Ben Lovett of Mumford and Sons on how to save the UK’s live music venues – with food
When he’s not leading Mumford and Sons, Ben Lovett is combining sound and hospitality in his latest bid to protect grassroots venues across London, writes Hazel Sheffield
venue in south London in 2016, he never intended to become a restauranteur. Lovett is a serial entrepreneur – he was selling tickets to parties in his teens, had an IT business before he went to university and started the label and publishing company Communion before Mumford and Sons ever played a note.
Omeara, a 325-capacity venue near London Bridge, was intended to be his answer to the decline in grassrootsvenuesin the capital and a place for young bands to try out their craft. But he quickly realised that it would take more than live music to make the business stack up. He decided he needed to run the bars and serve food: businesses that could make money even when the stage was empty.fc
In March, he will open the doors on his second venue in a multimillion-pound development at King’s Cross. Goods Way is built on Lovett’s business model for the industry, one that he describes as concentric circles of live music at the centre, insulated by restaurant businesses that operate seven days a week to bring in cash.
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