One Small Music Venue Lost Every Week

The importance of small music venues

The UK is internationally celebrated for its music industry and wide variety of successful artists. Each artist’s journey started with a small music venue. Whether it’s your favourite local band or a Glastonbury headliner, small music venues have played a pivotal role in their music career.

Mike Kill in the NTIA’s Night Time Economy report 2023 stated “SMEs and independent businesses … make up over 70% of our industry [the Night Life Cultural Economy]. [Small venues] are so important to economic and cultural recovery, as well as social cohesion, mental health and wellbeing, nightlife tourism and the survival of high streets within towns and cities across the country.”

The problem

The Music Venues Trust today release information that 22 grassroots venues have closed for good since April 2022. The charity expects many more music venue to disappear once the government’s energy bill support for small businesses ends at thew start of April.

They say it’s likely one music venue per week will close. This is due to a number of factors, including increased pressure from licensing, financial worries with the increased cost of living and cost of stock, inflated loan payments, and declining audience numbers.

The Music Venue Trust was severely disappointed with the Government’s Spring Budget. In a response post, they highlighted: “in 2023, 1 Grassroots Music Venue is closing every week. The budget was an opportunity to ensure that this number of closures did not explode from the April 1st when Grassroots Music Venues will be hit by excessive and unaffordable energy bills.”

All the more disappointing after a great few months for The Music Venues Trust, launching their Own Our Venues initiative which saw a partnership with Ed Sheeran and a £2.5 million investment push.

The solution

A multifaceted problem requires a multi-faceted solution. Small music venues and independent clubs need immediate and significant protection – action needs to be taken. As Mike Kill reiterated at the recent NTE Summit, there is a need for better communication and better engagement.

At NDML we’ve put together a list of wishes we would like to see before the end of 2023:

  • Reduced VAT for nightlife and business, sparing up some much needed cash for the industry.

  • Reintroduction of the energy support scheme, helping business fund the increase in energy bills.

  • Grant for new nightlife businesses to get started and reclaim spaces lost on our high streets.

  • Dedicated fund for grassroots music venues, designed to supporting events, marketing and artists.

  • Comprehensive insurance for nightlife businesses, where there is no risk of underinsurance, so every small music venue has that safety net behind them.

Insurance Brokers for Small Music Venues are crucial

Small music venues and independent clubs are vulnerable to regulatory changes, new legislation, criminal behaviour and accidents or injuries. NDML is a broker who understands these risks and has a strong relationship with insurers. We’ve built an outstanding reputation for delivering tailored insurance policies which cover all eventualities.

Contact NDML if you are a small music venue – we will listen to your needs and promise to design a tailored insurance policies that caters to the needs of your club. Talk to our handlers to learn how we can improve your situation.