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Warning UK's live music face closures Published Date: 11/09/2022

Warning UK's live music face closures with spiralling energy bills, with some venues seeing increases of up to 1,400%.

This week, the new Prime Minister, Liz Truss, announced measures to ease the burden on businesses, but there remains questions whether it be enough to help already struggling music venues.

According to the Music Venue Trust charity, there are at least 300 grassroots venues, of the 900 or so that it works with, facing "immediate" threat of permanent closure. Chief executive Mark Davyd says the situation is likely far graver, as while many venues are not facing imminent contract renewal in the next few months, it is coming later down the line.

Jon Collins, the chief executive of industry body LIVE - which represents 14 live music associations, including the Music Venue Trust - says that in the wake of the pandemic, the cost of living crisis and "skyrocketing" energy prices "could spell the end of the UK's live music scene as we know it".

Releasing results of an industry survey, LIVE said venues were facing increases of anything from 300% to 1,400%.

Jamie Northrop, who runs the 150-capacity venue Alexander's Live, in Chester and speaking to Sky News, said:

"We are doing everything we can to mitigate against the rises - installing timer switches on everything, all our beer coolers, all our fridges and freezers, ensured all our lighting is energy efficient.

"We've literally done everything we can. But to continue opening the doors, we can't do any more - we have to turn stuff on. And the hike that's coming at us now is just unmanageable.

"You've got all the sound, the stage, the lighting. It literally is all about electricity. Without electricity, there's nothing."

Currently paying about £8,000 a year for electricity, the cost for Alexander's is set to almost quadruple, to £29,500, at the next renewal in October.

Source: Sky News