THE Music Venue Trust has revealed in its 2022 annual report that the amount of live music performances at grassroots venues has declined by nearly 17% since 2019.

Representing close to 1,000 UK grassroots music venues, the MVT annual 2022 report shows the uncertainty that lies ahead for the UK music industry without urgent action, where audience numbers have dropped by 11%.

Further support has been urged from both the Government and wider music industry, where the MVT has outlined their proposal to ensure new arenas opening within the UK financially contribute by investing a percentage of ticket sales into the grassroots music ecosystem. The organisation has called for a review of VAT on venue ticket sales, deemed to be “crushing the economic viability” of the music industry.

A direct request has been submitted to the Mayor of Manchester Andy Burnham to ensure the new 23,500 capacity Co-op Live Arena (which will be the UK’s largest indoor arena) set to open in Manchester later in 2023, agrees to a commitment towards the industry-saving initiative.

Chief executive of MVT, Mark Davyd, comments on the seriousness of the situation, “The threat is real: we need more from the music industry and we need it now, otherwise what is currently a crisis will soon become a terminal decline for venues, their staff, artists and audiences.”

He added: “We cannot go on building more and more arenas with no plan of how to fill the stages they create in five, ten or twenty years’ time and without these new facilities playing their part in helping protect the grassroots eco-system.”