GRASSROOTS VENUES campaigner Music Venues Trust (MVT) has partnered with the PRS Foundation to launch an another initiative aimed at encouraging women and “gender minorities” to become promoters.
A follow-up to MVT’s Fightback:Grassroots Promoter (FB:GP) project, launched in 2018 (see LIVE UK issue 219), the new initiative will provide training and mentoring for participants to start staging shows from spring.
MVT says the project will underwrite shows that make a loss, removing any financial anxiety for the aspiring promoters.
The initiative is open to women and gender minorities aged 18 to 25, who are interested in promoting but not yet taken a first step, or who have made s start and feel they need more guidance.
“The grassroots music venues network is full of amazing people but fresh blood is always needed to ensure the sustainability of these venues,” says MVT strategic director Beverley Whitrick. “Strong, diverse teams need young talent and FB:GP is a way to nurture that.”
MVT launched FB:GP in April last year in partnership with social website Music Planet Live (MPL). The aim was to stage 100 shows promoted by women across the country, with MPL pledging to invest £100,000 to underwrite potential losses.
Whitrick tells LIVE UK that 55 applicants were paired with mentors and 22 went on to promote a show. Of those, 75 per cent made a loss and the remainder made a profit or broke-even, she says.
“There wasn’t a lack of enthusiasm, it was purely because an awful lot of the young women are students and they realised that they wouldn’t have the time to deliver shows,” says Whitrick.
She says the emphasis in the new initiative will be on increased training to reduce the need for losses having to be underwritten.