Highlights include:



Scottish Parliament’s Arts Funding Inquiry Report

The report, published on 19 Dec 2019, included contributions from MVT


A Manifesto for Grassroots Music Venues 2019 has impact on party manifestos

All major political parties, apart from the SNP, included pledges to support GMVs in their manifestos


Outstanding Achievement Award 2019

Awarded to Paul Jackson of The New Adelphi Club, Hull. Presented by MVT patrons KT Tunstall and Steve Lamacq


Venues Day 2019

The 6th edition was delivered on 9 October at Islington Assembly Hall and was hailed as a game-changer for the sector in terms of positive messaging and actions


New PRS for Music service launched to help GMVs

Following lengthy talks, PRS for Music launched a new service to reduce work for GMVs by encouraging artists to submit their own setlists: Report, Receive, Repeat


First successful applicants to ACE’s Ringfenced Fund Announced

From September, venues supported by MVT to apply to the Supporting Grassroots Live Music Fund start to announce success, including The Macbeth, The Hope & Ruin, Paper Dress Vintage. Further applicants include Sugarmill, District, Leadmill


Fightback Plymouth

A celebration of music in Plymouth in September 2019 with accompanying research and consultation resulting in a report and recommendations for Plymouth City Council


Fightback: Grassroots Promoter – Phase 2

In partnership with PRS Foundation, a 2nd phase of this training/mentoring programme launched, encouraging women and gender minorities to break into promoting live music


Launch of How to Open & How to Run a Grassroots Music Venue Books

In partnership with Ticketmaster and the Mayor of London, MVT created 2 manuals, available as open access downloadable PDFs from the MVT & GLA websites


Music Is Not Noise

MVT worked with European partners in Live DMA to create guidance for drafting good live music policy.


Music Is Not Noise/Agent of Change – Legal Precedent Set

In July 2019 lengthy legal proceedings involving The Star Inn, Guildford, led the judge to rule that noise from a GMV is not nuisance in itself; it only became a disturbance because residential development nearby was allowed by the local council.


Planning (Scotland) Bill

Members of the Scottish Parliament voted unanimously to adopt Section 14F and amendment 182 of the Planning (Scotland) Bill. This is a massive breakthrough for Scottish Music Venues and creates Agent of Change as part of planning legislation in Scotland.



MVT celebrated 5 years as a charity, 50 patrons and 500 GMVs in the Music Venues Alliance network.


Venue Champions

50 Venue Champions volunteered to help MVT conduct the annual survey.


Funding Breakthrough for Grassroots Music Venues

Arts Council England Launched a new £1.5million Supporting Grassroots Live Music fund at MVT’s event at The Great Escape. At the same event Live Nation, Ticketmaster and AEG announced their initiatives to raise money for GMVs as the first Pipeline Investment Fund commitments.


Love Music Hate Racism Beautiful Resistance

MVT partnered with Love Music Hate Racism on their Beautiful Resistance campaign. Music Venues Alliance venues took part in the campaign that culminated on anti-racism day.


DCMS Live Music Inquiry Report

In March 2019 the DCMS Live Music Inquiry Report was released. It included evidence from MVT


Open Club Day

A number of GMVs around the UK participated in the 2019 edition of Open Club Day, a project by our partners LIVE DMA to celebrate Grassroots Music Venues across Europe. On Open Club Day GMVs open their doors to the public during the day so people can see how venues run.


Fightback Bristol

Fightback Bristol took place in February 2019 with over 100 shows across 14 GMVs in the city.


Agent of Change: Wales – Welsh Planning Policy

Planning Policy Wales was published in December 2018. MVT worked closely with Welsh Government officers; advice and wording submitted was incorporated in the policy. Section 4.3 specifically commits Wales to adopting Agent of Change.


Agent of Change: Scotland

In February 2018 Minister for Local Government and Housing, Kevin Smith MSP, issued a letter to all local authorities stating that ‘the Agent of Change principle will be included in the next revision of the National Planning Framework which, through the Planning Bill, will have greater statutory weight in planning decisions.’ Stage 2 of The Planning (Scotland) Bill was published in November and included amendments aiming to protect live music venues. Stage 3 will take place in 2019.


Fightback Manchester

A two week celebration of live music took place in Grassroots Venues across Manchester in November 2018.


Pipeline Investment Fund

MVT’s campaign to work with music industry colleagues to create a Pipeline Investment Fund to protect, secure and improve Grassroots Music Venues was launched at Venues Day.


Outstanding Achievement Award

The first MVT Outstanding Achievement Award was presented to MVT patron Steve Lamacq (BBC Radio 6) at Venues Day 2018, by fellow Patron Joe Talbot (Idles), for his tireless championing of grassroots music.


Venues Day 2018

Delivered the 5th edition of Venues Day, Islington Assembly Hall, London on 17 October. Panels and working groups shared good practice, challenged bad practice and welcomed a presentation by PRS for Music as part of our continued work with them to resolve tensions in the way they work with GMVs.


DCMS Live Music Enquiry

In October 2018 MVT CEO Mark Davyd gave evidence to the DCMS Live Music Enquiry about the needs of GMVs.


Strategic Partnerships with Sponsors

Long-term MVT supporters TicketWeb and Jack Daniel’s furthered their commitment to supporting GMVs during 2018. TicketWeb were headline sponsor for the 3rd Venues Day in a row and funded 2 Regional Meetings. JD raised funds for MVT through Jack Daniel’s Presents shows as well as donating to our work.


Agent of Change: England

After a four year campaign by MVT, in July 2018 the Agent of Change principle was incorporated into the National Planning Policy Framework.


Development of MVT’s Board

A charity needs a strong, diverse Board of Trustees. 2018 saw Ellie Rowsell (Wolf Alice) and Bengi Unsal (Senior Contemporary Music Programmer at Southbank Centre) join, while Sarah Thirtle (Creative United) became co-chair.


Earn Your Stripes Bursary Scheme

MVT launched, in partnership with Redstripe, a project to fund short term internships in GMVs, giving young people the opportunity to be part of the live music team.


Fightback London: Sounds Like London

Fightback fundraising concerts returned in 2018. In June the first city-focus event saw gigs take place across London as part of the Mayor’s Sounds Like London campaign.


Regional and National Meetings 2018

Held 7 national and regional meetings with members of our Music Venues Alliance, including the first ever Scottish Venues Meeting.


Fightback: Grassroots Promoter Scheme

MVT partnered with Music PlanetLive and a host of music industry mentors to run a scheme to support young women in promoting their first show.


UK Live Music Census

The publication of academic research, in which MVT were project partners, was notable both as the first national live music census measuring the social, cultural and economic value of the sector, and for supporting MVT’s messaging with data: http://uklivemusiccensus.org/


Agent of Change Progress

During 2017 and early 2018:
Welsh Government agreed to include Agent of Change in their National Planning Policy.
The Mayor of London announced that it would be adopted in the forthcoming London Plan.
John Spellar MP submitted a Private Members Bill to UK Parliament, leading to a commitment from Government to include AoC in the forthcoming National Planning Policy for England.
Scottish Government made a commitment to include AoC in Planning Policy and explore whether it could change legislation


Venues Day 2017

Delivered Venues Day 2017 at Ministry of Sound, London on 17 October 2017. Over 200 venues attended among the nearly 600 delegates to participate in new activities connecting with booking agents and tech companies, as well as panels about the issues that matter and common concerns for artists and venues.


It’s Time: Britain Deserves a World Class Grassroots Music Venue Circuit

MVT published five-year strategic plan in a full response to Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper and the Creative Sector Review.


National Research

MVT became partners in the first UK Live Music Census, funded by the AHRC, with Live Music Exchange, UK Music and The MU. MVT plays an ongoing role in other sector research.



A base for MVT in Northern Ireland was established with a member of staff based in Belfast one day per week, thanks to a partnership with Help Musicians UK.



A bespoke ticketing platform for GMVs was created in partnership with TicketWeb, offering the best deal for music fans in terms of minimal charges, for venues as a Maintain & Sustain rebate, and for MVT to provide TAMVA services.


Presentations to Parliament

Made presentations to MPs on Licensing and Access issues with long-term MVT partners UK Music and The Musicians’ Union.


Venues Day 2016

Delivered Venues Day 2016 at Roundhouse, London on 18 October 2016. Over 200 venues were represented amongst 500 delegates and panels explored Music Industry Issues, Localism + Community, Building on Progress and interactive sessions on ticketing, tech and social media.



MVT’s first fundraising concert FIGHTBACK took place at Roundhouse, London, 18 October 2016 with 18 artists who had stepped up to offer their support.


Emergency Response Service

Created an online form for any venue in the UK to complete to request help with noise complaints or threats from planning, licensing, legal or financial measures. The service connects venues with experts in the required field.


Including GMVs in Reports on UK Music

Ensured that UK Music’s research into the economic contribution of the music industry to the UK economy included data from GMVs for the first time, published in Wish You Were Here 2016.


Advising the Greater London Authority

MVT became founder members of the London Music Board and were key to the appointment of London’s first Night Czar Amy Lamé. In 2016 an updated map of venues was created.


MVT on Tour

Held 3 Regional Meetings across England (North, Midlands, South) and a Welsh Venues Meeting to discuss issues of importance with more focused groups of venues and develop the programme for Venues Day 2016.


Negotiation with PRS for Music

Ongoing negotiation with PRS for Music, representing the interests of GMVs across the UK following the Tariff LP review. This sector has previously been unrepresented in such consultation.


Changing UK Law to Benefit GMVs

Achieved a change to UK law to protect GMVs: from 6 April 2016, local planning authorities must consider noise impacts on new residents from existing businesses under an amended permitted development right (i.e. you cannot build near a music venue without mitigating the potential noise within your own plans).



Established TAMVA, the Trade Association of the Music Venues Alliance, which offers preferential and exclusive deals for members for an annual membership fee.


Venues Day 2015

Delivered Venues Day 2015 at Ministry of Sound on 20 October 2015. Over 150 venues were represented among the 350 delegates; guest speakers included MPs, key figures from the music industry and Steve Lamacq from BBC Radio 6 Music. A series of panels and workshops on the themes of Business Up/Costs Down offered practical solutions for venues to strengthen their business.


Campaigning for the benefit of UK Grassroots Music Venues

An ongoing series of meetings with DCMS, MPs and Lords, music industry associations, legal and financial bodies to seek improvements for GMVs.


Consultation – City of Edinburgh Council

Consulted for City of Edinburgh Council to try and improve relations between it and the city’s music community, resulting in a report (MVT Edinburgh Report) issued 20 October 2015 which calls for direct action by Edinburgh City Council to protect and secure its live music venues.


Conferences & Reports

Since 2015 MVT’s CEO and Strategic Director have been invited to speak at national and international conferences to present the situation for venues in the UK and have participated in international research reports such as Music Canada’s The Mastering of a Music City.


Defining Grassroots Music Venues

Created a definition of what constitutes a Grassroots Music Venue (GMV), internationally accepted as the most robust definition of such venues to date.


Mayor of London’s Venues Taskforce

MVT led the Mayor of London’s Venues Taskforce to halt the decline of music venues in the capital and delivered the report (London’s Grassroots Music Venues Rescue Plan) issued on 19 October 2015 which calls for changes to licensing, planning, regulation and business terms which will all benefit London venues and act as an example to the rest of the UK. Since its publication, the report has been used as an example of good practice internationally.


Grassroots Investor Programme

Instigated a Grassroots Investor Programme to raise money to work on behalf of the network of small venues across the UK.


Agent of Change Petition

A petition, fronted by Frank Turner, to call for the adoption of Agent of Change, was signed by over 31K people leading to the concept now being widely discussed at various levels of government across the UK.


Understanding Small Music Venues report 2015

Conducted extensive research into UK Grassroots Music Venues, culminating in the Understanding Small Music Venues report, launched in Parliament in March 2015.


Venues Day 2014

Successfully delivered the first ever networking event for small venues, Venues Day 2014 at Southbank Centre, London on 9 December 2014. This event brought together representatives from over 120 venues across the UK and led to the formation of the Music Venues Alliance.


Launch in March 2014

Music Venue Trust was launched as a charity with a long-term aim of securing the future of the UK’s Grassroots Music Venue circuit by raising the money to purchase the freehold of key venues within 5 years and lease them back to operators as music venues in perpetuity.