Music Venue Trust

The new headline sponsor of The Mercury Prize to underwrite gigs by future Mercury Prize hopefuls at grassroots music venues in association with Music Venue Trust

Public Service Broadcasting to play special “Hero” show at Peckham Audio on August 23rd 2022.

London, 19th July 2022 Music Venue Trust (MVT), the UK charity which represents hundreds of grassroots music venues, has announced a new partnership with Mobility Super App, FREE NOW.  The new headline sponsor of the Mercury Prize, FREE NOW is supporting grassroots music venues in the UK by underwriting the costs of 120 shows by future Mercury Prize hopefuls in 60 grassroots music venues.

As part of the initiative Public Service Broadcasting will play a show at Peckham Audio on August 23rd, the first of 3 “hero” shows that will see big artists return to small grassroots music venues. Speaking about the show J. Wilgoose Esq said “I honestly don’t think Public Service Broadcasting would be a going concern without grassroots venues. Years before our first EP came out I was gigging around London and further afield as a solo act, learning what worked and – more often – what didn’t. If we’re going to continue to have such an extraordinarily successful musical and cultural scene here in the UK (not to mention profitable to the Exchequer), we have to ensure that these venues not only survive but thrive, giving the next generation of musicians and artists the platforms they need to hone their acts and learn their trade.”

To launch this new series of live music events, FREE NOW is also giving 50% off the first two rides (up to £8) when gig goers download the FREE NOW app.

“We are excited to support grassroots venues through our partnership with the Music Venue Trust and as part of our commitment FREE NOW is proud to sponsor Public Service Broadcasting performing at Peckham Audio. After a challenging 2 years, we’re joining venues, artists and our amazing local music communities in celebrating the UK’s vibrant and creative music culture. We’re thrilled to be supporting these essential, magical places that give rise to the acts we’ll all fall in love with tomorrow; and connecting music enthusiasts of all backgrounds with their passion through fast, flexible and friction free mobility in cities across the UK.” Sara De-Velasco, Head of Marketing.

FREE NOW are the latest organisation to fund events in Grassroots Music Venues across the UK, highlighting their importance to culture across the country, boosting the recovery of local businesses after COVID related closures, and providing the opportunities for artists to return to touring.

“It’s great to be working with Free Now to be connecting people with their next favourite artist. Music Venue Trust is working hard with venues to identify acts which we know are the next Mercury Prize nominees and give people the chance to experience them early on in their careers in some outstanding venues before they move up to the biggest venues and festivals. It’s great to see this partnership with Free Now kick off with this very special show from a band like Public Service Broadcasting who really epitomise that journey.” Mark Davyd, CEO Music Venue Trust.

FREE NOW is the Mobility Super App operating in nine cities across the UK including Brighton, Edinburgh, London and Manchester. With only one app, users can flexibly book a full range of mobility services from Black Cabs to PHV to multi-mobility options. eScooters and eBikes is made available through app integrations with main operators active in the market including Dott, HumanForest and TIER


Notes to Editors


FREE NOW is the Mobility Super App with the largest vehicle choice for consumers across Europe. More than 56 million users in 16 markets and in over 170 cities today are already moving freely from A to B by accessing the largest selection of mobility options available in one app. Through the unique integration of mobility brands and payment services, they can book their nearest taxi, private hire vehicle, car sharing or micro-mobility option such as eScooters, eMopeds, and eBikes within the app. FREE NOW aggregates numerous mobility brands with the ambition to make urban mobility more efficient and sustainable without adding new vehicles on the street. The German based company is backed by the BMW Group and Mercedes-Benz Mobility. In total, around 1,850 employees in more than 27 offices work for the services of FREE NOW, which is led by CEO Thomas Zimmermann. The General Manager of FREE NOW in the UK is Mariusz Zabrocki. Visit our Website for further information and download the FREE NOW app for iOS or Android.

About Music Venue Trust:

  •       Music Venue Trust is a registered charity, created in January 2014 to protect, secure and improve the UK live music network by securing the long-term future of iconic grassroots music venues such as Hull Adelphi, Exeter Cavern, Southampton Joiners, The 100 Club, Band on the Wall, Tunbridge Wells Forum etc. These venues have played a crucial role in the development of British music over the last 40 years, nurturing local talent, providing a platform for artists to build their careers and develop their music and their performance skills.
  •       We work to gain recognition of the essential role these venues fulfill, not only for artist development but also for the cultural and music industries, the economy and local communities. We aim to preserve and improve venues, making them more efficient and improving the experience for performers and audiences. Long-term we plan to acquire the freeholds of as many of these vital venues as possible.
  •       Since the pandemic forced grassroot music venues to close their doors early in 2020, Music Venue Trust, via its #saveourvenues campaign, has helped unlock over £80m of funding from donations and government initiatives, which has seen over 500 venues secure their immediate futures.

●        Music Venue Trust is a Charity registered with the Charity Commission of England and Wales, registration no: 1159846.

Music Venue Trust

Music Venue Trust is a UK registered charity which acts to protect, secure and improve Grassroots Music Venues.