Over the past few years the underground music community has taken an absolute beating thanks to the gentrification of many areas around the United Kingdom being subjected to massive increases in rent, tax, and spending cuts to local arts and community funding, which has ultimately forced venues to close down, clearing the path for expensive luxury apartments and other property that is mostly bought up by foreign investment.

These small venues can only survive when they have strong support from the local music community, but even music fans are struggling to support their local scene due to the same increases in rent, bills, and other financial obligations along with no increase in disposable income in sight.

If we are to have any underground culture..we need to have a place for underground culture to exist
- Frank Turner

The Exchange in Bristol, UK has been a prominent live music venue for years, providing an outstanding platform and environment for local artists to thrive in, and also bring some well-established acts from all over the world for the local scene to enjoy.

The venue faces closure unless they can raise the capital to clear historical debt’s and also negate the risk of the property being sold to the highest bidder, which is a similar scenario we have seen time and time again in recent years in the UK music scene.

Frank Turner (of Million Dead, Möngöl Hörde, and Self) recently shared a video speaking out for The Exchange advising people to get behind the venue and show some support. Frank is a patron of the Music Venue Trust, a registered charity which acts to protect, secure and improve Grassroots Music Venues.

The Exchange in Bristol needs to raise £300,000 ($380,000) in order to secure the premises, take ownership and save it from closure.

They’ve taken a very unconventional step towards this goal by offering a community share scheme in which local residents (or anyone from the United Kingdom) can invest in the venue by purchasing shares.

It would become the first community-owned small music venue in the United Kingdom and would put music back into the hands of the people. It would provide a stable and secure environment in which a local music scene can continue to thrive, and quite frankly, this is the only way most venues are going to able to secure a future.

The scheme offers various levels of investment, and they all come with a wide host of benefits including Priority Tickets, Invitations to special events, Golden Ticket (Free Entry to any gig forever), Limited Edition Screen-printed Share Certificate, and free entry to 20 gigs depending on the level of investment you pick.

This is such an important step, not just for The Exchange in Bristol, but for Live Music across the country. We cannot keep watching our beloved live music venues collapse, if we do, a thriving underground culture that we all grew up in will be gone forever.

The scheme has so far raised £38,200 of its £300,000 target.

Learn more about the community share program HERE

Watch the full video HERE

Author Bio: AC Speed

Senior Editor

I started my career as a music journalist in 2013 and have been involved in the music industry as a touring musician, studio engineer and artist consultant since 2002, as well as previously being a signed artist. My passion for delivering high quality, informative music-related news is a daily driving force behind the content I create. Also a huge gaming nerd! Born in the United Kingdom and currently living in Sweden. Skål!


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