Facts 'n' stats
Music Venue Trust found that 33% of small music venues (up to 350 capacity) felt increases in business rates had an “extreme, strong or moderate” impact on their existence in the past year.
27% of all music venues – from almost 200 surveyed by the charity – said they had experienced problems with property development around their premises.
74% of music fans said they had visited pubs and bars to see live music in the past year.
The Fightback Brewing Company aims to save venues with its Fightback Lager that, it is proposed, will be stocked across the country from December.
Donations from the sale of the 4.6% ABV lager will go to the charity Music Venue Trust (MVT) to help pay for legal costs incurred through licensing, noise, planning and business rates at under-threat venues.
MVT acts to protect, secure and improve grassroots music venues – which it defines as operations that provide “a central beacon of music activity”.
More than a third of music venues (35%) across the country have closed in the past decade, according to group UK Music.
The lager has been brewed by Manchester brewer ShinDigger and will launch in venues participating in the Fightback Manchester festival this month.
Fightback is the public-facing fundraising branch of MVT and has previously organised gigs with band The Wombats in order to raise money for the charity.
Spirit of music community
Fightback Brewing Company director Richard Smith said: “We've been blown away by the enthusiasm for a beer that financially helps the sector.
“It made sense to all of us to create something that reflects the independent spirit of the grassroots music venue community.”
Music Venue Trust chief executive Mark Davyd said the donations would go straight to venues in need.
He said: “We are delighted that more and more companies and organisations are emerging with great concepts that can support the network of grassroots music venues to survive and hopefully thrive.”
Davyd added: “Every penny donated to Music Venue Trust by Fightback beer goes directly to supporting a music venue in trouble, facing challenges, or under threat of closure.”
Gary Prosser who runs Fightback events said: “Fightback Lager is a natural addition to our Fightback regional events we have planned for the next year.
“Any cause that can raise much needed funds to help our grassroots music venues is very welcome indeed!”