Here are the headlines from an in-depth study of 88 grassroots music venues in 2017/18. There are some hugely concerning stats in what follows and the MIA will continue to offer all possible support to the Music Venue Trust in order to secure a future for our music venues.
- An estimated 9.5 million people attended a live music show at a grassroots music venue in the last 12 months, consisting of;
-8.5 million paid visits
-1 million visits to a free event
- Circa 140,000 shows took place, featuring over 480,000 performances;
– 293,000 performances at paid events
– 191,000 performances at free events
- The average ticket price has risen slightly above inflation – to an average £8.55 in 2018 from £7.80 in 2016 (equivalent to £8.27 in 2018 allowing for inflation)
- Approximately 16,000 FTE posts have been described in this sector, consisting of 12,000 FTE paid work and 4000 FTE volunteer posts
- Based upon the expenditure allocated to those posts, the average salary being earned is significantly below minimum wage, equating to approximately £2 per hour.
- In reality, to accommodate this and meet their legal obligations, venue owners anecdotally report that:
– they are not paying themselves or their partners who own the business.
– FTE roles are a combination of paid and volunteer work
– staff work significant unpaid hours in almost every aspect of the business to reduce salary expenses
- The sector generated circa £190 million in economic activity;
– £72 million in ticket sales
– £118 million in bar/catering
- At least 130% of the ticket income is being spent on delivering the show – this estimate is extraordinarily generous to the show expenses, assuming that;
– only 50% of the staff employed have a function required for the delivery of the show
– the show bears no responsibility for rent, rates, electric, water, gas etc.
- 1 in 4 venues have converted their legal status in relation to events to a not-for-profit entity, up to 24% from 2% in 2015. This is a very significant outcome for Music Venue Trust, which has actively promoted and encouraged this change in legal status since 2015.
- This change in legal status has had no impact at all on the ability of venues to obtain public subsidy;
– subsidy in this sector equates to 0.046% of total income;
– 460 out of 471 venues exist on no subsidy or external support at all.
Additional information from the venues responding:
- 38% report they have some form of Online Access statement as recommended by Attitude is Everything
- 33% are signed up to the Musicians Union Fair Play Venue scheme
- 70% report they have a process in place for the reporting of sexual harassment during events as recommended by Safe Gigs for Women (and others)
- 69% report they have banned the use of Plastic Straws as recommended by Julie’s Bicycle (and others)
- 92% report they have made their space available for free (at their own expense) on multiple occasions for charity events
One line summary:
It can’t go on like this, something has to change.
The MIA became the first supporter to sign up to the new Venue Pipeline Investment Fund: http://musicvenuetrust.com/…/music-venue-trust-launches-pi…/