Legendary grassroots music venue announces 'heartbreaking' closure

Artists such as Oasis and Ed Sheeran have performed at the venue before making it big
Moles in Bath is closing with immediate effect after 45 yearsMoles in Bath is closing with immediate effect after 45 years
Moles in Bath is closing with immediate effect after 45 years

A legendary grassroots music venue, which is one of the last remaining venues from Oasis’ first tour, has announced a shock closure.     

Moles, which is also where Ed Sheeran played one of his first gigs before making it big, has closed with immediate effect. 

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The 45-year-old venue on George Street in Bath, where The Smiths, The Cure and Oasis have also played, said it was an ‘incredibly difficult’ decision to make. 

It said the cost-of-living crisis, huge rent rates are among the factors for its demise.    

In a statement on social media, the Moles team said: "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.

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“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.” 

Moles joins more than 120 grassroots music venues - representing more than 15 per cent of the sector - that have closed in the past year.

While grassroots venues are closing, at least seven new arenas are currently planned in cities across the UK.

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Moles' statement continued: “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. 

“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, they make friends for life, they discover their new favourite 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.”

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