Austin has become the first city in the USA to join the newly-formed Music Venues Alliance (MVA), a growing international movement set up by the UK-based Music Venue Trust (MVT) to protect, secure and improve grassroots music venues.
Music Venues Alliance Austin is also the first international member of the MVA network – which pledges to bring together grassroots venues across the world – following the launch of Music Venues Alliance Northern Ireland earlier this year.
The organisation is being headed up by Rebecca Reynolds, who said: “Here in Austin, we have been following the work of Music Venue Trust and the Music Venues Alliance in the UK with huge interest. The problems they are describing resonated very clearly with us here. Although we have our own unique drivers for what threatens the future of Austin music venues, the core challenges are the same; gentrification, rising rents, a lack of cultural acknowledgement and respect for the work they are doing, and a music industry that needs to start backing these spaces if they are to continue to develop new and emerging talent. We found the work of MVT inspiring, and the progress they have made in such a short time amazing.”
Mark Davyd of Music Venue Trust added: “Coming shortly after the announcement of Music Venues Alliance Northern Ireland, we are delighted to welcome our first American alliance of venues to our growing network. We firmly believe there is so much to learn from each other in this sector, and the more we can grow it the more strength we can bring to the arguments we are making about Grassroots Music Venues.
Music Venues Alliance Austin aims to quickly pick up the challenge of protecting, securing and improving the city's music venues, and has already signed up 30 venues to the network. Interested music venues in and around Austin are invited to contact Reynolds at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We’d love to hear from more cities and countries around the world,” Davyd concluded. “Ultimately, we’d like to see the work of these venues respected globally by the music industry, government and the cultural sector. Joining together, we believe we can make that happen.”