Ticketmaster have today (October 10) announced a new plan to allow fans to contribute directly to the Music Venue Trust (MVT) to help support UK grassroots venues.

Ticketmaster will now have a Music Venue Trust charity upsell option, enabling fans to make direct contributions to MVT when purchasing tickets. Music Venue Trust helps to support grassroots venues.

The upsell will launch on Venues Day 2023 (October 17), an initiative that’s been sponsored by Ticketmaster since 2016. The upsell will run for a month.


Additionally, Ticketmaster has committed to match all donations received and run this upsell yearly.

Mark Davyd, MVT Founder & CEO, said of the collaboration: “This upsell provides a practical method for fans to support grassroots music venues, and we are incredibly grateful to the Ticketmaster team for putting it in place. Ticketmaster matching all fan donations is a powerful message for the whole industry about the support our sector needs and the will of the music community to provide it.”

“Ticketmaster has been a long-term and committed partner of MVT, and their core support has been vital in developing us as the authentic voice of grassroots venues, artists and fans.”

Speaking about the current state of the industry, Davyd added: “We believe that live music fans understand exactly how vital these venues are to the future of our whole music ecosystem and how much financial difficulty they are currently facing.”


“127 grassroots music venues have closed in the last 12 months – more than one is permanently closing every week.” He also continued his call for a collective effort from the government, the music industry, artists, and fans to prevent further closures and reverse the decline.

It comes as more artists have recently been pledging to help grassroots venues like Enter Shikari, who announced a new 2024 arena tour in support of Music Venue Trust. £1 from each ticket sale will be donated to the Music Venue Trust in each city the band will be touring through. The idea was spurred by the band’s incentive to give back to the local venues which continue to support them throughout their careers.

Halifax Piece Hall also announced a scheme to support grassroots music venues in Calderdale borough through MVT’s Pipeline Investment Fund (PIF). The Music Venue Trust (MVT) signed a groundbreaking agreement with The Piece Hall as well as promoters Cuffe and Taylor that will now give fans who attend concerts at the hall an option to add a donation to MVT when purchasing tickets through Ticketmaster.

Live music – CREDIT: Getty

All of the funds that are raised will go directly towards supporting grassroots music venues in Calderdale borough through MVT’s Pipeline Investment Fund (PIF). The Piece Hall has become the first major UK venue to provide fans with the option to support independent venues directly at the point of purchase.

The MVT, which represents almost 1,000 UK grassroots music venues, shared its 2022 annual report in January, laying out the value of the sector to both the UK economy and the music industry, as well as the grave danger that venues and UK face without urgent action. As it stands, the latest figures show audience numbers were at 89 per cent of their 2019 level, at about 21million.

Then in September, the Music Venue Trust revealed to NME that 67 venues have closed so far this year, with 90 currently working with MVT’s Emergency Response. Roughly half of those are likely to close in 2023 – giving a total of around 100 grassroots music being lost from the UK in 2023; that’s 10 per cent of the number of independent gig spaces in the country. MVT also penned an open letter to Chancellor Jeremy Hunt outlining the severity of the situation.

Without help, the UK is set to lose 10 per cent of its grassroots music venues in 2023. There have now been calls growing for the “major leagues” of the music industry and larger venues like arenas to do more to pay into the ecosystem and save them. Several organisations behind eight of these new arenas currently being built in the UK responded to NME earlier this year about MVTs concerns. 

In addition to this, MVT recently announced the first acquisition under its public ownership scheme. 

The #OwnOurVenues initiative was first announced in May, following the news that legendary gig spaces like North London’s Nambucca and Sheffield’s Leadmill were closing their doors or under threat, respectively.

Having been backed by Ed Sheeran, the scheme aims to secure the long-term futures of such venues by directly tackling the issue of ownership. The campaign has been likened to “The National Trust, but for venues”.