Artists Step Forward To Support Music Venue Trust’s Work

Music Venue Trust places the ability of artists to develop their careers at the heart of its mission to protect, secure and improve Grassroots Music Venues. These small, independent venues act as the research and development department of the UK Music industry, allowing new talent to develop their craft and learn how to connect with audiences. We believe this message needs to be restated and are delighted to add 3 new patrons to the list of champions for our cause, Billy Bragg, OneDa and Fickle Friends.

We are in a completely different music industry to the one I came into many years ago with just my guitar, my amp and a nice line in plaid shirts. I think it’s probably safe to say that without Grassroots Music Venues there would’ve been no Billy Bragg. How else was an artist who was never going to get onto daytime radio or a major record label going to find an audience and build their own reality? Some things are as true now as back then and remain unchanged – the need for small venues up and down the country to support new bands/artists whilst they learn their trade and find their tribe is still top of that list.
– Billy Bragg, 2018
Photo © Murdo Mcleod

Iconic singer-songwriter Billy Bragg was highly visible in the recent campaign for Agent of Change to be adopted, as a long-term supporter of the work of The Musicians’ Union as well as Music Venue Trust. Always eloquent, we are proud to have Billy join our list of patrons.

The Agent of Change campaign also brought forward a fresh young advocate for grassroots music venues in the shape of Manchester-based rapper OneDa. We were so impressed with her interview on BBC Breakfast with MVT veteran John Robb that we approached her about adding her voice to our work. Her response was perfect, “Grassroots Music Venues are essential for the growth of an artist, no matter the genre. Yes, the internet has provided new means and ways of interacting and exploring our audience, but it is at these Grassroots Music Venues that we then ‘serenade’ our newfound supporters. Grassroots Venues allow me to provide my supporters with a unique, intimate experience. This is why the work Music Venue Trust do is so important.
Chiming with OneDa, another exciting new voice of support comes from up and coming indie pop band Fickle Friends. From their home town of Brighton this energetic young band are about to embark on another tour, visiting many of the venues MVT represents across the UK. They said, “Fickle Friends owe a huge amount to Grassroots Venues. Over the past 4 years we have toured across more towns in the UK than we can remember (over 350 shows and counting) but looking back, what connects these shows is the community, loyalty and care that existed in the Grassroots Venues we played. Without them our experience of touring would be much less memorable and our chance to play to so many loyal audiences would not be there. 

Independent venues are to be cherished for artists and audiences alike. We’re proud to be part of the Music Venue Trust and hopefully do our part in helping to defend them.

Every artist who adds their voice helps us reach a larger audience in our work to gain recognition for the vital role Grassroots Music Venues play culturally, socially and economically.