Three quarters of Scotland's music venues facing 'immediate threat' of closure

Three quarters of grassroots music venues in Scotland may not survive the impact of the coronavirus crisis, experts have warned.

Sneaky Pete's is one of Edinburgh's most important grass-roots music venues.

ore than 40 venues across the country could be forced to close their doors permanently after being forced into lockdown by restrictions to curb the pandemic.

The Music Venue Trust (MVT), which campaigns to secure the future of venues across the UK, has launched an appeal to raise £1 million for a “fighting fund” to help them stave off the threat of closure.

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The charity, which is appealing to some of the biggest names in the business to offer support, has warned that more than 550 venues across the UK are “under immediate threat of closure”. It claims their loss would affect over 5,000 jobs, more than 100,000 concerts and over 300,000 performances by musicians.

Among the venues to have already launched crowdfunding appeals are Sneaky Pete’s and Henry’s Cellar Bar in Edinburgh and The Hug & Pint and Stereo in Glasgow.

The warnings over impending closure have emerged from initial research carried out by the MVT, which found nearly a third of venues were concerned about how they were going to pay their rent and nearly a quarter worried about paying employees.

It plans to use the cash to create a Grassroots Music Venue Crisis Fund, which it says would be used to “defend” any venues that comes under threat of permanent closure.

An appeal page states: “MVT needs to raise £1 million from the music industry, cultural sector and high net worth individuals to fully fund this service.

“With this funding we’ll be able to respond directly and dynamically to every threatened closure and provide emergency financial support when required to prevent the permanent closure of grassroots music venues.

“With your help, we believe we can prevent every closure. We won’t accept that this crisis should result in 500 closures. Or 200. Or even 100.

“With your help, we want to save every single grassroots music venue in the UK so it can reopen after this crisis and continue to be a home to our musicians and our communities.”

Beverley Whitrick, the trust’s strategic director, said: “The crisis fund we have launched is aimed at corporations and high-net worth individuals.

“We are looking for donations over £5,000 to try and build towards the required £1m target. We do have one significant donor who has come forward.”

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