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London sees rise in grassroots music venues

Posted by Liz Marshall on

The number of London’s grassroots music venues has risen in the last year after a nearly a decade of decline, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has revealed.

Between 2007 – 2016, the number of grassroots music venues in the capital fell by a third, from 144 to 94. Following two years of stability, figures released today show that in the last year the number meeting the Music Venue Trust’s definition has risen by six per cent – from 94 to 100.

In the last year, eight venues have closed and one stopped offering live music, but a total of 15 venues – including three that have newly opened – are now grassroots music venues.

It comes after the Mayor revealed earlier this month that the number of LGBTQ+ venues in London has remained stable for a second year running. 

London is the home of the UK music industry, which contributes £4.4 billion to the UK economy and sustains 142,000 jobs, and Sadiq has pledged to do all he can to support the grassroots venues, which are under pressure from development, rising rents and business rates. 

That’s why the Mayor’s Cultural Infrastructure Plan introduced tough new planning rules to protect venues in the draft London Plan, created an innovative Culture at Risk Office that has helped support nearly 200 night-time spaces at risk of closure, mapped the capital’s music facilities, and helped to establish the Safer Sounds Partnership to assist organisers in putting on live music events.

Today, further support is being offered to the industry with the release of two new guides on how to open and run grassroots music venues. The guides, which have received funding by the Mayor, have been compiled by the Music Venue Trust, in partnership with Ticketmaster, to provide practical and straightforward guidance to support venues.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “London is renowned across the globe for the quality of our music industry, yet for too long we’ve seen the number of grassroots music venues in London fall dramatically. These venues are vital if we are to continue developing acts whose songs are played around the world and to support those who love enjoying music in their local community. That’s why I’m working so hard to support these venues in the face of rising rents, rates and development, and why I’m encouraged to see the number of venues hosting grassroots music grow this year.”

 Read More at: https://www.london.gov.uk/press-releases/mayoral/london-sees-rise-in-grassroots-music-venues

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