British singer-songwriter Frank Turner has been presented with the Outstanding Achievement for Grassroots Music Venues Award 2020 by the Music Venue Trust. As pictured, the presentation took place in a windswept ceremony on top of London’s O2 Arena.
The MVT represents hundreds of grassroots music venues throughout the UK and has been a powerful and widely-praised voice in defending the sector during the grave financial challenges of the pandemic.
The threat to grassroots venues
Turner, a patron of the organization, has been a staunch advocate of its work and of the irreplaceable cultural value of live music. Like the MVT itself, he has spoken out repeatedly on the immediate threat to the very survival of countless grassroots venues. Turner played a total of 27 shows which were instrumental in ensuring the survival of many such venues up and down the UK, raising close to £300,000 for their upkeep.
The MVT Outstanding Achievement Award is presented annually to an individual whose work and life has made an extraordinary and exceptional contribution to the resilience and sustainability of the sector. It’s the only award presented by Music Venue Trust.
MVT founder and CEO Mark Davyd said: “With all the venues Frank has helped, and all the people he has inspired to get involved in the Save Our Venues campaign, there was never any doubt about who should receive the award this year.
“Frank absolutely embodies the motto of MVT during these last 16 months; ‘People who say it cannot be done should get out of the way of people doing it.’ Frank put himself right at the coalface of the work to reopen every venue safely, not just raising huge amounts of money but also using his name and reputation to stand front and centre of the fight to bring back live music.”
Said Turner: “I was totally surprised by Mark and the MVT’s sneaky plan to surprise me with the award, and I’m hugely honored by it. The last year has been so rough for independent music venues, and everyone has worked incredibly hard to turn things around. I’m glad to have been a small part of that.”