Focus Wales festival fears for small venues in Wales

By Grace Dzuwa

The entire music industry is under threat from the closure of small venues, a festival celebrating new music in Wales has been warned.

According to BBC, Focus Wales is hosting more than 200 bands and artists across 20 different venues over three days in Wrexham.

It promises to bring new acts from across Wales, the UK and the world together with the music business.

But the Music Venue Trust says threats to venues risks pulling the rug from under the entire industry.

“As we see it, the small venues are the research and development unit of the music industry,” said Beverley Whitrick, the trust’s director.

“It’s not just local communities that lose their venues, or artists that lose somewhere to play, it’s actually got an implication for the whole music industry.”

She was part of a panel discussing the plight of clubs, pubs and concert venues, chaired by BBC 6 Music’s Chris Hawkins, at one of the special industry conference sessions that helps make Focus Wales such a unique event.

According to the trust, for every £100 spent on tickets for a show at small venues, it costs the promoter £129 when other costs are considered, such as bar staff wages, equipment hire and venue rents.