Industry news & advice blog

Find the best gig venues, thanks to the MU's Fair Play Venues scheme

Blog: 23rd June 2015 by Musicians' Union under Live
Find the best gig venues, thanks to the MU's Fair Play Venues scheme

Recently, the MU launched its Fair Play Venues scheme. Our goal? To support grassroots venues, stamp out the unfair treatment of musicians and to put musicians in touch with the right venues. 

How does it work?
A venue may be considered a Fair Play Venue if it endorses the principles of our Fair Play Guide (available via The Fair Play Guide offers advice – to both artists and promoters - on co-promotions, ticketing deals, showcases and competitions, so that musicians can identify when a deal is fair. Fair Play Venues must also be against pay-to-play, where unscrupulous promoters expect musicians to sign up to unfair ticketing deals. For emerging acts, this can be impossible - and very costly. 

Once the venue signs up, it gets a 'Fair Play Venue' sticker to display within the premises to show that it plays fair. That way you, and other musicians, know it should treat you fairly and with respect. 

We are in the process of building a comprehensive nationwide database of such contacts which currently has 50+ venues.  So if you are looking to break your band in a new area then you can get in touch for details of specific Fair Play Venues to approach.

How does a venue get involved?
This is where you come in. If you have played a gig that went well, at a venue where you were treated fairly and where the experience was positive, then let us know about the venue and who runs it.

"We're asking our members to tell us when they've got a good news story" says Dave Webster, MU National Organiser for Live Performance. "So they can say: 'Hey, I just played a gig up in Leeds. We had a good deal, they didn't take commission on our merch, they were really helpful with the promotion and we got a lot of punters in’. The MU can then contact that venue."

To nominate a venue, or find a Fair Play Venue near you, email us at [email protected].


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