Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has called for government action to secure long-term sustainability for grassroots music venues – while calling out the big corporate venues, saying they have to ‘pay their fair share’ towards saving small, independent venues. However, Corbyn hasn’t just put out a statement. He’s written an article for legendary rock and metal magazine Kerrang!
Corbyn: writing for Kerrang!
The Peace and Justice Project, founded by Corbyn in 2021, launched the Music For The Many campaign to protect grassroots music venues and demand the government creates a support fund to protect the futures of at-risk venues.
In 2022, 22 million people saw live music at grassroots music venues and brought £500m into the UK economy. However, operating costs ran at over £499m, leaving a profit margin of only 0.2%.
This is unsustainable and has put thousands of jobs under serious threat. So, the Peace and Justice Project and Corbyn are determined to change things.
Music For The Many
In a written exclusive for Kerrang! magazine, Corbyn said:
The latest annual report by the Music Venue Trust revealed that 2023 was the worst year for grassroots music venues yet, with as many as one a week shutting its doors permanently.
It is absolutely no exaggeration to say that, without urgent action, we face the real risk of losing an entire generation of talent and artistry to cuts and austerity. Without grassroots music venues, up-and-coming performers, bands and musicians will not be granted the necessary space to harness and develop their craft, or build enough of a following to move on to bigger things such as record deals or the chance to play at larger concert venues.
With that in mind, it is not unreasonable to say that the massive corporations, many of whom have reported massive profits in recent years, should pay their fair share into the delicate ecosystem of British live music.
So, Corbyn has called on corporate sponsors of large music arenas to:
pay a small levy on ticket sales that can be directly re-invested into a specific Grassroots Music Venue Fund to ensure the long-term security of grassroots music venues.
You can get involved with Music For The Many by writing to your MP demanding the government act, here. Also, read Corbyn’s full exclusive for Kerrang! magazine here.
Featured image via Wikimedia