Further Artist Patrons Step Up To Support Music Venue Trust

Hot on the heels of Music Venue Trust announcing that Ellie Rowsell of Wolf Alice has joined Jeremy Pritchard of Everything Everything as a trustee of the charity, we are delighted to announce 4 new artist patrons: Oh Wonder, ShaoDow, Rews and Benin City.

Our artist patrons are groups and individuals happy to endorse the work of the charity to protect, secure and improve the UK’s Grassroots Music Venues. Some still play regularly on the grassroots circuit so experience the intimate audience connection offered there, whilst seeing the lack of investment available to upgrade many smaller venues. Others have graduated to larger venues but realise the importance of the places in which they started their careers.

Anthony and Josephine from Oh Wonder understand firsthand the importance of a grassroots network after releasing one track a month for a year via their soundcloud. The unplanned success of their self-releases led them to taking Oh Wonder on the road:

Anthony and Joesphine, Oh Wonder

Oh Wonder
“We both started playing live music at local venues from the age of 15, and the UK’s Grassroots Venues have been essential to our journey. We toured relentlessly around the UK in the back of cars and vans for ten years before Oh Wonder, and these small venues helped give us a voice and an invaluable opportunity to experiment, learn and develop into the artists that we are today. There is nothing more powerful than being on stage and looking out into the eyes of the crowd, and these intimate rooms are the perfect place to connect with an audience. Without them there would be no playground for young musicians and developing artists who need a stage to get their foot in the door of the music world. Our favourite shows still tend to be in smaller rooms, where the atmosphere is electric. These venues need to live on and keep their doors open to up and coming talent across the UK.”

Professional rapper (and Manga author) ShaoDow has already lent his support to Music Venue Trust by speaking at our recent SE England Venues meeting.


“As a music artist, you want the best for your career. You want to perform at the massive venues, the arenas to thousands of people. But that sort of thing doesn’t just happen overnight. It is and should be a journey, a journey that small music venues are an integral part of. In fact, some of my most memorable performances have been in the more intimate venues, with a couple hundred people enjoying the show.

Having just completed a self-managed and self-funded tour I am painfully aware of the scarcity of small music venues across the country. That’s why the work of the Music Venue Trust is so important, not just for protecting our existing venues but also for fostering the right environments in order to bring new venues into existence. I want to make sure there’s always somewhere dope to perform and that’s why I am honoured to be a patron for the MVT.”

London/Belfast based alt rock band Rews are now gracing festival and larger venue stages but their time on the smaller circuit was recent and they value everything it gave them:


“Grassroots Venues are imperative in supporting up and coming artists and providing the necessary foundations needed to get music to the masses. Without Grassroots Venues, many artists careers would take a very different shape and it would be much harder to bring communities together.”

Up and coming London three-piece Benin City feel so strongly about grassroots venues that that their latest release ‘All Smoke, No Fire’ explores the challenges facing these venues.

Benin City

“We are a London band through and through: our first show in Sin on Tottenham Court Road, our first properly paid show down east in Passing Clouds, sharing stages with everyone from dubstep producers to 12-piece Souk Souk bands to Brazilian Electronic. These venues gave us the space to grow and flourish and harness our sound. You cannot put a price on that level of variety, opportunity and creativity that London’s grassroots music venues provide, to musicians and audiences in the city and beyond. Also, it’s good business, yeah.”

Music Venue Trust is putting together the programme for national networking event Venues Day 2018 which takes place at Islington Assembly on Wednesday 17 October. We will be hearing more from our artist patrons during the day’s discussions and working groups.

2019-03-25T11:40:56+00:00August 21st, 2018|

Leave A Comment

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons