With the rising price every square foot in our capital, new and lucrative residential developments are threatening the very existence of small music venues in the Capital and beyond.
With rent and rates costing some venues up to £4,000 a month, some music venues just can’t afford to continue hosting music nights. With tickets being as cheap as £7 on average to attract a good audience to often unsigned or emerging artists, and even with staging 320 shows playing a year, some venues aren’t able to cope with the stratospheric rises rent and rates cost, let alone new residents petitioning the council.
Small Venues are an amazing and much needed platform for emerging artists as artists such as Coldplay, Radiohead, URBAN ACT HERE will testify as part of their development stemmed from playing at 200 capacity venues. But they are also a rich part of our cultural experience as Londoners. One that we think will be sorely missed by generations of audiences as well as artists if this issue persists.
Mayor Boris Johnson set up a “taskforce” to investigate the issue a year ago, but with venues facing a weekly battle to remain open, there has to be some tangible action for them soon otherwise we’ll lose more venues, more opportunities for aspiring artists and another part of what makes London such an amazing place to be.