Matthew Otridge (Music Venue Trust)

I first started promoting DIY punk shows in Bristol twenty years ago, and from there became the diary holder of The Croft (RIP), before becoming the leaseholder and then the owner of Exchange – which we founded in 2012. In 2018 I successfully spearheaded a Community Ownership campaign at Exchange which means that music fans from Bristol and beyond now help to shape the way that the venue runs. My journey thus far has helped me to understand how important GMVs are to both cultural and community within towns and cities. It’s helped me to understand how the precarious the average GMVs situation is, particularly when it comes to the ownership of the freehold that they operate from. I hope that my work as part of MVT will ensure that more GMVs are safeguarded for decades to come, and present passionate operators the opportunity to allow others to continue and build upon their amazing work for years to come.

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