Live Music Venues
Independent music venues in the UK face tough times. While some thrive, like The Brudenell Social Club in Leeds, a significant number struggles to survive due to rising rents, council license restrictions and redevelopment plans. In a time of financial uncertainty and global political division, we need their DIY-culture and punk spirit more than ever. Not least of all the audience.
We, The Carnabys, gave away all of our pre-order earnings from this summer's album release to the Trust. 'Too Much, Never Enough' is an album that we are really proud of and we haven't taken this decision lightly. However its even more important to us that we - and the bands coming up behind - actually have somewhere to play in 5 years time. So if you want to really go and see the next Bowie rather than imagine what might have been, get on board and help us to #savelivemusic.
Bluntly, Councils don't act to protect music venues faced with closure because they don't value them enough. They don't insist developers should protect them, because they don't understand how important they are.
A combination of legal, licensing, costs and trading issues has resulted in the outcome that running a grassroots music venue in the UK is economically non-viable. We need to make it viable or we will lose it.
A Living Room Gig Photo: Josh Savage Despite successful tours in the UK and France, Josh was daunted by the prospect of touring
Over recent years the likes of Cardiff, Bristol, Leeds, Manchester, as well as, London have all since some of their smaller music venues lost to time and the lack of an audience, but why? When the underground rock music scene is healthier than it has ever been, with even more great and unique bands coming up the ranks.
What quickly emerges is that our live music venue circuit is in a perilous and precarious state, facing an uncertain future that despite the passion of the people involved in it is at real risk. We need to be openly discussing and airing those challenges with our live music industry colleagues.
Why are music venues in the UK dropping like flies? Is it due to abatement notices and local council bureaucracy? Is it down to young people now believing that music careers are achieved by attending auditions for TV shows? Thanks a bunch, Simon Cowell!
Attitude is Everything, the charity of which I am CEO, campaigns for improved access to live music for Deaf and disabled people and so we have an interest in both these debates.
Agent of Change has been trialed and tested in Australia and it works; better planning, better developments, people thinking about what exists where they want to live and how they will live there, music venues and others thinking more about their neighbours.