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Frank Turner backs national campaign to save grassroots music venues

He said the live music industry is ‘staring into the abyss right now’.

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Frank Turner has been playing online gigs to support venues (Ben Morse/PA)

Frank Turner has been playing online gigs to support venues (Ben Morse/PA)

Frank Turner has been playing online gigs to support venues (Ben Morse/PA)

Frank Turner has thrown his support behind a national campaign to save more than 500 grassroots music venues from permanent closure.

The Save Our Venues initiative, organised by the Music Venue Trust (MVT), hopes to protect the UK’s small venues at risk due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Artists will perform virtual gigs in support of their own local venue, chosen from a list of 556 currently deemed in crisis by the MVT.

Each venue will have their own fundraising page with a target of money needed to stay afloat.

Excess donations will go to the central Save Our Venues fund to help the wider grassroots music venue community.

Punk and folk singer Turner, 38, said: “The UK live music industry is staring into the abyss right now.

“I’m not able to save the whole thing on my own, but I decided to do a series of livestream shows to raise money for specific independent venues that I know and love, and that are in serious risk of disappearing right now.

“The success of these shows demonstrated the love that exists between music fans and their favourite grassroots music venues, so the #saveourvenues campaign is a brilliant way of building on that and hopefully giving artists and music fans a chance to get involved and play a big part in helping them survive.”

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Frank Turner on stage (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Frank Turner on stage (Jonathan Brady/PA)

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Frank Turner on stage (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Turner recently played a series of Independent Venue Love shows in support of venues such as Nambucca in London, The Joiners in Southampton and The Forum in Tunbridge Wells.

Chief executive of the Music Venue Trust, Mark Davyd, said: “Without the support of music fans and artists, literally hundreds of the UK’s grassroots music venues could go out of business, never to return, in the coming months.

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

Find more information at saveourvenues.co.uk

PA