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NEWS: Ed Harcourt joins the lineup for ‘Music Venue Trust and The National Lottery’s United By Music’ Tour, joining Sleeper, The Dirty Nil, Opus Kink, October Drift, Prima Queen and more

The National Lottery and Music Venue Trust recently announced a unique Eurovision legacy for grassroots music venues across the UK via The National Lottery’s United By Music Tour, bringing 150 gigs to 130 locations across the country.

The initiative was launched with a special free concert for 15,000 people in the Eurovision Village in May together with the Liverpool leg of the National Lottery’s United By Music Tour, which saw iconic artists like The Lightning Seeds, The Coral and Miles Kane playing local venues in support of the live music sector.

Kicking off in mid-June, the gigs will see a diverse range of up-and-coming and established headline artists perform in music venues across the UK. Blossoms, Metronomy, Cat Burns and more will be playing one-off shows to highlight the importance of grassroots music venues while national tours will feature more than 20 artists including Sleeper, The Dirty Nil, Opus Kink, Luke La Volpe, October Drift and Prima Queen, with all tickets available on a 2-for-1 basis to National Lottery players as a thank you for their support. Prolific singer-songwriter and Mercury nominee, Ed Harcourt has just been added to the line-up saying,

“I am delighted to announce a small solo piano tour of UK grassroots venues in association with the awesome Music Venue Trust; since I was 18 years old, I have been performing in countless clubs & bars across our land, legendary sanctuaries for all to converge, nights I can’t remember & memories I can’t forget! They have been the vibrant springboards, places where I honed & learnt how to perform live & where I find myself returning to time & time again. Unfortunately we are at a point now where so many of these establishments have been forced into closure. It’s truly heartbreaking.  These are the sacred places where your favourite bands & singers find & found their voices. They are part of the lifeblood of our culture. By doing this tour with the patronage of the MVT & their United By Music campaign, I hope we can not only raise awareness of the threat so many of these venues face but provide you, the punters, with a magnificent night out & an excuse to get out and support live music & the grassroots venues that host us all. Thank you & see you down the road!”

Echoing his statement, Blossoms said “Without grassroots venues, there would’ve been nowhere for us to perform, grow and develop as a live act. The future of live music relies on every single small venue across the country and we’re really pleased to be able to show our support for all of them by playing this show at the Parish in Huddersfield.”

While Brighton’s Opus Kink agreed saying, “Grassroots venues have suckled us since our genesis and will continue to do so until our uncertain end. There’s a subatomic level where the best and most reckless art exists and it’s the grassroots DIY level. After that, the stars grow pretty dim. When these establishments are all snuffed out and the opportunities to be awful and great and nothing and everything at once are gone it will be too late and you will be too gone with the drear to act. So act now babies, don’t let it happen.

Louise Wener of Sleeper, who will play at grassroots venues from Dumfries to Dover said, “All those amazing grassroots venues allowed Sleeper to grow...They’re part of our history. Part of every great band’s history. You can’t have one without the other. There’s nothing like the intimacy and buzz you get in a smaller venue. Reconnecting with clubs we played coming up in the 90s is exciting. Supporting them now feels more important than it’s ever been.”  

Fellow 90s icon Ian Broudie of The Lightning Seeds, who played at the Liverpool leg of the United By Music Tour said, “Grassroots music venues are integral to the future of music and need to be supported, which is why I’m delighted that The National Lottery and Music Venue Trust have extended the tour to the rest of the UK.”

This is the third year The National Lottery has partnered with Music Venue Trust, underwriting the full touring and production costs of artists participating, as part of their ongoing commitment to the grassroots music sector and takes the total money committed to £5.5m.

For the schedule of gigs and for more information on The National Lottery’s United By Music UK Tour, please visit:  United By Music | The National Lottery (national-lottery.co.uk)

United By Music Tickets | 2023-24 Tour & Concert Dates | Ticketmaster UK

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.