THE future of the Scottish music industry is under threat unless more is done to stop the country's small venues being closed down, a top concert promoter has warned.

Geoff Ellis, boss of DF Concerts, said Scotland must follow England’s lead and make it more difficult for property developers, grumpy neighbours and cash hungry councils to force pubs, clubs and venues out of business. 

“Right now, music venues in Scotland are under threat and we need to act quickly to protect their future,” Ellis said.

He added: “Our venues are vital – they’re incubators for future headline acts, bring communities together through live concerts and generate £334 million to the Scottish tourism economy – therefore it’s crucial we make sure they remain open.”

Ellis, along with the bosses of Glasgow’s SWG3, O2 Academy, O2 ABC and Sub Club have teamed up to push for the Scottish Government to back a simple but potentially far-reaching change to planning laws, known as the Agent of Change principle.

It would mean that the person or business responsible for the change is responsible for managing the impact of the change.

If a property developer built a block of flats beside a well established music venue, then it would be the property developer’s responsibility to make sure those flats are properly soundproofed.

Or if someone moved into a flat above a room in a pub that has been hosting gigs for years – that person could not complain to the council because the pub sometimes hosts gigs.

It was adopted for England by the UK Government last week, and now Ellis wants music fans to take part in an inquiry into planning by Holyrood’s Local Government Committee, urging them to consider the move north of the border. 

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “We are looking at whether more can be done”.

To support the agent of change initiative visit