The Sub Rooms, Stroud wins £10,000 PRS for Music Back to Live Music Venue Prize
PRS for Music, which represents the rights of more than 160,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers around the world, has revealed that the Sub Rooms in Stroud has won for the South & East of England.
The Sub Rooms was saved by the local residents in 2018 when the venue was set to be sold into private ownership. Now under watch of Stroud Town Council and Stroud Subscription Rooms Trust, it has become a cultural hub providing an innovative programme of live music, theatre, visual arts, spoken word, exhibitions and workshops.
The recovery-focussed nationwide competition was launched by PRS for Music to give independent live music venues across the UK the chance to win one of six prizes of up to £10,000 and inject much-needed financial support into venues who are dedicated to improving live music experiences in their local communities.
Hugh Phillimore (Director) and Nadja Singh (Fundraiser) of The Sub Rooms plan on using the £10,000 PRS for Music Back to Live Music Venue Prize to upgrade the venue’s sound and tech, while creating smaller, more accessible live music spaces for local up-and-coming musicians to run DJ sets, jams and intimate performances.
‘This recovery-focussed nationwide competition was aimed at helping venues remain at the heart of the community – and we’re certainly doing that’ says The Sub Rooms Director Hugh Phillimore. ‘We’re determined to serve our local community not only by providing a huge cross section of top-quality entertainment but also by encouraging the wealth of local talent that is out there’ adds Phillimore. The Sub Rooms recent call out for local performers to send in material with a view to support headline acts are already being filled. ‘The PRS for Music Prize will help us develop better spaces for emerging talent – it will be a real leg up for local performers’ says Phillimore.
The devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the live music sector has been well-documented; between 2019 and 2021, PRS for Music saw an 84% decline in the number of live performance setlists reported to the organisation, falling from 124,000 in 2019, to 19,300 in 2021.
Andrea Czapary Martin, CEO, PRS for Music, said: “The Sub Rooms in Stroud holds a long and interesting music history, with the Beatles performing there in the 1960s. We’re proud to support its ongoing work within the community with a Back to Live Music Venue Prize of £10,000, creating opportunities for Gloucestershire’s local and emerging talent to have a space where they can flex their creative flair.”
Tony Barton, Head of Writer Relations, PRS for Music, said: “The Sub Rooms vision to support and upskill the next generation of musicians, while intertwining the arts within the community it serves, caught the eyes of the judges. Congratulations to Hugh, Nadja and the team on its PRS for Music Back to Live Prize.”
PRS for Music’s Back to Live Music Venue Prize competition launched in March 2022 as the organisation’s direct response to the devastating effects of the global pandemic on live music venues in the UK. Open to independent live music venues who are not part of a national brand whose offering included music prior to pandemic closures, winning venues were determined by a judging panel made up of leading representatives from across the music, arts, and hospitality sectors.