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Why the Covid-19 struggles of small venues are a big problem


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During the Covid-19 pandemic, we’ve been writing about campaigns on both sides of the Atlantic to save independent music venues.

These spaces may seem a world away from the big concert halls, arenas and stadiums of the live music industry, but Midia Research has published one of the better explanations of why they matter.

“Without this testing ground for emerging artists, an artist development gap is going to appear. One that could hold back the careers of the next generation of artists, affecting not just their live business but the entire spread of their careers – with clear implications for labels and publishers,” wrote Midia boss Mark Mulligan.

“Even though streaming distorted the path from studio to stage for many emerging artists, the importance of smaller venue tours is higher than ever. Yet these small venues are most at risk… Though some are getting state grants, many will struggle to generate profits with socially-distanced crowds – their capacities are just too small to make the staff-to-audience ratios work… So we could end up with a gap where the first rungs of the live ladder are meant to be.”

Stuart Dredge

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