Kevin Buckle: Edinburgh venue to get its own muse

Glen Rowe, founder of the Neko Trust
Glen Rowe, founder of the Neko Trust
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Good news hopefully on the small venue front with the announcement from Glen Rowe and his Neko Trust charity that they will be looking to launch a small venue in Edinburgh.

In a statement this week, Glen announced he would be stepping down from his role as the tour director for indie rock band Muse to concentrate on the new project. According to trade magazine Music Week, Rowe’s solution to a situation he describes as a crisis is a major charity effort that he has already discussed with the Mayor of London and central government as well as those in the music industry.

“Having worked with a band who have made their career from live concerts, I’ve got the gravitas to go in and start the conversation,” said Rowe. “There can be a new dawn and we need to make sure we’re pushing it.”

READ MORE: Kevin Buckle: A walk through Scotland’s musical history

Music Week reported the Neko Trust is aiming to launch five small venues – in London, Birmingham, Cardiff, Leeds and Edinburgh – with the first to open in time for Independent Venue Week in January 2020.

Backstage Academy, the live events education provider of which Rowe is MD, will help with the logistics including staffing, accommodation and catering.

“This is going to be the next 25 years of my career to do something really brilliant with an industry I love, because we deserve it and we need it,” said Rowe.

Hopefully this is an opportunity Edinburgh City Council will seize with both hands as small venues, while essential, are no easy option and Glen’s expertise and connections will be invaluable and could easily be the difference between success and failure.

READ MORE: Kevin Buckle: When music was the only fun in town