AKG and their UK distributor Sound Technology Ltd have joined NME's search for Britain's Best Small Venue. Becoming part of a judging panel AKG and Sound Technology will also donate a complete set of stage microphones worth over £2500 to the winning venue.

With many of the UK’s sweatboxes under threat, NME are running a campaign to highlight the importance of small venues to bands and music scenes. We’re asking you to celebrate the tiny yet brilliant venues where legends are born and great bands are made even better by considering their plight and nominating the nation’s best via NME.COM/smallvenues.

NME's Campaign

We’ve spoken to bands, fans, promoters and venue owners from across the country, and the message is clear: while it’s obvious that the raw thrill of seeing live music is booming, it’s also evident that many of our best venues are facing a serious crisis.There’s no single reason why, but the last few years have seen an alarming number of these legendary toilet circuit venues close – from Brighton’s Freebutt (noise pollution) to The Charlotte in Leicester (to make way for student flats); The Point in Cardiff and Newport’s TJ’s (both due to financial constraints) to Aberdeen’s Warehouse (again thanks to adverse noise).

London’s 100 Club almost went, only to be saved in December after a grassroots campaign drew worldwide support from everyone from Mick Jagger to Liam Gallagher and saw it receive enough funding to survive a rent increase. But The Luminaire – a staple on the capital’s live circuit for much of the last decade – was less lucky, closing its doors for good in March. Ditto Camden’s Flowerpot (which relocated), Jilly’s Rockworld and The Music Box in Manchester, and many others. We’re launching this campaign now to help, but also because we want to celebrate these types of venues. They deserve it. They’re the places where Oasis got discovered, where The Libertines plied their trade for years before getting signed, where The White Stripes played their first UK gigs and where the next Arctic Monkeys are kicking their mardy bums into shape.

About AKG

AKG are world leaders in stage and studio microphones with a long and prestigious history. Legendary microphones such as the C 414 have been used on countless records and their range of live microphones used by leading artists and in venues up and down the country. The winning venue in the search will receive a complete set of stage microphones, capable of mic'ing an entire band, and worth over £2500.

Click here to download AKG's Professional Audio Catalogue

Vote for your favourite Small Venue here: