Today, we are heartbroken to announce that Moles, in its current form, is closing, effective immediately. It’s an incredibly difficult decision for our team, the staff, the local community, and the artists who, over the years, have created such an incredible history of music.
We’ve weathered many things over the years, including a fire and a pandemic in the last 10 years alone, but this cost of living crisis has crippled the grassroots music sector. Although that is not the only problem, it has accentuated it. Huge rent rates, along with massively increased costs on everything from utilities to stock, are all factors. This has been compounded by our customers also feeling the impact of the crisis. We are not the only grassroots music venue to close in the past year. Over 120 other venues have closed as well, which is over 15% of the sector. Places that mean as much to others as Moles means to us.
Meanwhile, the live sector at arena level and above is having a bumper year with record profits. While all these venues have closed, 7 new arenas are being built that will generate hundreds of millions a year. There needs to be a major shake-up of the live sector, with the big players supporting the grassroots where it all begins to secure that pipeline of talent. This is something that Music Venue Trust has been saying for years; maybe now the industry will listen.
We were one of the last venues remaining from the first Oasis tour. Of the estimated 366 grassroots venues Ed Sheeran played before making it big, 150 have closed. This decimation of the sector has to stop now. Unless bands have these stages to play, where will they hone their talents and become these huge artists that fill these arenas and stadiums around the world?
But venues like Moles are also more than just talent incubators; they are also so important to communities. People meet their future partners in them, they make friends for life, they discover their new favorite band and sing their hearts out while forgetting their troubles for a few hours. And sometimes they can just be somewhere they feel safe and not alone. The importance of these venues can never be overstated. We hope that whoever takes the building over will keep it as a live music venue as without it, Bath will have lost so much.
So please join us in raising a glass to the last 45 years of glorious music, good times, friends, and memories. And thank you to everyone who has ever worked here; we achieved a lot, and it couldn’t have been done without them. And all the bands and DJs that have played, and all of you who came down, bought a ticket, and danced and sang, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Today, we are heartbroken, but the good memories will last forever, and for that, we will always be grateful.