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The Libertines MVT Press 1

The Libertines have become patrons of Music Venue Trust

28 May 2024, 11:12 | Written by Tyler Damara Kelly

FREENOW are backing a third year of financial support for Music Venue Trust (MVT), who have just announced The Libertines as their latest patrons.

The partnership follows on from previous initiatives, including underwriting 160 shows around the country (2022), donating £1 a ride (2023) and, this year, providing transport for Frank Turner during his successful MVT World Record attempt in which he played 15 shows in 24 hours.

From today, the Round Up and Donate function on the FREENOW app will revert to Music Venue Trust, and donations will be collected for every trip completed if the rider is opted in. Funds collected go directly to MVT. This latest initiative comes as the cross-party Culture, Media and Sport Committee, issued its report which highlights how grassroots music venues are stopping performances of live music or closing entirely at a rate more than one per week.

MVT has described 2023 as the most challenging year for the sector since the Trust was founded in 2014. In total 16% of GMVs closed or ceased programming live music in 2023, representing a loss of as many as 30,000 shows and 4,000 jobs. The new donation mechanic has been welcomed across the industry with the likes of Ticketmaster and Live Nation pledging support across their properties and The Libertines, Andy Burnham and Steve Lamacq all rallying behind the cause.

"The UK grassroots music circuit is more than just small local venues. It is absolutely crucial to emerging talent. It is the vanguard of independent expression and free speech outside the corporate and commerce-based music industry. It is a labour of love for those who run the venues and it is a rite of passage for new acts cutting their teeth. Without this community we would never have gotten our music into the wider world at large," says new patrons The Libertines, who join the likes of Sir Paul McCartney, Tom Grennan, Nova Twins and Elbow.

"We have played hundreds of these gigs over the last 2 decades, each one unique and intimate in a way that only these smaller venues can provide. We also run a couple of our own. We hope this new partnership with FREENOW and MVT raises loads of cash to keep them going and we’re honoured to be joining MVT as patrons to help recognise and protect the grassroots circuit. Long live the MVT, long live grassroots venues and long live new music."

For more information on the new initiatives, visit

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