Brits Offer Free Rehearsal Space to Tune Up Music Biz

Government gives cash-strapped young bands a helping hand
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 12, 2009 4:30 AM CDT
"All the good bands come from Liverpool," said a member of Echo & the Bunnymen. "We used to hire rehearsal space and scarper without paying. These kids won't have to."   (©hellodan)
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(Newser) – The British are hoping to give the next Beatles a helping hand by offering free rehearsal space, the Guardian reports. A government program spearheaded by former Undertones singer Feargal Sharkey is opening centers around the country to assist cash-strapped young bands who could potentially blossom into big names—and lucrative exports. The first opened yesterday in the Beatles' hometown, Liverpool.

"If just one of these kids becomes the next Coldplay, then the British taxpayer will get a great return on this scheme, a much better return than they are getting from the millions being plowed into the banking system," Sharkey said. "We are bloody good at this, but we need to invest and make sure that the next generation of musicians have the opportunities they need." (Read more music industry stories.)