In a sad turn of events, Bath’s legendary music venue Moles has shut down after 45 years. Renowned for hosting iconic artists like Ed Sheeran, Radiohead, and The Smiths, Moles was a key player in the UK music scene.
The venue’s closure was announced on Facebook, where financial challenges such as high rent and increased costs were cited as the main reasons. This crisis isn’t unique to Moles – over 120 other grassroots venues have faced similar fates.
Highlighting the disparity in the live music sector, Moles’ statement pointed out the thriving state of larger venues and arenas, contrasting it with the struggles at the grassroots level. The statement read, “While all these venues have closed, 7 new arenas are being built that will generate hundreds of millions a year.”
Moles, beyond being a talent incubator, was a community cornerstone, fostering connections and memories. Its loss means Bath loses a vital cultural spot.
The venue’s team expressed their heartbreak but also gratitude for the memories and contributions of everyone involved over the years. They urge for a moment of reflection over the impact Moles had.
The Music Venue Trust (MVT) echoed these sentiments, describing Moles as a victim of an industry losing touch with its roots. They’ve called for a levy on larger events to support smaller venues, a step France has already taken.
Artists like Kingsley Hall of Benefits have voiced their concerns on social media, stressing the alarming rate at which grassroots venues are disappearing. He emphasizes their significance not just as stepping stones for future stars, but as cultural summits in their own right.
As Moles closes its doors, it leaves behind a legacy and a stark reminder of the challenges facing grassroots music venues today.
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