Classical funding is blamed for the death of small venues

Classical funding is blamed for the death of small venues


norman lebrecht

July 19, 2017

The Guardian is getting quite heated over the Arts Council’s withdrawal of funding from the Music Venue Trust, which keeps places going for small and esoteric gigs.

Under the headline ‘Small music venues are dying – blame the obsession with classical music‘, today’s rant reads:

The trust argues that while Arts Council England does much to support new music, with money for the internet radio station NTSlive-streaming Boiler Room and contemporary music curators Capsule to name but three, 85% of its music funding has been allotted to opera and classical music, according to the charity, with £96m given to the Royal Opera House alone. With the next round of funding applications in 2022, it’s hard not to foresee that many more small music venues might close in the next four years.


More here.


  • Elizabeth Owen says:

    Maybe they are looking at it the wrong way and should be having a go at government for not awarding the arts enough money/

    • Alexander says:

      completely agree with you … any way I have to admit someone is obsessed with the name “Guardian” 😉 I think I should start reading that periodical , there is so much attention to it here 😉

    • Nik says:

      They are two separate and independent topics. The Arts Council has no control over how much money is allocated to it, but it does control how that money is distributed, and this particular article focuses on the second aspect. I don’t see how this can be ‘wrong’.

    • Mike Schachter says:

      What is “enough”?

  • Halldor says:

    Important point – it says the Arts Council rejected an application for funding. It doesn’t say that it withdrew existing funding, and it’s not clear from this whether there was any.

    Would be interesting to know the actual reasons that the application was rejected – there might be any number of perfectly sound reasons relating to (for example) inadequate financial planning. The chippy, kneejerk lashing out at other organisations who’ve had to work just as hard to justify their NPO status is – while sadly predictable – unhelpful.

  • Stephen Dedalus says:

    I managed to complete my Finnegans Wake after 17 years only because Harriet Shaw Weaver gave me near £250,000 to complete it! Fancy that. It all mostly went on wine, women and song and I wasted the rest.