Health Care

Small music venues face final curtain

Small music venues face final curtain”

About a third of almost 200 participating venues said that a rise in business rates in last year's budget was causing problems, while about the same number had experienced issues with new property developments...

The census also found that one in three small live music venues are experiencing problems with property development and noise complaints.

The Scottish government said new planning guidance should help tackle the issue of noise disturbance. There are nearly 250 music venues in Glasgow.

"Music venues should not have to make high cost changes or deal with expensive disputes because of new developments". This can often lead to noise complaints from neighbours.

Caroline Sewell, regional organiser for the Musicians' Union in Scotland, said: "After campaigning tirelessly with colleagues from the Musicians' Union and elsewhere across the country, and seeing the Agent of Change principle come into force in English and Welsh planning law, we are delighted that Scotland is now following suit".

On Friday, the Scottish government said it was writing to planning authorities to outline new guidance on the issue.

"Music venues should not have to make high cost changes or deal with expensive disputes because of new developments".

A letter is being sent to all planning authorities asking them to ensure decisions reflect this principle from now on.

Findings also show that the total spend of people at live music events contributes significant sums to local economies - £78.8 million annually in Glasgow and £43.3m in Newcastle-Gateshead.

"It removes a crippling threat that loomed over our music venues for too long".


Geoff Ellis, DF Concerts CEO, said: "Today's news that the Agent of Change principle will be adopted into Scottish Planning policy is a huge step in protecting Scotland's live music scene". Only one quarter spend the same on recorded music. "Small venues are a crucial part of a bigger picture ensuring local talent has a place to grow, and intra-and-international acts see the city as an obvious touring destination".

Among the recommendations are that government review business rates for music venues and smaller spaces for live music and calls for more extensive funding for emerging artists and venue infrastructure.

"Sometimes these complaints can be generated as a result of new development being carried out in the vicinity of existing music venues".

The survey also found that almost half of Edinburgh's musicians had been impacted by noise restrictions, leading to issues with future booking or gigs being cut short. It's a tremendous boost for the live music industry.

The census provides further evidence that music fans spend more money on live music than recorded music.

The research also showed that 44% of the 2,700 people surveyed said they had resold a ticket for a live music event within the past 12 months.

Survey results released on Friday suggest that Glasgow's live music scene brings an economic boost to the city of nearly £80m a year as well as supporting thousands of jobs.

Small live music venues across the United Kingdom are increasingly being threatened with closure, potentially jeopardising the careers of a generation of up-and-coming artists, a survey has revealed.

"We are delighted the Scottish Government has thrown its support behind our "Agent of Change" plan and is toughening the rules to protect grassroots music venues".

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