Swansea Arena House Party: The Fight to Save Grassroots Venues

Grassroots music venues are the lifeblood of our music industry. Without them, would we have our favourite bands, or core memories? Would the UK have its international renown?

The GMV crisis is worsening, and we are losing venues at an unprecedented rate, so it’s vital that we come together to support change.

We’ve had the honour of supporting The Swansea Music Venues Working Group, chaired by Swansea Arena’s Lisa Mart. This is a new collaboration that has enabled the city’s rich music scene to face the industry’s challenges and create opportunities together.

In February, the group which is made up of Swansea Arena, Sin City, The Bunkhouse, Elysium, Hangar 18 and Hippos, held the hugely successful Swansea Arena House Party which fulfilled its aim of raising £10,000 for the Music Venues Trust (MVT) and injected £10,000 back into the region’s creative sector, whilst putting on a banging gig event headlined by Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard with support from  fromKikker, The Fiends, PseudoCool, Mojo Jnr., Monet, Grey FLX, and Rainyday Rainbow.

In addition, throughout the day there were creative workshops to support grassroots artists in the city taking in developing a live show, creating pop art album covers, noise makers taster DJ sessions, graffiti lettering, and drumming, as well as an array of stalls from local grassroots music venues, funders and support organisations, creatives including photographers and videographers, plus much, much more.

Now, the organisation is now petitioning the Senedd (Welsh Government) to improve the late-night transport into and out of the city.

Transport is a huge priority as currently, in Swansea and South West Wales, most transport links East currently finish before 23:00, meaning that music fans attending events closing any later have to make the difficult choice to either drive, or miss the last hour of the event and the music venues across the city have joined forces to address the critical situation that the Music Venue Trust (MVT) warns could result in 10% of grassroots music venues closing in the near future.

Currently on just over 5,300 signatures, the Group has until 7th May 2024 to get the petition’s figure to 10,000 and qualify for consideration for debate. Swansea Arena, with support from the local grassroots music venues, has penned this open letter to the government to state their case and is encouraging people from Swansea and beyond to sign.

The Group has put in a lot of hard work to generate momentum and has had media support from music press, music trade outlets and regional titles including Total Production International, Access All Areas, Access All Areas (again), Mixmag, BBC 6 Music, BBC Wales, Wales Online, South Wales Chronicle and Buzz Magazine

You can sign the petition here.



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