Help to save your local venue by buying official merch

Virgin Radio

17 Dec 2021, 13:58

Pic: Getty

If your local venue is struggling in the pandemic, here's how you can help.

We all know it's been a tough few years for the entertainment industry, and grassroots venues have been hit hard.

Many people are buying tickets for concerts and then not attending as the pandemic continues, and local venues are bearing the brunt of it.

The figures aren't looking good: in the pace of a week, there have been losses of £2million.

Some 86 per cent of grassroots music venues say they have been impacted negatively, with 61 per cent having to cancel at least one event due to band members testing positive for COVID.

Attendance at grassroots venues has dropped by 23 per cent with over 140,000 ‘no shows’ from ticket holders.

Failing to turn up has caused a 27 per cent decline in gross income.

Music fans and gig-goers are being encouraged to pick up some official merchandise to help save their local venue.

Illness or reduced public confidence is being blamed.

So what can be done? Music fans are being encouraged to buy merchandise from the Music Venue Trust’s #SaveOurVenues store.

An MVT spokesperson told NME: “Audiences and local communities did so much to Save Our Venues in the last two years.

“The situation is very grim again, and we strongly encourage everyone who loves their grassroots music venue or lives for live music to see what they can do to support their local space as it deals with the current struggles.

“One simple thing you can do is to visit the venue’s website or and pick up some venue merch – there’s a fantastic selection of shirts, hats, posters, belts, beanies, just about everything any real live music fan could want. Please support local live music and local businesses at Christmas.

“This is the busiest time of the year for grassroots music venues, representing more than 20 per cent of their annual income being raised during the party season,” said Beverley Whitrick, Strategic Director of MVT.

She added: “Rapid declines in attendance at this time of year represent an exponential threat to the whole sector, and losses of this magnitude cannot be sustained without throwing hundreds of music venues into crisis mode and at risk of permanent closure. A ‘no show’ isn’t just lost ticket income, it’s lost bar take and excess staff costs.”

MVT CEO Mark Davyd says that “confusing government messaging had created a ‘stealth lockdown’ with venues apparently able to open but in reality haemorrhaging money at a rate that will inevitably result in permanent closures unless the government acts quickly to prevent it.”

Visit here for information on how to help or donate to the #SaveOurVenues campaign.