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East London music venue among those that could close unless the industry takes action

A gig at Luna in Leytonstone which is at risk of closing its doors unless it can raise £75,000 (PR Handout)
A gig at Luna in Leytonstone which is at risk of closing its doors unless it can raise £75,000 (PR Handout)

The music industry is “not acting fast enough” to save the grassroots music venues that support the next generation of talent, according to a new report.

Research by the Music Venue Trust (MVT) found smaller venues are closing atthe rate of two a week despite increased demand for tickets.

Its annual report found pressures including high energy bills and rising rents eating away at any profits made by putting on gigs with 125 venues closing their doors last year.

Among those which could close this year is Luna which opened its doors in Leytonstone in 2004 and hosts around 400 gigs a year.

The venue has launched a fundraising campaign to try to find the £75,000 it needs to pay off debts including rent arrears and to carry out maintenance work such as soundproofing and enhancing its energy efficiency to make it more sustainable in the longterm.

Its owner Declan Walsh said: “There is no place like Luna, it’s more than just a music venue. Music is of course at its core but Luna is a community. We, like many venues in our sector, are at a critical point, and to save Luna we need to turn to our Community for help - to preserve this amazing space.”

MVT wants the industry to bring in a levy, similar to one established in France, where a small percentage of ticket sales at big arenas goes back to support smaller venues.

Its CEO Mark Davyd said: “Enough is enough, this report speaks for itself and we will not allow this to continue. We must either find a way to act collectively to get these venues and the artists who rely on them the financialsupport they need to survive or we will seek legislation to compel it.

“The idea that we, as an industry, cannot voluntarily create a levy to support our grassroots sector, unilaterally and without government intervention is absurd but we cannot escape the fact that we are simply not acting fast enough.

“For that reason, Music Venue Trust is asking all of the main political parties for manifesto commitments ahead of the forthcoming General Election that state that there must be a contribution from the most successful parts of our industry into the grassroots research and development carried out on their behalf.

"It’s time to stop the excuses - we can no longer accept complacency from those in a position to help prevent the annihilation of our sector.”