Enter Shikari have referred to as for solidarity and progress in securing the way forward for the UK’s grassroots music venues – urging followers and gig areas to “show the Tory government and the landlord c**ts that our culture of live music is not for sale”.
- READ MORE: UK grassroots venues “going over a cliff” with out pressing authorities motion or funding from arenas
The band have been talking finally week’s Venues Day held by the Music Venue Belief in London, the place they obtained the Excellent Contribution Award for donating £1 from each ticket offered on their upcoming UK and Eire enviornment tour again to the reason for saving grassroots gig areas.
The information got here because it was revealed that the UK is ready to lose 10 per cent of its grassroots music venues in 2023 – with calls rising for the “major leagues” of the music trade and bigger venues to do extra to pay into the ecosystem and save them.
Giving the opening speech at Venues Day final week, drummer Rob Rolfe defined how Enter Shikari have been “no strangers to grassroots music venues” and have been even taking part in a key position in restoring The Pioneer Membership of their hometown of St Albans.
“Grassroots venues helped us cut our teeth, hone our craft, meet and be inspired by other musicians, and how to be a proper touring band,” mentioned Rolfe. “It was additionally the platform to assist us attain an viewers and construct our personal fanbase.
“It is guaranteed that we would not be where we are today in our career, without grassroots venues – which is why it was a no-brainer for £1 of each ticket from our biggest shows to go to support small venues. If you ask me, this is something that bigger venues should already be doing anyway.”
Rolfe continued: “Grassroots venues are more than just a springboard for artists to go on to bigger things. They can be the heart and soul of communities. They are places where people can find comfort and acceptance that they maybe don’t get in other parts of their lives, and that’s so important in a society where people are growing increasingly isolated. The local venue can often be a safe haven for people who have otherwise had to put up with unwanted stigma, bullying or being unwarrantly vilified elsewhere.”
Frontman Rou Reynolds then supplied some “momentary gloom” by paying tribute to the massive variety of venues which have lately closed down.
“The Borderline in Soho, The Jailhouse in Coventry, Ironworks in Inverness, The Harlow Square, The Manchester Roadhouse, Studio 24 in Edinburgh – I could spend the rest of our times up here listing the venues that we’ve played that are no longer with us,” he instructed the group gathered at Woolwich Works. “Those which were demolished for fancy flats, closed doorways because of rising rents, or extra lately as a result of ongoing power disaster and lack of governmental assist.
“These are venues that supplied rites of passage that would have changed people’s lives; they certainly changed the four of ours. Even with that being said, we certainly don’t realise how important and pivotal these spaces can be. Grassroots venues are a breeding ground for new and exciting, niche and inventive music – a breeding ground for genuine community, and for organic creativity. The grassroots venues circuit is a petri dish that teams with life; life that all popular music then goes on to spawn from.”
- READ MORE: Grassroots venues want “action not kind words” as that they had for “disaster” with out enviornment funding
Reynolds spoke of how the music trade at giant relies on “an influx of new artists” as “the nutrients that keep popular or more mainstream music not just afloat but flourishing”.
“If fresh and underground music isn’t supported or given the spaces to grow, the whole music scene starts to lose nuance, breadth and music itself narrows,” he mentioned. “We will follow other industries in capitalism’s almost pre-ordained route – creating monopolised corporate venue circuits and monopolised artist systems. We’ll have our big artists and big venues, our Tescos and Walmarts, that dominate public spaces and attention who then leave the rest to fight over the scraps.”
Reynolds went on: “Within our current economic system, we must current remind ourselves that music is an art form – a means of human connection. It’s not meant to be competitive, it’s not meant to be a zero-sum game, there are not meant to be winners and losers.”
He then quoted a speech from Sir David Attenborough, given concerning the early days of public service broadcasting: “The public service broadcaster should produce programmes across the widest spectrum of interests, and would measure his success by the width to some degree of that spectrum. The fact that some parts of that spectrum didn’t get as big an audience of other parts of the spectrum is neither here nor there. Of course they don’t. Why should they?”
Making use of Attenborough sentiments to the music scene, Reynolds mentioned: “That’s exactly the purpose: Why the fuck ought to they? Success doesn’t solely imply arses on seats or extra revenue in shareholders pockets. Music, artwork, tradition in its entirety reminds us that that’s the case. Music is a method of human connection, and that’s how its success needs to be measured.
Drummer Rolfe then concluded by telling the trade gathered that one of the simplest ways to honour “those fallen comrades” who’ve misplaced venues can be “to do everything that’s within our power to ensure that people still have places to go to watch live music in their area and are able to have these pivotal experiences”.
“So let’s put on more gigs, let’s bring people together, let’s offer a platform for musicians, let’s show the Tory government and the landlord c**ts that our culture of live music is not for sale,” he mentioned. “We won’t get replaced by one other block of fucking flats. They maintain cramming increasingly individuals into our cities and cities however take away the very locations for us to get collectively, to speak, to socialize.
“No wonder we’re becoming more isolated. No, fuck off! Get your hands off our spaces. Looking around this room gives me confidence and a feeling of strength.”
Rolfe then suggested everybody to “put pressure on larger venues to support the smaller ones, because the smaller ones are the ones nurturing the artists that will one day be selling out those big arenas” and to “put pressure on local and national government to safeguard our community of live music venues”.
“Over the past few decades we have given this government a lot of money. I think it’s time we took some back,” he added.
“The most powerful thing we can do is demonstrate the positive impact that our grassroots venues can have on people’s lives and communities,” ended Rolfe. “Make it impossible for them to shut us down.”
Regardless of dealing with potential disaster, the UK grassroots music sector have reported some excellent news of late. Yesterday (October 23), unbiased ticketing firm Skiddle introduced that it’s going to donate 50p from each ticket offered in the direction of saving grassroots music venues. This follows Ticketmaster who introduced a plan to permit prospects to instantly donate to the Music Venue Belief, taxi app FREENOW pledging to donate £1 from each experience to the trigger, and Halifax Piece Corridor asserting a scheme that can assist grassroots music venues in Calderdale borough by way of MVT’s Pipeline Funding Fund.
The information comes shortly after the UK authorities introduced particulars of a brand new overview, which can deal with the problems confronted by grassroots music venues. The Music Venue Belief beforehand penned an open letter to Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, whereas additionally telling NME that the scenario was “as dire as it can be”.