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FREENOW launches 'Ride for Music' initiative to save UK grassroots music venues

Updated: Oct 20, 2023


Image credit: FREENOW

FREENOW has unveiled its 'Ride for Music' initiative, vowing to donate £1 for every taxi ride to the Music Venue Trust.

The leading charity is dedicated to protecting and improving grassroots music venues across the country, ensuring their survival in the face of the cost-of-living crisis. FREENOW has committed a minimum of £200,000 to support these struggling venues.

According to a recent study commissioned by FREENOW, live gigs remain the top choice for adults to spend their money on, with 63 percent of respondents prioritising music events.


The research conducted by FREENOW aligns with the latest report from the Music Venue Trust, which reveals that 16 percent, or 125, grassroots music venues have closed in the past year in the UK.


Interestingly, the study also highlights the lengths to which music enthusiasts are willing to go for live gigs. Approximately 43 percent of respondents stated they would forgo seeing their friends at the pub, while one in ten individuals would decline a friend's wedding invitation in favour of attending a live performance. Furthermore, two-thirds of those surveyed expressed a preference for intimate shows in smaller venues, compared to just 24 percent who favoured larger platforms featuring well-known performers.


The cost of living has had a negative impact on the gig attendance of 68 percent of those surveyed in 2023. Surprisingly, the research found that nearly half of respondents (48 percent) were unaware of the closures of grassroots music venues.

Ed Sheeran said: "Like so many musicians, I started out playing in grassroots music venues.

“They are such a vital part of the music ecosystem. Without them, I definitely would not have had the chance to hone my craft and become the artist I am today.

“I applaud the Ride for Music campaign and hope it raises loads of money for Music Venue Trust, who work tirelessly to both protect and promote these wonderful spaces."

Michelle de Maat, Head of Marketing at FREENOW UK, said: “Music has such a positive impact on people’s lives and on their mental wellbeing, so supporting live music and preserving venues is key to making city life more vibrant for all.

“By contributing to the resilience of these vital spaces during such challenging times, we aim to ensure that the stages remain lit, and artists have a place to showcase their talent.

"Ultimately, this supports our users, drivers and all those who rely on these exceptional venues and a thriving nightlife throughout the country.”

Mark Davyd, Founder and CEO of Music Venue Trust, added: "The Ride for Music initiative gives every music fan in the UK an opportunity to play a role in directly supporting grassroots music venues. It’s exactly the type of joined up, creative thinking that we need to tackle the crisis facing our grassroots sector.”

“People can make a genuine difference helping to prevent venue closures, support artists, crew and staff. FREENOW have made it simple for you to be part of the solution, and help the whole music and night time economy."

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