Music Venue Trust announce ‘Hybrid’ national and international Venues Day for 2021

NME will act as media partner at this year’s Venues Day presented by the Music Venue Trust – which for the first time will be a ‘Hybrid’ celebration to bring together the national and international communities

Music Venue Trust (MVT), which represents hundreds of grassroots music venues throughout the UK, will host Venues Day 2021 at London’s EartH in Hackney on Tuesday October 5.

They will then host Venues Day Online with virtual activity on October 12 to “ensure every venue in the country gets access to best practice information, advice and guidance as they emerge from lockdown”, before inviting Live DMA from Europe, Music Policy Forum from USA and Canada, Canadian Live Music, Live Music Office Australia and NIVA USA to come together for the inaugural Venues Day International  October 19 – featuring panels, presentations and discussion to celebrate grassroots venues around the world

“Venues Day 2021 will further encourage collaboration and sharing, connecting venues across the world so they feel part of a growing movement to emphasise how vital they are to both the wider music industry and local communities,” said MVT strategic director Beverley Whitrick.

“We are incredibly excited to not only be able to deliver the existing event, but to have taken the challenge of the crisis head on and to be delivering a hugely increased range and scope of events with our domestic and international partners.”

Easy Life play Leeds’ Brudenell Social Club (Picture: Andrew Benge/Redferns)

It has been a tumultuous 16 months for the UK’s grassroots music venues. At the start of the crisis last March, there was the very real threat of over 500 venues facing closure. However, the vast majority have been saved thanks to public support and donations to the Music Venue Trust’s #SaveOurVenues campaign, along with pressure being put on the government and a number being saved by the Cultural Recovery Fund.

The MVT are now close to their mission to “reopen every venue safely” – provided that the final round of government funding and the correct guidance arrive in time for the July 19 reopening date.

Hundreds of venues in the US are now starting to see their first rounds of government support, after months of feeling “stressed and demoralised” under the threat of closure.

Speaking to NME at the end of last year, Music Venue Trust CEO Mark Davyd put the saviour of UK music venues down to “people power”.

“When we look at where donations are coming from and when they spike, it is very closely linked to the coverage we receive from the NME,” said Davyd. “What that means is that NME readers are taking action and making a huge difference to keep these venues alive. We want to make it incredibly clear to the NME and its readers that the Music Venue Trust are merely standing in front of the work done by the public, by artists and by good samaritans.”

He continued: “This is the result of people power. When Music Venue Trust and NME were first talking about this crisis in March [2020], we were looking at the very real closure of 500 venues. It’s quite an astonishing achievement and it belongs as much to the writers and readers of the NME as anyone.”

Visit here for information on how to help or donate the #SaveOurVenues campaign.