New stadiums in the UK respond to the demand to invest in community music venues

Employees at some of the new stadiums planned in the UK have responded to the Music Venue Trust’s demand that they invest in community music venues or not be allowed to open.

This week, MVT released its 2022 annual report, outlining the sector’s value to the UK’s music economy and industry, as well as the high-risk venues and the UK’s future if they don’t take urgent action. The latest figures show that audience numbers stood at 89% of their 2019 level, around 21 million.

The report was released for the first time during an event attended by NME in Parliament. The MVT gave a sobering speech outlining the steps the government must take and calling on major new venues in the UK to “contribute to the safety of the wider music ecosystem by investing a percentage of every ticket they sell into the music ecosystem. base”.

Eight new stadiums are planned to be built and opened in the UK: Manchester’s Co-op Live (scheduled for December 2023, with 23,500 seats), Bristol’s YTL Arena (2025 or 2026, with 19,000 seats), New Cardiff Bay Arena (by 2025). , with a capacity of 17,000), Edinburgh Arena (for this year or next year, with a capacity of 8,000), The Sage Gateshead (planned for next year, with a capacity of 12,500 spectators), London’s MSG Sphere (which still under discussion) (with a capacity for 12,500 people), MSG Spéar London (still in the works, with a capacity for 21,500 people), Sunderland Arena (still in the works, with a capacity for 10,000 people) and the Dundee Arena (which still in the project, with a capacity for 10,000 people). people).

“Warning to the music industry: we are on the brink,” Davyd told those gathered in Parliament. “We’re not close to the edge, we’re over the edge and we’re falling. A lifeline needs to be thrown in. We can’t pay £79m a year to create the artists who appear on your festival stages. .We can’t do it.

“There are eight new stadiums being built in the UK. I told someone in the industry and he didn’t believe me, although their artists will probably fill them for the next six years or so. But they won’t fill it. i in 10 years, because The Rolling Stones could die”.

Davyd continued: “We need to have a proper research and development arm in this country that supports new artists, develops their careers and gets them out there. That’s the responsibility of all of us in this industry, and just wait for a single venue operator to take a chance on a new band, lose money until you can wait for them to sell enough tickets to move up a level, so the artist can’t go back there again and there is no profitability for that room operator.

Referring to the eight new stadiums to be built in the United Kingdom in the coming years, Davyd claimed that “none of those stadiums would open their doors unless they had a policy where every ticket sold goes back to music centers in community and community artists”.

“Otherwise, we will build a carbuncle, a white elephant in the middle of our capital that will not be filled in 10 years because there will be no artists to fill it,” he argued. “Co-Op Live in Manchester will be a venue with a capacity of 23,500 opening later this year or early next year. It has no plans to invest in the original venues to be created by the artists who will fill that stage within 10 year. It’s not enough.”

He continued: ‘I’m saying to Andy Burnham, MPs for Manchester and Manchester City Council: ‘You shouldn’t give that venue a license to open unless you can find a way to put money back into the community system artists come out. on which it depends'”.

“Don’t talk to these stadiums unless there’s a pipeline. Stadiums have to come on board. You can do it for 50p a ticket. Do you know how much these tickets cost? With 23,500 tickets per a night, you’d get £11,000 in.”

Davyd added: “The distribution of wealth in this industry has to change and be sustainable by the community or we’re all on the way to the road. You come with us, you’re chained to us, don’t leave us hanging, come and give support us.”

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When contacted by NME, several of the recommended venues responded to MVT’s demands and comments.

The Music Venue Trust’s claim that Co-op Live has no plans to invest in community venues is inaccurate,” Mark Donnelly, Chief Executive Officer of Oak View Group International, the Manchester promoter of Co-op Live, told NME. We contacted him the organization after an initial conversation on December 7th, and we are currently awaiting a meeting to discuss collaboration as we prepare to open our site.”

“We are committed to giving back to the local community, having pledged £1m a year to the Co-operative Foundation, and working towards Manchester City Council’s goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2038. This ethos extends further into the community sector, working. together with Manchester’s vibrant Night & Day cafe to host our recent countdown event.”

A spokesperson for the YTL Arena told us: “Bristol is known for its vibrant music scene in the community, and we want to make sure that the opening of the YTL Arena contributes positively to that.

“We are developing a community strategy that includes initiatives to support emerging local artists, and we will share more details about this closer to our planned opening date of late 2025 or early 2026.”

A statement sent by Sunderland City Council to NME on behalf of its new stadium read: “We are continuing to look at our options for what could be a fantastic entertainment development.

“Although we are working in difficult economic circumstances, we are delivering our City Plan for a more dynamic, healthy and vibrant Sunderland.”

London’s MSG Sphere, Dundee Arena, New Cardiff Bay Arena, Edinburgh Arena and The Sage Gateshead were unable to respond when contacted by NME.

The Music Venue Trust also made a number of requests to the Government when submitting its report. He called for a reduction in the VAT applied to ticket sales, which is currently the second highest in Europe, one of the highest in the world and far higher than most countries music does more.

He also asks that the “excessive and anti-competitive” taxes on economic activities, which are “paralyzing” these cultural spaces, be abolished, and that the DCMS pressure the Ministry of Economy to adequately and urgently expand the Compensation Plan or energetic expansion. , which is viable for local people.

In addition, the MVT requested that it be given the same privileges as the Theater Trust in relation to consultation when submitting planning applications for neighborhood projects. In this way, new projects are avoided and noise complaints force the closure of existing premises.

In response to MVT’s claims, a DCMS spokesperson did not comment on most of his views, but told NME: “We know this is a difficult time for music venues and we’re still on their side. The government has delivered an £18bn package to support organizations through the Energy Bill Relief Scheme, including arts centers and businesses, over the winter.

“The plan will continue to provide valuable assistance to organizations until the end of March, before the new Energy Bill Discount Plan comes into force, providing further assistance for the following year.”

Last year, MVT launched its “Own Our Venues” campaign, which aims to provide ownership to music venues across the country.

The plan, recently endorsed by Ed Sheeran, aims to secure the long-term future of these venues by directly addressing the issue of ownership. It has been compared to “The National Trust, but for local people”.

As part of Independent Venues Week, patron Philip Selway explained to NME how small concert venues helped shape Radiohead (and what the future holds for the band), with loud punks increasing benefits they said “don’t Independent centers are ‘springboards’. ; for many bands, this is our Wembley.”

Beabadoobee, who is also an ambassador for IVW 2023, recently spoke to NME about what community centers mean to her and her upcoming concerts with Taylor Swift. You can find out more about this year’s Independent Rooms Week here.

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I am Dan/ Anime/ K-pop/ ARMY/ Stay

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