The Music Venue Trust (MVT), an advocate for hundreds of UK grassroots music venues (GMVs), has unveiled its much-anticipated 2023 Annual Report. The comprehensive document sheds light on the significant economic contributions made by MVT’s members while underlining the formidable challenges faced by the majority of live music spaces in the UK.
In a stark revelation, the report discloses that 125 GMVs closed their doors in 2023, with an alarming rate of two closures per week. This somber statistic underscores the stark disparity between thriving companies and artists at the pinnacle of the live music sector, reveling in record revenues and profits, and the grassroots music venues grappling with obstacles like escalating rent demands and soaring energy costs.
Despite an increased demand for tickets, 38% of grassroots music venues reported a loss in 2023. The struggles faced by these venues are a poignant contrast to the success stories of their counterparts at the upper echelons of the industry.
A survey conducted among the remaining 835 members of the Music Venue Alliance (MVA), employing over 28,000 people across the sector, unveiled that they organized an impressive 187,000 events in 2023. These events featured 1.7 million individual artist performances and attracted an audience exceeding 23.5 million visits. However, the financial picture remains challenging, with GMVs generating over £500 million in revenues but only managing a slim £2.5 million or 0.5% profit for the period.