Music Venues Taskforce

Saving London's music venues

Music helps make London a dynamic city. Our music scene is second to none. We need to continue to be a city that nurtures, creates and enjoys a world famous live music scene.

The Mayor and London's Night Czar are leading the city-wide charge to support and protect London's important grassroots music venues and make London the world’s best music city.

Rescue Plan for London’s Grassroots Music Venues

London lost 35% of its vital grassroots music venues from 2007. In response, the Mayor of London set up the Music Venues Taskforce to work out why so many music venues had closed and what impact this was having on London’s culture and economy.

They published their Rescue Plan for London's Grassroots Music Venues in October 2015. It included a package of measures to address problems in planning, licensing, business rates, promotion and music tourism.

In January 2017 we published a progress update. The progress update showed that the number of grassroots music venues in the capital had remained stable for the first time in ten years. We currently have 94 venues operating in London.

Although good progress has been made to tackle the decline, there is still a lot to be done to make sure London is the world's best music city.

Mapping London's music facilities

The Mayor has created the first map of London’s music spaces to help nurture music scene across the capital. It shows the full spectrum of music performance, recording and rehearsal spaces in London highlights the areas of opportunity and growth. Londoners, the music industry and boroughs are encouraged to use this map and add venues and facilities they know of, so we can create the fullest picture possible of London’s vibrant music scene.

Impact of business rates

The Mayor of London commissioned Nordicity to produce a report looking at the impact that the increase in business rates would have on London's grassroots venues.

The capital has a total of 94 grassroots music venues. A fifth of venues could be forced to close due to business rates increases.

A further 18 of London’s 94 grassroots music venues are expected to experience significant financial challenges. In total, these 39 venues account for up to 530 jobs and generate up to £21.5m for the capital’s economy.

On top of this, an additional 23 venues are at risk of having to cut the number of new artists they book, instead opting to put on safer, more-established artists that generate higher sales.

Together, these grassroots music venues account for at least 14,000 emerging-artist performance opportunities annually at risk, and have a knock-on effect for the music industry as a whole, while reducing the opportunities for new and emerging talent in London.

This conservative figure is based on one emerging artist performing at each of the at risk grassroots music venues per night.

Grassroots music venues contribution to London

  • £91.8
    million
    contribution to London’s economy
  • 2260
    full time
    jobs supported
  • £44
    million
    invested in talent development
  • 94
    grassroot venues
    across London