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Chesterfield's The County Music Bar wins £10,000 Back to Live Music Venue Prize

The rock and metal bar is the winner for the Midlands and North of England region. The prize is aimed at helping venues remain at the heart of the community.

Above L-R: The County Music Bar venue owners Phillip and Lauren Deacon

PRS for Music, the UK-headquartered organisation that represents the rights of over 160,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers around the world, announces beloved Chesterfield rock & metal bar The County Music Bar as the winner of its Back to Live Music Venue Prize of £10 000 for the Midlands and North of England region.

The recovery-focussed nationwide competition was launched by PRS for Music to give independent live music venues across the UK the chance to win one of six regional prizes of up to £10,000 and inject much-needed financial support into venues who are dedicated to improving live music experiences in their local communities.

Self-proclaimed music fans themselves, The County Music Bar owners Phillip and Lauren Deacon, plan on using the £10,000 PRS for Music prize money to upgrade their venue, from improving the sound and lighting equipment and staging, to updating the green rooms and rehearsal space.

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We are hugely thankful to PRS for Music for this initiative and of course for the recognition in winning this award. We as a venue had barely survived the pandemic and know of many that didn’t. However, we did. This is a testament to the support from bands and fans alike who rallied around as soon as we could provide entertainment again. We now, however, face the perfect storm. Recovery from the pandemic, facing a cost-of-living crisis and a frankly ludicrous energy bill hike of nearly 550%. This money will provide a significant breathing space to repair and replace equipment and better facilities for all while we focus on our further survival in these difficult times. We want to continue to be a local music hub for all and provide access to up and coming as well as more established bands.

Phillip Deacon, co-owner of The County Music Bar

The County Music Bar Chesterfield
Above: The County Music Bar

The devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the live music sector has been well-documented; between 2019 and 2021, PRS for Music saw an 84% decline in the number of live performance setlists reported to the organisation, falling from 124,000 in 2019, to 19,300 in 2021.

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Independent live music venues are pivotal within local communities, providing spaces that inspire the next generation of songwriters and performers. Congratulations to The County Music Bar for keeping live music at the forefront through a very difficult time.

Tony Barton, Head of Writer Relations, PRS for Music
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Venues like The County Music Bar in Chesterfield are so vitally important to the health and growth of music in the UK. We’re proud to find ways to support local scenes with projects like the Back to Live Music Venue Prize and thrilled that Phillip and Lauren Deacon are working to keep the music going.

Andrea Czapary Martin, CEO, PRS for Music

PRS for Music’s Back to Live Music Venue Prize competition launched in March 2022 as the organisation’s direct response to the devastating effects of the global pandemic on live music venues in the UK. Open to independent live music venues who are not part of a national brand whose offering included music prior to pandemic closures, winning venues were determined by a judging panel made up of leading representatives from across the music, arts, and hospitality sectors. Complete prize terms and conditions can be found here. Four more UK regional Back to Live Music Venue Prize winners will be announced over the coming months.

About PRS for Music

PRS for Music represents the rights of over 160,000 songwriters, composers, and music publishers in the UK and around the world. On behalf of its members, it works diligently to grow and protect the value of their rights and ensure that creators are paid transparently and efficiently whenever their musical compositions and songs are streamed, downloaded, broadcast, performed and played in public. In 2021, 27 trillion performances of music were reported to PRS for Music with £677.2m paid out in royalties to its members, making it one of the world’s leading music collective management organisations. prsformusic.com

PRS for Music’s public performance licensing is now carried out on PRS for Music’s behalf by PPL PRS Ltd, the joint venture between PPL and PRS for Music.

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