Concert News

Radar Becomes First Festival To Donate Percentage Of Ticket Sales To Music Venue Trust

Music Venue Trust (MVT), which represents hundreds of UK Grassroots Music Venues (GMVs), has announced a new agreement with RADAR Festival. A percentage of every ticket sold for the independent festival will go towards supporting grassroots music venues via the charity’s Pipeline Investment Fund. 

RADAR, an inclusive, modern, contemporary indoor music festival, becomes the first festival to agree to donate to the Pipeline Investment Fund which has awarded more than £260,000 to 61 UK Grassroots Music Venues since it was founded in 2022. The announcement follows renewed calls from MVT for a ticket levy on all major stadium and arena gigs to support GMVs in the wake of the news that 16% (125) of UK Grassroots Music Venues were lost in the last 12 months with 38% of all UK GMVs posting a financial loss.

Founded in 2019 this year’s RADAR festival runs from July 26 to 28 at O2 Victoria Warehouse in Manchester with a lineup that includes The Midnight, Dirty Loops, Plini, VOLA and Sungazer. Co-organiser Catherine Jackson-Smith, who also owns The Lounge Bar in Alton, said “I’ve seen the journey in my own venue of young artists playing for the first time and stepping onto a small stage that they know has previously hosted artists that they admire and want to emulate.  Time and again I’ve watched these nervous artists blossom in confidence, ability and stature within the scene, waiting to be discovered by the masses.  When that happens, they know how to interact with a crowd, how to control a room, pace their set and perform to the best of their abilities. 

These are all crafts that you can only develop with a small, raw audience that the grassroots music scene cultivates every night up and down the country. If we don’t protect the smaller venues then there isn’t a pipeline for the next headliners, and this ticking time bomb is something that the music industry can, and must, take action on.” 

Kaan Tasan, singer of Heart of a Coward who has performed at The Lounge Bar, The Boileroom, RADAR 2019 and 2023 and will play at this year’s festival, said “Without the wide variety of grassroots music venues across the country, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to grow, develop and cut my teeth as a musician from grassroots up to international touring. I owe a lot to the local venues I’ve played and the teams that work so hard to keep their doors open. With the number of venue closures, future generations are getting fewer opportunities to express themselves in creative spaces and that will have a massive knock-on effect to the UK creative industries in the future”

Joe James, RADAR co-organiser and former events manager at The Boileroom in Guildford added “Many of the crew working at RADAR – lighting and sound engineers, stage and production managers, merchandise sellers and more – gained first-hand experience at grassroots venues. As well as nurturing artists these training grounds support the whole talent ecosystem.”

“We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to RADAR Festival, for taking this bold step as the first festival to champion the Pipeline Investment Fund. Their support is a strong commitment to the heart and soul of the UK’s music scene, nurturing its roots through the vital network of Grassroots Music Venues.” said MVT CEO and founder Mark Davyd.

The Pipeline Investment Fund awards grants to support two key areas of work:

●     Small scale capital projects; including lights, sound, access, ventilation and minor building alterations

●     Staff Training; workforce diversification, succession planning, skills development and strengthening local community ties

Read more about PIF here: The fund prioritises support for organisations who may have been excluded from other available funding and is open to all venue operators and organisations that meet any of the three definitions of a Grassroots Music Space, which can be found here.

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