The UK grassroots circuit is renowned around the world. Across 70 years, agents, managers, and independent musicians have worked together with venues, technicians, crew, and promoters to nurture careers.

The Beatles at The Cavern. Jimi Hendrix at the Troubadour. Siouxsie and the Banshees at the 100 Club. Kate Bush at the Rose of Lee. Duran Duran at the Rumrunner. Oasis at King Tuts. Adele at the 12 Bar. Ed Sheeran at Norwich Arts Centre. 1975 at Night & Day. Our grassroots music ecosystem has kickstarted the careers of thousands of artists.

For many years, that ecosystem has been struggling to survive. Between 2008 and 2015, 35% of all grassroots music venues in the country closed their doors for good. In 2023, another crisis hit the sector: The rocketing cost of energy and cost-of-living, accommodation costs, the soaring cost of staffing, rent, rates. All have hit the basic costs of playing live shows, putting a tour outside the economic grasp of too many of our new and emerging artists, resulting in another 16% of all our vital live music spaces disappearing from the map.

Meanwhile, the commercial live music industry, at arena, major festival, and stadium level, is enjoying its most successful year ever - selling more than 1 million tickets, to a value of over £100 million, in just one week, in London alone.

The live music ecosystem starts from the first moment an artist just like you put their foot on their first stage to perform the first song they have written in front of their first audience. If artists, venues, and promoters can't afford to make that happen, our whole ecosystem will eventually collapse.

Music Venue Trust has a simple solution. The success of any one of the artists emerging from the grassroots should ripple down through every layer of the ecosystem. When our ecosystem supports an artist to reach the pinnacle of their potential, everyone should benefit. A rising tide should lift all boats.

£1 from every arena and stadium ticket sold in the UK would raise over £20 million. This would be enough to fully support touring by thousands of artists. Enough to stop our local music spaces from closing down. Enough to not just steady the ship but prevent it from sinking entirely.

We have talked to arenas, to stadiums, to the world's biggest promoters. They have heard from us and from grassroots venues that we want grassroots artists, promoters and venues to be supported, nurtured, and given the backing they need. Now we are asking you, the grassroots artists at the start of your careers, to join us and send them the same message. We're asking you to sign a simple pledge that we have created. It sends a clear message to the live music industry that as you progress through your career, you expect those who are benefitting from your work and your success to make sure that a small amount of the financial rewards they receive is shared back down the pipeline, supporting grassroots artists, venues, promoters, and others to create the next wave of British talent.