Boris Johnson launches initiative to protect London’s music venues

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson (pictured) has announced the creation of the UK capital’s first Music Venues Task Force, which is to look at steps the city can take to protect and secure its network of live music venues.

The last few years have seen a number of high profile London venues close, including The Astoria, The Mean Fiddler, Plastic People and Madame Jojo’s, and there are fears it could have a longer term impact on a sector that is worth around £1.6 billion.

The Task Force will be chaired by Music Venue Trust, and has also been backed by the Musicians’ Union (MU) and UK Music.

"London has more live music venues than any other city on earth and they are of huge economic importance, not just cultural importance, to our city. It’s worrying that we’re seeing the pressure from property prices and development take away so many venues across town and that’s why we’ve set up the Music Venues Task Force," said Johnson.

"The MU is delighted to be invited to join the London Venues Task Force," Dave Webster, the Musicians’ Union’s live performance organiser added. "We hope that discussion with the group will bring about new and secure opportunities to develop and grow the live music scene in London."

Photo credit: Dianna Bonner