The Mayor of London Boris Johnson has backed a plan to help save music venues from closure in the capital.
A new report, London’s Grassroots Music Venues Rescue Plan, produced by the Mayor’s Music Venues Taskforce, has shown that London has lost 35% of its grassroots music venues since 2007.
The Music Venues Taskforce is run by the Music Venue Trust, a charity created in January 2014 to protect, secure & develop the future of Grassroots Live Music Venues in the UK. The trust is working to secure the long term future of iconic venues which make up the grassroots circuit across the UK. These include Southampton Joiners, Tunbridge Wells Forum, The 100 Club in London, Exeter Cavern, Hull Adelphi and Manchester Band on the Wall, as well as loads more.
— Music Venue Trust (@musicvenuetrust) October 19, 2015
Talking about the launch of London’s Grassroots Music Venues Rescue Plan, Johnson said: “From the Rolling Stones to David Bowie, the Clash to Oasis and Ed Sheeran to Adele, grassroots music venues have played a key role in enabling some of the biggest names in music to develop as artists and to build audiences.
“They are the incubators for the stars that go on to pack stadiums in London and across the world.
“The Music Venues Taskforce report makes it clear that protecting live music venues is crucial to London’s continued position as the music capital of the world.
“This timely report will shape our long term action plan to safeguard and revive London’s vital network of live music venues, ensuring the future of the capital’s culturally and economically important music scene.”
Frank Turner, who acts as an advisor to the Music Venues Taskforce, added: “I’ve seen a lot of the venues that gave me the chance to experiment and grow as an artist disappear.
“Without the spaces for new talent to discover itself and its audience, music in London will die a slow death, and the UK will lose a huge part of its culture. Something needs to be done to protect these spaces.”
The report was launched on London’s historic Denmark Street, which has long been associated with the music industry. Plans have also been proposed to retain the former 12 Bar as a grassroots live music venue and add a brand new underground space to the building.
An action plan taking forward recommendations is expected to be published in early 2016.