Wise Monkeys (Colchester).

“We’d like to see every stadium and arena show in the country making a small contribution to this fund”

“The Pipeline Investment Fund is proof of what a huge difference relatively small amounts of money can make to local Grassroots Music Venues,” says Mark Dayvd, MVT founder and CEO. “Music Venue Trust is investing this money directly into facilities for artists and for local music communities improving venues for everyone.

“We’d like to see every stadium and arena show in the country making a small contribution to this fund. Every headline artist should be able to know with confidence that when they reach the top of our industry the impact of their success ripples back to directly support the venues and communities where the launched their career. MVT has created the mechanism to make that possible, we need the music industry to come together and make it happen.”

The fund prioritised support for organisations who may have been excluded from other available funding and was open to all venue operators and organisations that meet any of the three definitions of a grassroots music space.

The MVT is actively seeking further donations, particularly from the wider music industry, to maintain and expand the fund and make it a permanent source of support for grassroots music venues. Contact [email protected] for details of how this work can be supported.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Budget prompts call for UK live music commission

The UK’s Music Venue Trust (MVT) is calling on the government to set up a live music commission after criticising the “missed opportunities” of today’s budget presented by chancellor Jeremy Hunt.

The organisation welcomes Hunt’s announcement, delivered as part of his Autumn Statement, that business rates relief will be extended from 50% to 75% from 1 April 2023 and urges the chancellor and PM to bring forward a full review of the issue for grassroots venues “at the earliest opportunity”.

However there was further frustration for the industry, as pleas to reduce VAT on ticketing were ignored once more.

“A live music commission can provide the government with the tools it needs to be able to recognise the incredible asset the UK has in its grassroots music venues”

“Multiple opportunities to stabilise and grow the live music sector are being consistently missed,” says MVT CEO Mark Davyd. “Our grassroots music venue sector creates 29,000 jobs, delivering over 170,000 performances to more than 20 million people. It is a vital sector with real opportunities to deliver growth, but that is not recognised and acted upon in this Autumn Statement.

“In light of these missed opportunities, Music Venue Trust calls for the government to set up a live music commission. This body can be charged with considering the significant opportunities to stabilise and grow the live music sector, with the aim of informing future government policy so that these opportunities are not consistently missed.

“A live music commission can provide the government with the tools it needs to be able to recognise the incredible asset the UK has in its grassroots music venues and ensure that future policy protects, secures and improves them.”

“Unprecedented operating conditions are pushing our sector to the brink”

Jon Collins, CEO of trade body LIVE, acknowledges the government’s desire to bring stability to the UK economy, but says the budget offers “little help” to secure the future of the UK’s live industry.

“Unprecedented operating conditions are pushing our sector to the brink, as much-loved venues close their doors, tours are cancelled and artists drop out of the industry,” he says.

“The pandemic hangover combined with the increased cost of living has led to 54% of people stating they are less disposed to attending live entertainment, putting incredible pressure on the live music sector. Today, we renew our call for a reintroduction of a lower VAT rate on ticket sales to inject cash into the bottom line of struggling businesses, bring us in line with many other European countries, and secure the future of live music for all.”

“When businesses should be preparing for the busiest period of the year, they are now having to consider their future”

The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA), which has more than 1,400 members, including nightclubs, bars, casinos, festivals, and supply chain businesses ,also criticises the budget for a perceived lack of clarity and suggests the measures outlined do not gone far enough.

“This government is guilty of neglecting thousands of businesses and millions of employees and freelancers across the night time economy, this budget has not gone far enough and still lacks clarity, and will without doubt see a huge swathe of SMEs [small and medium enterprises] and independent businesses disappear in the coming months,” says NTIA chief Michael Kill.

“When businesses should be preparing for the busiest period of the year, they are now having to consider their future, and will remember the fourth failed attempt to deliver a budget to safeguard businesses at the sharpest end of the crisis. There is no consideration for the human impact, this will have a devastating effect on not only business owners, but the individuals and families who have committed their lives and livelihoods to this sector.”

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

MVT and Hearby launch UK’s first unified gig listings

Music Venue Trust (MVT) has joined forces with Hearby to launch the UK’s first-ever aggregated gig listings, using data from more than 900 venues across the country.

The gig guide, dubbed “the AirBnB of grassroots music experiences”, already lists more than 10,000 shows and almost 3,000 acts in the coming quarter.

The organisations say this is a major step forward in making sure that music fans can easily find and attend the best gigs no matter where they are in the country.

Hearby will also host MVT’s Venue Directory which has moved online for the first time since it was first printed, allowing its members to regularly update their profile and keep their following in the know.

“We aim to make an impact – to get a few more people to a lot more shows”

“We started Hearby because a lot of the live music we tend to go see is not aggregated anywhere,” Hearby CEO and co-founder Gary Halliwell told IQ. “And it just seemed like such a ridiculous friction in this era of search that people couldn’t find live music in their communities. And that is as a drag on the livelihoods of artists and the viability of venues.

“We aim to make an impact – to get a few more people to a lot more shows. We’ve created a fun live music discovery experience with new pathways into finding a great night out and we are expanding our footprint by rapidly distributing the powered-by-Hearby experience to newspapers, travel and tourism channels.”

Hearby describes itself as an AI-driven organisation with “a mission to map all live music taking place across the planet”. It uses modern technologies such as data visualisation, machine learning, and interactive maps and widgets to list events from live music venues from arenas to grassroots businesses.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

MVT makes £5,000 grants available to UK venues

Music Venue Trust (MVT) has announced a major new funding initiative, which will provide grants of up to £5,000 for UK grassroots music venues.

The Pipeline Investment Fund has been established with the support of members of the Music Venues Alliance and funded by donations from ticket sales of MVT’s recent Revive Live programme of gigs around the UK.

The fund, now open for all operators and organisations that meet any of the three definitions of a grassroots music space, aims to support venues in two key areas.

The first is small-scale capital applications (which includes lights, sound, access, ventilation and minor building alterations) and the second is staff and training (workforce diversification, succession planning, skills development and strengthening local community ties).

MVT says the fund will prioritise support for organisations that may be excluded from other available funding. The organisation is also actively seeking further donations to maintain and expand the fund.

“We have been working on music industry-based funding support for Grassroots Music Venues since 2018,” says Mark Davyd.

“This is the wrong time to take money out of the grassroots ecosystem, whether that’s for venues, for artists, or for touring”

“The launch of the Pipeline Investment Fund is an important indication of how the grassroots sector supports and nurtures each other. It provides a targeted opportunity for individuals, companies and organisations right across the industry to get involved and provide direct and meaningful financial assistance to the venues which support artists to launch and build their careers. We hope that the industry will see this as a real chance to make a genuine difference”

The news follows MVT’s sold-out Venues Day, which took place yesterday (18 October) in London, with 650 delegates including grassroots venue operators and booking agents.

During the event, MVT called on PRS For Music and The Arts Council to continue providing support to the grassroots live music sector.

The PRS For Music board recently voted to dramatically reduce funding of its PRS Foundation from 2024 and Arts Council England announced that it will be ending its Supporting Grassroots Live Music grant scheme in March 2023.

Addressing delegates at Venues Day, MVT CEO Mark Davyd said, “This is the wrong time to take money out of the grassroots ecosystem, whether that’s for venues, for artists, or for touring. We strongly urge PRS for Music and Arts Council England to think again. The number of opportunities for new and emerging artists to perform is absolutely vital to the future health of UK live music, and we need to see those opportunities financially supported more than ever before. This is not the time for cuts to funding”.

In other news, MVT and AI-driven company Hearby are launching the UK’s ‘first-ever’ unified gig listings from more than 900 venues across the country.

Hearby will also host MVT’s Venue Directory which has moved online for the first time since it was first printed (year, add history) – allowing members to regularly update their profile and keep their following in the know.  Discover the gig guide here.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

The New Bosses 2022: Clara Cullen, Music Venue Trust

The 15th edition of IQ Magazine’s New Bosses was published in IQ 114 this month, revealing 20 of the most promising 30-and-unders in the international live music business.

To get to know this year’s cohort a little better, IQ conducted interviews with each one of 2022’s New Bosses, discovering their greatest inspirations and pinpointing the reasons for their success.

Catch up on the previous New Bosess 2022 interview with Benji Fritzenschaft from DreamHaus here. The series continues with Clara Cullen, venue support manager at Music Venue Trust (UK).

Clara Cullen is the venue support manager at Music Venue Trust (MVT). She joined MVT in 2017 as a part-time administrator and this year is marking five years working at the charity. Alongside her work at MVT, she has worked as an arts production assistant at Festival Republic, involved on festivals such as Latitude and Reading & Leeds; a promoter rep at the grassroots level; and various artist liaison roles within the live music industry. Since 2017, Cullen’s role at MVT has developed, and she now manages the organisation’s Emergency Response Service, as well as providing support on MVT’s policy and advocacy work.

 


The Emergency Response Service has proved invaluable over the past couple of years. What is your favourite success story from the ERS efforts?
Getting to help venue operators when they’re facing challenges that might close their venues down can be quite an intense experience, and you end up forming lasting relationships. One of the people that comes to mind is the wonderful Pauline Forster who owns and runs the iconic George Tavern in London. Over the years, Pauline has fought an immense battle to save the venue against threats of redevelopment. She was one of the first people I met when I joined Music Venue Trust and is a total legend in the grassroots scene. Being a small part in the story of the George Tavern and helping ensure the venue survives is something I am proud of. Pauline’s spirit encapsulates the creativity, chaos, and courage that can be found in venue operators up and down the country.

Your work at MVT has put you in the spotlight on TV and even lecturing students. How do you prepare for such daunting assignments?
I have always been impressed by people who have a deep understanding of their field but are able to present themselves in a way that feels natural and off-the-cuff. That is a style that I am striving for but I think will come with some more practice and experience. I am also a big believer in knowing the basic points you want to make and then allowing for spontaneity to see where the situation takes you.

In terms of prep, first I try to always say ‘yes’ to these types of challenges because whilst I do find interviews and larger presentations daunting, by placing myself into these situations, I’ve become more familiar with their setup and actually started to enjoy them. I also lean heavily on the team at Music Venue Trust who are absolute pros. I am very fortunate to be able to draw upon their expertise, experiences, and advice.

Finally, I always remember that first and foremost my job is to represent the views and needs of Grassroots Music Venues whether that be to the government, students, or the general public. I tend to have a general idea of the points I want to make, sense-check them by running them past the team who have years of experience in the sector, and then try to leave room to just enjoy the process.

“I think much of MVT’s success stems from the fact that the organisation has always been very proactive”

I believe you studied history and politics at university. Are there any lessons from your studies that have been useful in your career?
I spent time at university learning about movements such as the 1989 Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia and Poland’s Solidarity campaign, which were grassroots initiatives. Learning about those campaigns rooted me in an early understanding that if you wanted to make meaningful change doing so at a grassroots level could be genuinely impactful. As a lesson, it’s something I draw meaning from, and I like to think that Music Venue Trust’s unofficial motto of ‘The people who say it can’t be done should get out of the way of the people doing it’ is a bit of a tip of the hat to that type of spirit.

MVT’s success in the UK has been fantastic. What advice could you give to people in other countries when it comes to helping the grassroots venue sector?
I think much of MVT’s success stems from the fact that the organisation has always been very proactive and this comes from the leadership of MVT’s CEO and Founder Mark Davyd setting that direction.

Since the pandemic, we have had more and more conversations with people from different countries who are interested in setting up organisations similar to Music Venue Trust. As one of MVT’s first full-time members of staff, it’s been really rewarding to see the recognition of grassroots music venues growing in the UK and spreading around the world. Taking a look back over the last few years, the advice I would give to anyone wanting to help venues in a similar way to MVT is to have an authentic understanding of the venues you are representing, a clear view on the challenges they face, the ability to react decisively to changing events and then the statistical data to evidence the arguments you wish to make. If you have those things, you can make a big impact.

As for live music fans wanting to help, this is a very practical thing: go to one more gig a month at a grassroots venue than you are currently doing. Doing this would have a substantial impact on the economics of the sector and its longer-term resilience. It comes down to a ‘use it or lose it’ mindset, go to your local grassroots music venue and take a risk on a band or artist you don’t know because they may just end up being your next all-time favourite act.

“At the moment, things continue to feel very unsettled for the grassroots music venue sector”

As a new boss, what one thing would you change to make the live music industry a better place?
I think as an industry we have a duty of care to make sure that the artists, crews, and venue staff we all work with are supported when experiencing issues with addiction and poor mental health. The fallout from addiction and the immense pressure that people are put under in this industry is something I have seen impact friends.

I read Ian Winwood’s fantastic book Bodies: Life and Death in Music and it underlined how the live music industry can at once be incredibly seductive and toxic. It starts with the acceptance that our industry is one of the only industries where alcohol is often more readily available than food. It shouldn’t therefore come as a surprise that this near-constant access leads to high levels of dependency in our industry. Recognising this as a fact and taking a pragmatic approach to how to deal with this in a compassionate way would be a start.

I think it starts with accepting that people working in the industry should be allowed to do what they want, we’re adults, and at the same time recognising our industry isn’t a passive actor in all of this. I think if there was an industry-accepted standard for alcohol provision, particularly on riders and at award shows, more non-alcoholic options and a wider adoption of initiatives such as The Loop, then it would go a long way in moving the industry into a kinder, more empathetic, and supportive place. These things to me seem like reasonable, sensible, and achievable steps that would make the industry a better place.

“I don’t think Mark Davyd will have any issue with me openly saying I am coming for his job!”

What has been the biggest challenge for you and the MVT team now that venues doors are once again open, post-pandemic?
At the moment, things continue to feel very unsettled for the grassroots music venue sector, which is a challenge for MVT. The increasing costs of living, in particular energy prices, have already had a number of direct effects upon venues and a wider impact upon key suppliers, stakeholders, and audiences. I think any talk of recovery in the live music industry is premature. The next few years will be focused on stabilising the grassroots music venue sector.

In the longer-term, the biggest challenge that the sector faces comes down to the issue of ownership. 93% of grassroots music venues are owned by landlords. The desire of venue operators and that of landlords are often in opposition. In order to ensure that grassroots music venues are here for decades to come, Music Venue Trust wants to address the issue of ownership of grassroots music venues. The Own Our Venues campaign that we launched is an attempt to solve this issue and ensure that grassroots music venues are placed into cultural protection so that their long-term future is secure.

Where would you like to see yourself in five years’ time?
I don’t think Mark Davyd will have any issue with me openly saying I am coming for his job!

What has been the highlight of your career, so far?
Watching Music Venue Trust patron Frank Turner perform on 19 July 2021 at The Clapham Grand. It was Frank’s first full band show after the government had lifted the Covid-19 restrictions. I was there with the Music Venue Trust team, in the venue’s Royal Box, which was surreal, and it felt like the show we had all been working so hard to get back to after what had been a truly relentless period of crisis management. During that period, it wasn’t at all certain that shows like this would happen again. Frank has lyrics in his song The Next Storm that go “rejoice, rebuild, the storm has passed” and when he sang it that night I burst into tears. It was the culmination of all the work MVT had been doing and so to get to a place where shows could happen again felt like a personal highlight.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

The New Bosses: Introducing the class of 2022

The 15th edition of IQ Magazine‘s New Bosses can now be revealed, highlighting 20 of the most promising 30-and-unders in the international live music business.

New Bosses 2022 inspired the most engaged voting process to date, with hundreds of people taking the time to submit nominations. The final 20 comprises executives working across agencies, promoters, ticketing companies, charities and venues in 12 different countries.

In no particular order, the New Bosses 2022 are:

Benji Fritzenschaft, DreamHaus (DE).
Clara Cullen, Music Venue Trust (UK).
Dan Rais, CAA (CO).
David Nguyen, Rock The People (CZ).
Daytona Häusermann, Gadget ABC (CH).
Grant Hall, ASM Global (US).
James Craigie, Goldenvoice (UK).
Kathryn Dryburgh, ATC Live (UK).
Resi Scheurmann, Konzertbüro Schoneberg (DE).
Seny Kassaye, Fort Agency (CA).
Agustina Cabo, Move Concerts (AR).
Sönke Schal, Karsten Janke Konzertdirektion (DE).
Steel Hanf, Proxy Agency (US).
Steff James, Live Nation (UK).
Stella Scocco, Södra Teatern (SE).
Vegard Storaas, Live Nation (NO).
Lewis Wilde, DICE (UK).
Zoe Williamson, UTA (US).
Jonathan Hou, Live Nation (US).
Maciej Korczak, Follow The Step (PL).

Subscribers can read shortened profiles of each of the 2022 New Bosses in issue 114 of IQ Magazine, which is out now. Full-length Q&As will appear on IQ in the coming days and weeks.

Click here to subscribe to IQ for just £7.99 a month – or check out what you’re missing out on with the limited preview below:

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Frank Turner to give keynote at Venues Day 2022

The UK’s Music Venue Trust (MVT) has announced that long-time supporter and patron Frank Turner will deliver the keynote address at Venues Day 2022.

MVT, which represents almost 1,000 UK grassroots music venues (GMVs), launched the annual networking event in 2014 with the aim to bring together professionals that engage with grassroots music venues.

The event is designed to help delegates maximise networking opportunities and explore new connections and relationships as they seek the best way forward in these challenging times for the sector.

This year’s gathering is slated for 18 October at Hackney Church in London, with Ticketmaster acting as the headline sponsor.

“With the ever-changing landscape of the UK, it’s more important than ever to show our support for grassroots venues”

In addition, BBC Radio 6 Music presenter Steve Lamacq has been confirmed to host the event’s now traditional morning panel, interviewing venue representatives from across the UK about their programmes and experiences.

Beverley Whitrick, COO at Music Venue Trust and Venues Day producer, says: “Ticketmaster’s support has been key in MVT’s ability to deliver Venues Day over the last few years. We are grateful to them for committing to continue this partnership and enabling us to design the national networking event the sector needs to face the challenges of 2022 and beyond.”

Andrew Parsons, MD of Ticketmaster UK, adds: “With the ever-changing landscape of the UK, it’s more important than ever to show our support for grassroots venues by continuing our well-established partnership with Music Venue Trust and their pivotal annual Venues Day. Last year, we introduced an initiative with MVT that allows for a significant rebate on all booking fees which we look forward to continuing to get more revenue back in the hands of these beloved venues who need it the most.”

Tickets for Venues Day 2022 are now on sale and full event details can be found at https://www.musicvenuetrust.com/events/.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Energy crisis ‘existential challenge’ for live biz

UK live music trade bodies have warned the sector faces an “existential challenge” from the energy crisis after prime minister Liz Truss announced a temporary price cap for businesses.

The new PM unveiled an estimated £150 billion package today, which will see energy bills capped at £2,500 for households for next two years while the government gets the energy market “back on track”.

An equivalent price cap guarantee will be offered to all businesses, charities and public sector organisations for six months, after which a review will take place. Hospitality and other vulnerable sectors will be guaranteed additional support after the six-month period.

“We welcome the government’s energy announcement today and the measures outlined by the prime minister, but we urgently need more detail on how the government plans to support struggling businesses facing energy costs increasing by as much as 1,700%,” says LIVE CEO Jon Collins. “To support the live music industry, we also call on the government to introduce targeted action by reducing VAT on ticket sales to 5% and reforming business rates.”

“The triple threat of a cost-of-living crisis, the post-pandemic hangover, and skyrocketing energy prices could spell the end of the UK’s live music scene as we know it”

A recent industry survey revealed that music businesses across the country are currently facing enormous energy cost increases, forcing many to consider closing their doors and leading Collins to warn last week that the “triple threat of a cost-of-living crisis, the post-pandemic hangover, and skyrocketing energy prices could spell the end of the UK’s live music scene as we know it”.

“Millions of people have just enjoyed a spectacular summer of live music, but this is now under threat,” he said. “We face cuts to programming, venue closures and an unbearable strain on an already fragile industry. Government must act to protect this world-leading and uniquely British endeavour before it is too late.”

Responding to today’s intervention, Music Venue Trust venue support manager Clara Cullen stresses that a longer-term solution is required.

“The policy announced today only goes some way in alleviating the challenge”

“The financial impact of the energy price rises on the grassroots music venue sector presents an existential challenge,” she says. “For a sector with a total gross turnover of £399 million, the current rise equates to an additional £90m in costs.

“The policy announced today only goes some way in alleviating the challenge, in the very short-term, by creating an energy price cap for businesses that will be in place for an initial six months. The government has committed to reviewing this policy in conjunction with the hospitality sector. Music Venue Trust will contribute to this review to ensure the perspective of grassroots music venues is included in this decision-making process.

“As the policy announced today is only a temporary short-term measure, Music Venue Trust urges the government to take further action to ensure a long-term solution for energy provision for grassroots music venues providing an energy supply which is affordable, reliable and sustainable. We need this action to take place as soon as possible to protect, secure and improve our grassroots music venues.”

“This half measure package is tantamount to support experienced during the pandemic, but lacks considerable detail to alleviate current business concerns”

Michael Kill, CEO of the Night-Time Industries Association, believes the support package falls short of requirements.

“We are extremely disappointed at the announcement by the prime minister today,” he says. “This half measure package is tantamount to support experienced during the pandemic, but lacks considerable detail to alleviate current business concerns.”

“We have no time for drip fed support, or to await the impact assessment of incremental measures, this needs to be a concise and immediately accessible package, which is proportionate and scalable.

“As the first major announcement of the prime minister and chancellor’s tenure, the government has failed businesses today, and with mounting debt across the sector we will see many have no choice but to consider the future, placing thousands of jobs at risk in the coming weeks, without additional support.”

Last month, IQ heard from a number of European arenas who also say that skyrocketing energy costs are emerging as the sector’s biggest challenge since the Covid-19 pandemic. ASM Global’s Marie Lindqvist said the prices for electricity and gas at the company’s venues have quadrupled since the beginning of the year, with the UK being hit the hardest.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.