The National Lottery and Music Venue Trust has announced a unique Eurovision legacy for grassroots music venues across the UK through The National Lottery’s United By Music Tour, bringing 150 gigs to 130 locations across the country.
The initiative was launched with a special free concert for 15,000 people in the Eurovision Village on Wednesday night and follows the successful delivery of the Liverpool leg of the National Lottery’s United By Music Tour that sees iconic local artists such as Lightning Seeds, The Coral and Miles Kane playing local venues in support of the live music sector.
The announcement takes The National Lottery contribution to grassroots venues through the United By Music Tour to £1.5m and comes at a crucial time when many venues are still suffering the fallout from the pandemic and the impact of the cost of living crisis. The funds committed underwrite the costs of bands’ performance and touring costs ensuring venues get artists at no cost to them and is the single largest legacy initiative announced for Eurovision 2023 to date.
Kicking off in mid-June, the gigs will see a diverse range of up and coming and established headline artists perform in music venues across the UK. Blossoms, Metronomy, Cat Burns, – and more to be announced – will be playing one-off shows to highlight the importance of grassroots music venues.
Speaking about taking part in the tour Blossoms said “Without grassroots venues there would’ve been nowhere for us to perform, grow and develop as a live act. The future of live music relies on every single small venue across the country and we’re really pleased to be able to show our support for all of them by playing this show at the Parish in Huddersfield.”
National tours will feature more than 20 artists including Sleeper, The Dirty Nil, Opus Kink, Luke La Volpe, October Drift and Prima Queen, with all tickets available on a 2-for-1 basis to National Lottery players as a thank you for their support.
Speaking about the tour Louise Wener of Sleeper, who will play 12 gigs from Dumfries to Dover, said “All those amazing grassroots venues allowed Sleeper to grow. Touring the country, crowds right in front of our faces, it’s how we learned to be a live band. They’re part of our history. Part of every great band’s history. You can’t have one without the other. There’s nothing like the intimacy and buzz you get in a smaller venue. Reconnecting with clubs we played coming up in the 90s is exciting. Supporting them now feels more important than it’s ever been.”
As well as supporting local venues The National Lottery and Music Venue Trust have launched the tour to extend the celebration of Liverpool’s historic hosting of Eurovision across the breadth of the country. In addition it will celebrate and recognise all 17 UK towns and cities that initially bid to host Eurovision with an event in each of them.
Every National Lottery player who purchased a ticket will be invited to bring a “plus one” for free – all they need to do to qualify for this offer is to bring any National Lottery product when they attend the gig.
Tickets for The National Lottery’s United by Music Tour will be live on May 15 2023 at 10am.
Ian Broudie, whose band Lightning Seeds performed as part of the Liverpool leg of the United By Music Tour and played in the Fan Village to help launch the UK wide initiative, comments: “The atmosphere in Liverpool has been incredible and it’s been great to see old and new fans alike come down to not only support us, but the music venues we’ve performed in. Grassroots music venues are integral to the future of music and need to be supported, which is why I’m delighted that The National Lottery and Music Venue Trust have extended the tour to the rest of the UK.”
This is the third year The National Lottery has partnered with Music Venue Trust, underwriting the full touring and production costs of artists participating, as part of their ongoing commitment to the grassroots music sector and takes the total money committed to £5.5m.
Mark Dayvd, CEO of Music Venue Trust said: “Following the success of the Liverpool Tour, which saw us host a week-long series of music gigs across the city, we are delighted to be partnering with The National Lottery again to extend the celebrations to the rest of the UK. Supporting grassroots music venues has never been more important and we’re delighted to be using venues across the country to highlight new and established artists the world will come to know and love.”