Venues Day Online

Tuesday 12 October

In planning Venues Day 2021 we faced uncertainty about what the situation would be for events in the UK by October. We are grateful to ILMC offering us the use of the HopIn platform they utilised so successfully for ILMC2021, enabling us to move all the activity that has traditionally taken place in smaller rooms at Venues Day to be moved online.

Naturally this also offers an opportunity for participation from people unable to travel to London on 5 October, or those who don’t yet feel ready to attend that kind of event. It also means that the content can be available to delegates for 3 days, giving you the opportunity to revisit sessions or catch content you missed first time round.

All Venues Day Online delegates will receive codes and instructions about how the platform works.

Please find below information about the shape of the day, the activities on offer, and some of our contributors and partners.


  • Two Stages with live panels
  • One Stage showing footage of the panels from Venues Day Live for those who missed it
  • Interactive sessions from MVT’s partners about key issues for GMVs and society
  • One Session dedicated to learning more about the MVT Crisis Service and how Clara and her team of Gurus could help you, including opportunities for one-to-one meetings to discuss your venue’s current challenges
  • Sandbox – Presentations from Agencies, including opportunities to schedule one-to-one meetings

Tickets for Venues Day Online 2021 are available now.





Welcome & Introduction


A choice of panels, interactive sessions & meetings
Full details below

Please note:

  • Delegates can ask questions in panels via the chat function
  • Sessions are designed for more interaction with delegates
  • All content will be accessible to delegates until 9pm on Thursday 14 October



Venues Day Online 2021 Schedule

Stage One

Peer to Peer Panels discussing key issues for GMVs


Funding: Where and How to Get the Financial Support You Need

Speakers: Nick Stewart (Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh), Sophie Asquith (MVT), Isobel Dormon (Tunbridge Wells Forum), Keiron Marshall (The Sound Lounge, London), Rafael Pesce (The Spiritual Bar, London), Gavin Sharp (Band on the Wall, Manchester)


Collections Agencies/Licensing: Who Needs Paying, Why, How it Works… & How it Should Work

Speakers: Chris Sherrington (The Fulford Arms, York), Louise Aikman (MVT Guru), Clara Cullen (MVT), Dan Lloyd (The Railway, Winchester), Chris Sharp (The Fleece, Bristol)


Business Diversification: Making the Best Use of Your Venue for More of the Time

Speakers: Sam Dabb (Le Pub, Newport), Gordon Gapper (Music Room London), Allison Mackay (The Forum Music Centre, Darlington), Mig Schillace (The Lousiana, Bristol), Graham Stanley (Phase One/Jacaranda, Liverpool)


Company Structures/Ownership: New Models of Ownership & Company infrastructure to Secure Your Venue & Improve its Financial Stability

Speakers: Matt Otridge (Exchange, Bristol), Craig Adams (Krakatoa, Aberdeen), Geoff Priestley (The Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth), Lenny Watson (Sister Midnight, London)



Stage Two

Peer to Peer Panels discussing key issues for GMVs


Training & Skills Development: Constantly Improving & Developing Your Workforce to Support Their Careers

Speakers: Luke Hinton (Juicebox Live), Jamell Ackford (Trinity, Bristol), Elaine McGinty (Fiery Bird, Woking), Gary Lulham (Sin City, Swansea), Hannah White (Sound Lounge, London)


Creating, Supporting & Developing Your Team: Building a Cohesive & Effective Venue Team

Speakers: Tom Maddicott (Moles, Bath), Nathan Clark (Brudenell Social Club, Leeds), Rachael Flaszczak (The Snug, Atherton), Mary Otumahana (The Record Shop, London), Chiz Williams (The Cube, Bristol)


Your Role in Your Community: Building Relationships with Key Stakeholders

Speakers: Danni Brownsill (The Sugarmill Stoke-on-Trent), Lara Herde (Queen’s Hall, Narbeth), David Mundell (Backstage at Kinross), Tom Ogilivie (Patchwork Studios, Maker Heights), Tim Perry (Windmill Brixton)


MVA: Working Together in Cities & Regions to Advance Our National Cause

Speakers: Harkirit Boparai (The Crescent Community Venue, York), Sally Oakenfold (The Hope and Ruin, Brighton), Craig Pennington (Futureyard, Birkenhead), Jay Taylor (MVT), Rebecca Walker (MVT)



Stage Three

Panels from Venues Day Live


Steve Lamacq presents The MVT Story: How We Made It Through the Crisis

A chance to put faces to the names in MVT‘s and hear from them about their work through the last 20 months of the crisis

Core Team: Mark Davyd, Beverley Whitrick, Clara Cullen, Sarah Claudine, Menna Grasser, Toni Coe-Brooker
Coordinators: Nick Stewart, Sam Dabb, Jess Kipling, Jay Taylor, Danni Brownsill, Chris Sherrington, Harkirit Boparai, Luke Hinton, Sophie Asquith, Keiron Marshall, Geoff Priestley, Tom Maddicott, Matt Otridge, Rebecca Walker, Barney Jeavons, Sam Jones, Zac Mather
Consultants: Lucy Stone, Steve Trigg


NME presents The MVA Story: How Venues Made It Through the Crisis

NME News Editor Andrew Trendell discusses a range of venue experiences through the crisis; how did venues survive and what does the future hold?

Speakers: Julie Carty (Leith Depot, Edinburgh), Stuart Cameron (The Booking Hall, Dover), Angie Evans (Fuel Rock Club, Cardiff), Chris Flynn (Boom Leeds), Fran Healey (Stoller Hall, Manchester), Russell Occomore (Jazzlive at The Crypt, London), Rose Wilcox (Leadmill, Sheffield)


MVT presents The Next Chapter of Our Story
Looking forward for the GMV Community

Speakers: Mark Davyd, Beverley Whitrick, Clara Cullen, Matt Otridge, Dave Boyle (Cooperatives UK), Bonita McKinney, Phyllis Belezos



Session Room One

MVT‘s Crisis Service and Gurus


How MVT‘s Crisis Service Operates & When You Should Contact It

Venue Support Manager Clara Cullen explains the services on offer and introduces some of the experts from MVT‘s team of Gurus. Clara will be happy to answer your questions


Bookable one-to-one meetings with some of our Gurus
More information will be circulated to delegates prior to the event



Session Room Two

MVT‘s Partners on their specialist areas


Diversity: Access

Attitude is Everything have worked with MVT over the last few years, addressing challenges GMVs face to become more accessible, offering training and creating a Grassroots Venues Charter. As GMVs welcome audiences back, it is vital that they are accessible for everyone. Join Attitude is Everything, Le Pub, SOUP and Exchange as they look at ways you can ensure Deaf and disabled music fans aren’t left behind


Environmental Impact

Chiara Badiali from Julie’s Bicycle will follow up on the recent LIVE Green training session for venues, focusing on realistic actions GMVs can take to make a difference. The training session can be rewatched here:
Please bring any questions you may have to the session.


Diversity: Ethnicity

MVT is building a relationship with the authors of Black in the Boardroom (BITB), a report which looks at racial disparities within the events industry. As a result of BITB, The Zoo XYZ, AEV & Elite Vendors Network are developing a Black Suppliers List that promotes Black-owned vendors and suppliers in order to diversify the events industry.



For people keen to work towards reassuring audiences that everyone can feel safe in their venue, Safe Gigs for Women talk about their work, raising awareness and practical steps to make improvements.


Diversity: Gender

The GMV sector has traditionally been quite a male space. Although this is changing, it remains a complex and challenging issue. Gender equality programme Keychange, and its co-founder PRS Foundation are leaders in representation and gender diversity issues within music. This session will explore their work and initiate a discussion around improving representation, and providing more opportunities for women and gender minorities in the grassroots venue sector.


Air Quality in Venues

The Covid-19 crisis has highlighted that many venues have poor air quality. In this panel Chris Sherrington (MVT) will walk through a variety of options that address air quality, with a specific focus on those that remove or destabilise airborne pathogens.


Mental Health

The prevalence of longstanding mental health issues in the music industry has long been a cause for concern. The impact of the pandemic has exacerbated the issue however, taking an unprecedented toll on the mental health of many. Long-term partners Help Musicians UK will provide a space to talk about this, discussing how they are collaborating with other key industry partners to build mental wellbeing support and resources to help those who are struggling, and to transform the ability of those working in music to proactively maintain strong mental health.