Billy Bragg, OneDa and Fickle Friends step forward to support the charity’s vital work.
Music Venue Trust places the ability of artists to develop their careers at the heart of its mission to protect, secure and improve grassroots music venues. These small, independent venues act as the research and development department of the UK Music industry, allowing new talent to develop their craft and learn how to connect with audiences.
To keep fighting the good fight, Music Venue Trust have added three new patrons to the list of champions for their cause – Billy Bragg, OneDa and Fickle Friends.
“We are in a completely different music industry to the one I came into many years ago with just my guitar, my amp and a nice line in plaid shirts. I think it’s probably safe to say that without small venues there would’ve been no Billy Bragg. How else was an artist who was never going to get onto daytime radio or a major record label going to find an audience and build their own reality? Some things are as true now as back then and remain unchanged – the need for small venues up and down the country to support new bands/artists whilst they learn their trade and find their tribe is still top of that list.” says singer-songwriter and national treasure Billy Bragg, who was highly visible in the recent campaign for Agent of Change to be adopted, as a long-term supporter of the work of The Musicians’ Union as well as Music Venue Trust.
The Agent of Change campaign also brought forward a fresh young advocate for grassroots music venues in the shape of Manchester-based rapper OneDa who said “Small music venues are essential for the growth of an artist, no matter the genre. Yes, the internet has provided new means and ways of interacting and exploring our audience, but it is at these small music venues that we then ‘serenade’ our newfound supporters. Grassroots venues allow me to provide my supporters with a unique, intimate experience. This is why the work Music Venue Trust do is so important.”
Indie pop outfit Fickle Friends also chimed in on the debate, saying “Fickle Friends owe a huge amount to independent venues. Over the past 4 years we have toured across more towns in the UK than we can remember (over 350 shows and counting) but looking back, what connects these shows is the community, loyalty and care that existed in the grassroots venues we played. Without them our experience of touring would be much less memorable and our chance to play to so many loyal audiences would not be there. Independent venues are to be cherished for artists and audiences alike. We’re proud to be part of the Music Venue Trust and hopefully do our part in helping to defend them.”
Every artist who adds their voice helps Music Venue Trust reach a larger audience to gain recognition for the vital role grassroots music venues play culturally, socially and economically.