Sir Elton John warns it is ‘absolutely vital’ music venues survive pandemic

World-famous venues including Liverpool’s The Cavern Club are under threat.

Sir Elton John
Sir Elton John

Sir Elton John has warned it is “absolutely vital” beleaguered music venues survive the coronavirus pandemic.

World-famous venues including Liverpool’s The Cavern Club and the Troubadour in Los Angeles are among those at risk due to the health crisis.

Sir Elton played the Troubadour 50 years ago this week, a performance widely seen as launching the musician to rock super stardom.

Sir Elton John
Sir Elton John has warned it is ‘absolutely vital’ small music venues survive the coronavirus pandemic (Jennifer Graylock/PA)

Speaking on BBC Radio 6 Music, the 73-year-old said he is hopeful the Troubadour will survive and spoke of the importance of preserving the venues.

“I’ve heard that it might be closing but I think it’s going to be OK,” Sir Elton said. “We have to preserve venues like this. I heard about it in the springtime before I returned to England and I made a few phone calls. There are a few irons in the fire.

“If venues like that disappear then it’s really grim stuff because they are so important for new people to go and I’ve seen so many new acts there that have come from Britain.

“I saw Cat Stevens there when he did his first show in America. It’s a great launchpad. It’s a great room, it has atmosphere, it has everything going for it. If you can’t play well at the Troubadour you can’t play well anywhere.”

Asked about the question marks over The Cavern Club and Ronnie Scott’s jazz club in London, Sir Elton said it is imperative they make it through.

He said: “Well I know the lady who owns Ronnie Scott’s and I’m sure she’s going to put up a battle. You can’t lose places like that. We lost the Marquee, the 100 Club is still going but it’s very difficult in this day and age with Covid to sustain. It’s expensive to run. You can’t keep staff on.

“It’s vital that these places stay open for new artists. It’s absolutely vital. The small venues are the life and soul of music and they have to be kept afloat some way or another.”

Sir Elton had been partway through the North American leg of his farewell tour when the pandemic ground the world to a halt.

He postponed a string of performances after mass gatherings were outlawed. Sir Elton reassured fans he will be back on the road as soon as it is safe to do so.

“Oh of course I’m going straight out there again,” he said.

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