The Music Venue Trust has published an open letter on behalf of its 661 members, demanding Boris Johnson take legal action to temporarily close – and in so doing, protect – grassroots music venues across the country.
“We need you toto act immediately to legally enforce the temporary closure of Grassroots Music Venues,” the letter states. “If you do not act to do so, your government will be responsible for the permanent closure and loss of hundreds of these vital and vibrant parts of our communities in every corner of the United Kingdom.”
It goes on to reiterate the cultural importance of these spaces: “Everyone reading this letter will know one of these spaces, will have houses full of the music made by the artists who started their careers in them.”
The letter also specifies the details of what this move would entail, costing less than £40 million. “Prior to your statement yesterday, Music Venue Trust supplied a full breakdown to the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport detailing the financial cost of mothballing these venues for temporary closure in a planned and constructed action,” the letter says.
“That action would see them protected and able to reopen when this crisis is over. We laid out the cost for you; £11.4million now to protect the supply chain, people’s jobs, homes, businesses, and £3.7 million per week to maintain them while they are closed. For eight weeks, the total cost would be less than £40 million.”
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