Venues Day – championing the UK’s indie music venues

the hub is partnering with Music Venue Trust around the first Venues Day, which is happening in London next month. We’ll hopefully see a good few hub friends there, but in the mean time, we asked Mark Davyd, the Trust’s CEO, to tell us what inspired the event, who it’s for and what delegates can expect. Here’s what he had to say…


Venues Day 2014 is taking place at the Southbank Centre on Tuesday 9 December. It’s the first national event specifically targeted at the work of small and medium independent music venues across the country, celebrating their work and seeking to create a network of venues that can act and speak together.

Venues Day is an initiative led by the Music Venue Trust, which was formed early in 2014 to speak up for the live music circuit in the UK; the so-called ‘toilet circuit’ that is the grassroots of the UK music scene. In recent years a number of key closures have put a dent in this circuit, and changes to legislation, tough trading conditions and the overall music economy have placed many of the venues on a knife-edge. The Music Venue Trust has been looking for ways to address these issues, including campaigning very noticeably and successfully on noise and planning legislation. During that campaigning and discussions with politicians and key stakeholders, it became clear to the Trust that the sector was failing to be heard; key government initiatives were moving forward without a representative voice for small venues. Venues Day is an attempt to have a national conversation about what the cultural sector and the music industry can do together to ensure we continue to enjoy live music locally in the future. To deliver this event Music Venue Trust are working in partnership with Independent Venue Week and the Southbank Centre, with funding from Arts Council England.

More than 50 venues have already confirmed their attendance in the first week of registration, and the aim is to have at least 80 venues from across the country represented. Venues Day has three main panels, dealing with best practice, noise vs nuisance, and the final panel of the day, featuring contributions from UK Music, The Arts Council and two of the UK’s most important agencies, which aims to push the conversation forward; “What Happens Next?”.

With Venues Day we are trying stage a one off celebratory event that acts as a game-changer for how venues see themselves and how the cultural, arts, music and political sector view the work of this vital circuit. Music Venue Trust believes that the time is right to address several key issues which affect the ability of these venues to trade successfully, and that by providing an opportunity for the venues to speak up for themselves, and ensuring that the right people get to hear what they have to say, we can work together to get real change on issues like Environmental Health visits, licensing laws, trading conditions, headline costs.

Everybody in the music industry recognises that these venues  have been the breeding ground for successive waves of musicians and artists that have gone on to create such a thriving UK music industry. Venues Day is a chance for the venues to speak directly to that industry about what it can do to support that work.

Delegate passes are available from or if you represent a small independent venue by contacting us at And you can keep up to date on programme updates on Music Venue Trust’s website.