Taking place at the newly-refurbished St John at Hackney Church in London on Tuesday October 18, the event will see delegates representing venues, promoters, agents, artists, government departments, funding bodies and more come together to “network, interact and share experiences”.
NME will be acting as media partner for MVT’s Venues Day for the second time after doing so last year and chairing a panel at 2021’s hybrid event at London’s Earth in Hackney. DJ, journalist and MVT champion Steve Lamacq will also be sharing the stories and experiences of some of the UK’s premiere grassroots venues, while Frank Turner will be making this year’s introductory keynote speech.
Beverley Whitrick, Chief Operating Officer at the MVT said: “It has become increasingly clear that after a tough couple of years there will be no return to the past, and it is now critical that new connections are made and that alternative ways of doing things are explored. Venues Day 2022 is a fantastic opportunity to find out how people have adapted to such seismic change.
“The grassroots music venue sector has always thrived because of its vibrant sense of community so bringing everyone together to help reinforce this is hugely important. This event will be a unique meeting point to discuss the cultural, social and economic interests affecting grassroots music venues. The event built around one key aim; that every single delegate leaves having made connections or re-connections that will help them in a meaningful way.”
The event will also have a focus on MVT’s ongoing ‘Own Our Venues’ campaign – aiming to prevent further venue closures by purchasing freeholds from landlords with music fans and ethical investors owning a stake.
Mark Davyd , CEO of MVT said, “This campaign is by far our most ambitious project to date and has already had a great start. Venues Day 2022 will provide a great opportunity to discuss, plan and share ways in which we can make this initiative a reality and secure the long-term future of the GMV sector.”
To date, the ‘Own Our Venues’ campaign it has raised nearly £400,000 – with the scheme recently backed by Ed Sheeran.
“’This is an initiative I’m really passionate about getting behind,” said Sheeran. “Small, independent venues are so, so important to the music community, and I’ve played some of my favourite gigs of my career in these rooms. We’ve got to do all we can to protect these beautiful venues that we’ve all come to love for years to come.”
The ‘Own Our Venues’ campaign is built on the Community Share model, which has previously formed a successful way of protecting local pubs, post offices and sports grounds. The MVT has identified nine venues to be involved in a pilot project, with further venue freeholds to be secured as and when they become available.