Ellie Rowsell, Bengi Unsal and Sarah Thirtle (shown below, respectively) join the charity to help protect the UK’s grassroots music venues.

Earlier this week Music Venue Trust, the charity founded in 2014 to protect, secure and improve grassroots music venues, announced some new additions.

Joining its board are musician Ellie Rowsell of Wolf Alice and Bengi Unsal, Senior Contemporary Music Programmer at Southbank Centre. They’ll join the other trustees who specialise in everything from cultural funding and marketing, to multi-media, venue management, artist networking and much more.

“Without independent, grassroots venues I’m not sure my band would be where we are today,” said Rowsell. “They offered me a chance to play without knowing the first thing about how the industry worked. They bring originality, equality, opportunity, character and spunk to the cities they reside in and now more than ever is the time to fight to keep them going!”


Unsal, who has run a music venue, is also well aware of how important grassroots venues are in today’s competitive music industry. “These intimate spaces offer fans an unparalleled gig experience and provide bands an essential platform to be discovered and to grow their audiences at the early stages of their career,” he said.

In addition, MVT has appointed Sarah Thirtle of Creative United as co-chair. She’s been part of the Board of Trustees for a year and a half and will now work alongside Chris Prosser of ILMC and IQ to create specific lead roles that address music industry and cultural sector opportunities equally.

“Our vision is for this sector to be valued, invested in and thriving, securing these vital cultural spaces for our towns and cities. Eventually, we will hold in trust, for the nation, these cultural assets for future generations to continue to enjoy,” said Thirtle. “Until then, I look forward to helping shape the Music Venue Trust’s initiatives which aim to raise the profile of this too often overlooked sector, stimulate debate, influence policy, and ultimately pave the way to attracting partners, funders and friends to help us achieve our mission.”

Music Venue Trust is constantly evolving to meet the challenges identified for members of the Music Venues Alliance. The Music Venues Alliance now represents 440 venues across the UK, making it the largest membership body for music venues in Europe. Acting on behalf of those members is a responsibility MVT takes very seriously.

Source: MVT, published 7 August 2018: For more information about MVT and these new appointments, read the full announcement here.

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