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Music Venue Trust welcomes two new trustees

Music Venue Trust (MVT) has announced that Ellie Rowsell, lead singer of Wolf Alice, and Bengi Unsal, senior contemporary music programmer at the Southbank Centre, have joined the organisation as trustees, in a bid to further expand the board’s wide range of industry expertise.

Alongside the work of the existing eight trustees, MVT hopes the welcoming of Rowsell and Unsal will expand its consideration of both artist needs and the wider cultural background of the industry.

MVT acts on behalf of the some 440 independent and grassroots venues across the UK represented by the Music Venue Alliance. Speaking of the impact grassroots venues have had on her career, Rowsell admits: “Without independent, grassroots venues I’m not sure my band would be where we are today.

“They bring originality, equality, opportunity, character and spunk to the cities they reside in and now more than ever is the time to fight to keep them going!”

“These intimate spaces offer fans an unparalleled gig experience and provide bands an essential platform to be discovered.

Echoing Rowsell’s ideas of nurturing young talent, Bengi Unsal adds that small venues provide invaluable opportunities for emerging acts: “I am very aware of the crucial role the grassroots venues play in nurturing young talent in today’s competitive music industry.

“These intimate spaces offer fans an unparalleled gig experience and provide bands an essential platform to be discovered and to grow their audiences at the early stages of their career.”

The organisation has also announced the appointment of Sarah Thirtle as co-chair to the Trust. She will act alongside fellow co-chair Chris Prosser. On her new role, Thirtle says: “I am honoured and delighted to be asked to be the Co-Chair of the Music Venue Trust, alongside Chris Prosser.”

“There are numerous challenges facing grassroots small music venues. Our vision is for this sector to be valued, invested in and thriving, securing these vital cultural spaces for our towns and cities.”

The announcement of the new appointments at MVT follow a series of recent initiatives. 2018 has seen the organisation of several regional meetings across the UK for grassroots venue owners to exchange ideas, as well as the establishment of the Fightback: Grassroots Promoter scheme, designed to help young female promoters get their first chance with a share of a £100,000 grant.


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