WHO WILL RUN US?

As the body which has formed the society and developed its plans, Music Venue Trust is the parent of the society and controls 75% of votes at general meetings of the society, with the remainder cast by members who invest in the society.

All of the directors will resign at the first AGM of the society, due to be held sometime in the months leading up to the 30th September 2022 in order that a new board can be elected with the confidence and legitimacy of being democratically elected by all our members. Existing Directors can stand for re-election, as can any member who can be nominated.

One third of the Directors will be appointed by Music Venue Trust, and up to two thirds can be elected by and from our members who invest in this share issue. We can also co-opt the additional expertise, we feel we need to make our discussions and decisions better informed.

Until then, the founding board will be running things. They are:

Phyllis Belezos

Phyllis Belezos

Professional Expertise:
25+ years’ experience in the music industry working as a Music Booking Agent representing artists’ live careers worldwide. Director/Owner of recently launched company which is a Booking Agency and Consultancy. Co-chair of the Music Venue Trust board of trustees.

Why MVP?
MVP is important as we see the urgent need to help venue managers get the support in keeping beloved grassroots venues as part of each local community. With MVP it will give them the freedom to keep that intact and work to continue to give music lovers a place to go and developing artists the platforms needed to succeed.

Peter Cornforth

Peter Conforth

Professional Expertise:
Real estate investment professional, specialising in urban asset management, and Chartered Surveyor, with over 30 years of experience in the sector, the last 10 in private equity investment and development.  He has represented the real estate industry as an expert contributor to the Mayor of London’s Night-time Economy Commission and sits on the Advisory Board at Sound Diplomacy. Non-exec roles include the new Goods Way venue at Kings Cross and The Rattle community of start-up inventors, artists, hackers and nerds looking to change the system. And, against many friends’ better judgement, Peter has had an independent record label, recording studio and put on club nights around London.

Why MVP?
As a music nut I am passionate about a secure future for the UK’s grassroots circuit so jumped at the chance to be a part of the new MVP initiative and give something back for the thousands of hours of pleasure grassroots music has given me.

Rhoda Dakar

Rhonda Elizabeth Evans de Dakar

Professional Expertise:
Singer, songwriter, recording artist and music teacher (post 16), turned professional in 1980. Rhoda is the middle of three generations of songwriters/recording artists. Her father started out in small clubs in France when he lived there before WW2. When he had to come and live in the UK, with war looming, he started to host club nights. Eventually he had his own club in London’s West End during and for a while after the war. It was tiny but had a huge cultural impact and was frequented by the great and the good of the era, including Robert Kee and Lucien Freud.

Why MVP?

I started going to gigs in 1973 and eventually found my way to the small West End clubs where innovation abounded. I saw Glam, Soul, Punk and the evening after I left school, I spent at the Blitz with many who went on to form that particular genre. I became fascinated by the resurgent Mod scene but was finally drawn to what is now known as the Ska scene. I joined a band and we played small clubs to learn our craft. I am very grateful to be playing in one or two of those clubs more than forty years later. I say one or two, because many have disappeared. If Music Venue Properties had existed before, perhaps that would not have been the case.

 

As the latest generation, my son is now out and about in the UK and Europe playing in small clubs. They really are the lifeline of our business. Without them, we don’t get to practice, to hone our craft. When I go to Europe and see their model for grassroots music venues, it really pains me to see good people here work so hard with practically no support or appreciation from government that they are crucibles of new and influential artforms.

Natasha Dos Passos

Natasha Dos Passos

Professional Expertise:

Finance professional with over 20 years of experience in financial management and transformation, notably at Universal Music as the Financial Controller of EMI Records. Now specialising in Sustainability, Governance, and Risk advisory for the SME sector. Natasha has a passion for sustainability and community, together with her finance and governance skills support her to champion grassroots projects. She is currently serving as a trustee at the London Gardens Trust to conserve and protect London's green spaces, and previously held the role of Non-Executive Director at Orpheus Sinfonia, a charity supporting musicians in the early stages of their classical music career. 

Why MVP?
I am particularly interested in roles where I can add tangible value, evidenced by the introduction of governance and risk frameworks that promote strategy and resilience. As the Governance and Risk Advisor at Profit Impact, I support SMEs in embedding sustainability and realising their true value, not limited to solely the financial value, but including community and environmental value. I welcome the opportunity to contribute my experience to the board of MVP and forge a sustainable route to secure the future of our grassroots music venues.

Bonita McKinney

Bonita McKinney

Professional Expertise:
Music Industry Professional, specialising in event promotion, digital music distribution and event ticketing with 10+ years’ experience. Co-chair of the Music Venue Trust board of trustees.

Why MVP?Having sat on the board of Trustees of MVT for 2 years, I have seen what a huge negative impact landlords can have on the sustainability of our grassroot music venues. I am passionate about ensuring our GMVs are owned by landlords who understand the music industry and share in the same motivations. Purchasing venues through community shares is an inspired idea, which I support whole heartedly.

Jeremy Mills

Jeremy Mills

Professional Expertise:
Legal Professional with over thirty years of experience advising individuals, businesses and charities.

Why MVP?I was involved in the creation of MVT for which the work of MVP is a natural consequence. 

James Wright

James Peter Wright

Professional Expertise:
Former live music promoter, booking agent and tour manager now working as a built heritage consultant specialising in planning applications for historic buildings.

Why MVP?
Independent grassroots venues are an essential part of the musical lifeblood. Without these training grounds for emerging talent there will be no future acts capable of headlining big clubs, theatres, arenas, stadiums or festivals. The road to recognition begins with these vitally important cultural assets. Music Venue Properties will hopefully become a strong bastion which will encourage both local and touring bands to keep aspiring towards success.

Gabriella Smith

Gabriella Smith

Professional Expertise:
As a Chartered and Accredited Historic Building Surveyor, Gabriella has worked in the historic building industry for over 20 years, both in the public sector for the Government’s Statutory advisor and in the private sector.

Why MVP?I am completely passionate about historic buildings. I am keen to help Music Venue Trust with my experience and knowledge of conserving and restoring the historic venues to secure their sustainable future not just for our benefit, but also that of our future generations.