ASM Global’s Group Commercial Director and Senior VP, Europe, Tom Lynch, joined the Music Venue Trust CEO Mark Davyd on BBC Radio 4’s Front Row on Wednesday to discuss Davyd’s open letter to the live events industry and what’s being done to tackle issues facing grassroots music venues in a constructive way moving forward, paving the way for the headliners of tomorrow.
ASM used the platform to announce that it’s leading the way by pledging its support to Music Venue Trust, committing to ensuring its vital work in the grassroots music industry is further strengthened through an extensive set of new initiatives.
Music Venue Trust (MVT) is a charity that represents and protects almost 1000 grassroots music venues (GMVs). ASM Global, in partnership with MVT, will bolster its support for MVT with donations, training and marketing support, with programmes that will roll out on a local level across ASM Global’s portfolio of UK venues which includes AO Arena in Manchester, OVO Arena Wembley, first direct Arena in Leeds, Utilita Arena Newcastle, P&J Live Aberdeen, Bonus Arena Hull, York Barbican, and more.
Through donations, ASM Global will actively seek opportunities to support MVT as part of its ongoing planning. This includes one-off initiatives designed to raise additional income for the fund. For example, it is announced that OVO Arena Wembley will match Enter Shikari’s £1 per ticket sold donation to the MVT when they play in February 2024. There will also be opportunities for additional fundraising activity for GMVs via tickets for events at ASM Global venues. ASM Global will also make equipment and furniture in need of a new home available to grassroots music venues that need it.
Training will play a pivotal role in this commitment, with ASM Global offering access to training either online or in its venues. As an industry leader, ASM Global has developed extensive, industry leading training that includes health & safety, food safety, hygiene, cybersecurity as well as wider topics such as mental health, equality and diversity and social media awareness. There will be shadowing opportunities, too, offering those from the grassroots industry the chance to get insight into ASM Global’s key areas of operations to support the running of GMVs moving forward. ASM Global will be able to share guidance and insights received through its pledge to Greener Arena certification across its UK portfolio; this industry-leading information will support venues of all sizes in becoming more sustainable and saving costs at the same time.
In recognising how important awareness and talkability are for these venues, ASM will help drive this through their own channels and offer training and support. Through marketing, and to make these venues as visible as possible in their local markets, support will include inclusion in newsletters, linking to venue websites with event and ticketing information. The team will also offer social media support on a local level, as well as signage in venues, highlighting each city’s grassroots music venues, as well as more targeted support for specific venue shows wherever it’s appropriate and tailored to specific audience demographics.
Tom Lynch, Commercial Director and SVP Europe at ASM Global was recently announced as a Patron of Music Venue Trust. He said, “At ASM Global, we are very aware and concerned about the unprecedented cost pressures facing Grassroots Music Venues, and in turn, the knock-on pressures placed on the pipeline of talent for the rest of the live music industry. Grassroots Music Venues are the lifeblood of our cultural fabric and where much of society truly falls in love with music for the first time. As a team, we have always admired the passion and hard work of Music Venue Trust, in providing a voice to Grassroots Music Venues and creating a framework for vital support to keep the music playing.”
Mark Davyd said, “We want to thank ASM Global for being the first arena operators to respond to our call for support from the live music industry to deal with the crisis engulfing grassroots music venues. This is an incredibly important first step towards ensuring that when an artist emerges from the grassroots sector, everyone shares in the success they generate once they reach the very top of the industry. We look forward to developing this important relationship.”