Grassroots music venues – Oral evidence at the UK Parliament Culture, Media and Sport Committee

The Culture, Media and Sport Committee hold a session as part of a short inquiry into the ongoing crisis facing grassroots music venues (GMVs).

Last year, 125 GMVs across the UK closed, equivalent to over a tenth of the industry. The inquiry aims to explore the specific issues facing GMVs and how to prevent further venue closures.

Here’s the video of the proceedings.

00:00:00 Representatives of live music venues and organisations

00:50:38 Promoters and PRS for Music

01:39:46 Artists and artist businesses

Meeting details

At 10:00am: Representatives of live music venues and organisations

Jon Collins
Chief Executive at LIVE

Mark Davyd
Chief Executive at Music Venue Trust

John Drury
Chair at National Arenas Association, and Vice-President and General Manager at OVO Arena Wembley

At 10:45am: Promoters and PRS for Music

Stuart Galbraith
Vice-Chair at Concert Promoters Association, and Chief Executive at Kilimanjaro Live

Gavin Larkins
Director of Commercial Development and Sales at PRS for Music

Anna Moulson
Co-Chair at Association of Independent Promoters

At 11:30am: Artists and artist businesses

Lily Fontaine
vocalist, English Teacher

Kwame Kwaten
Vice Chair at Music Managers Forum

David Martin
Chief Executive at Featured Artists Coalition

In the first part of the session, the cross-party committee questions representatives of live music venues and organisations. MPs may seek to establish the scale and urgency of the GMV crisis, as well as the panel’s views on current Government support, including extended business rate relief and support from Arts Council England (ACE). Questions could also focus on a possible levy on arena and stadium tickets sales, which would be used to support GMVs.

MPs then hear from promoters and PRS for Music, an organisation which manages rights and collects revenues for songwriters, composers and publishers. Questions could gauge the live music ecosystem, from local authorities to promoters, and whether witnesses support a proposed arena and stadium levy. Members are likely to explore calls from the sector for the Government to reduce VAT on live event tickets, as it did during the pandemic, and ACE funding.

The third panel features artists and artist businesses. Members could discuss the importance of GMVs for upcoming artists and revenues, a cost-of-touring crisis for artists and venues’ commissions on merchandise sales.