Photography by Arthur René Walwin
Alysa O'Connor
Alysa O’Connor

You’ll find her behind the lens at live music events, or expanding her ever-growing plant family.

The Campaign Aims to Highlight And Celebrate “women who play such an important role in the UK’s Grassroots Music Industry.”

Music Venue Trust, a registered charity created in January 2014, work tirelessly pushing for protection and security to improve the UK live music network. Securing a long-term future of iconic grassroots music venues such as Hull Adelphi, Exeter Cavern, The 100 Club, Southampton Joiners and many, many more, is at the heart of what MVT do.

Grassroots music venues play a crucial role in the development of British music. Nurturing local talent and providing a platform to build careers and develop both performance and musical skills. Without these venues, new music would struggle to come to the forefront and this would have a drastic impact on the way we listen, and who we listen to. Imagine a world with no local gigs, seeing becoming a musician as an unattainable pipedream, and listening to the same artists on repeat because it’s nearly impossible to find new ones. The pandemic forced these venues to close their doors almost a year ago, putting a potential loss of over 5,000 jobs, over 100,000 concerts, over 300,000 performances and over one million temporary employment opportunities for gig economy workers.

MVT created a campaign under #SaveOurVenues, helping to unlock over £80m of funding from donations and government initiatives and seeing over 400 venues secure their immediate futures. MVT are crucial for the new music industry, and at CLUNK we thank them for the work that they do.

Today is International Women’s Day. An extremely important, and complex focal point for the movement of Women’s rights. Here at CLUNK we feel passionately about days such as this one, and care deeply about the impact that our society places on Women*. On a more personal note, CLUNK recognise the gender inequality that is still at hand in the music industry, and make space to represent genders equally.

In 2020 alone, a survey of the top 100 songs by British acts was curated, and found that between January and August only 19% were female. Even more painfully, only 3% of the producers female. The Gender Disparity Data report compiled by Linda Coogan Byrne and Nadia Khan found that female acts account for just 10% of the most played songs by British artists on BBC Radio 1, and Radio 6 Music. The UK Music’s Diversity Report in 2020 however did find that the proportion of women has increased by 4.3% in the last 4 years, a record high.

To mark IWD, MVT are highlighting the incredible women and female-identifying people who work in the grassroots music sector. Check out #WomenToTheFront this week to see MVT and music venues across the country shine a spotlight on just some of the women who are vital to the grassroots music community.

Speaking on the campaign Sarah Claudine, Events, Projects & Communications at MVT says “It’s incredibly important to Music Venue Trust to be using International Women’s Day 2021 as an opportunity to celebrate the women who play such an important role in the UK’s Grassroots Music Industry. We are very proud to have so many remarkable women contribute to MVT, from our core team and coordinators to our board of trustees and patrons and know that this diversity is reflective of the changing face of the wider live music community.”

In addition to this MVT also added six new patreons Adwaith, Nova Twins, Moxie, Kerri Watt, HAAi, and Natasha Gregory.

*Women referencing any and all people who identify as femme.