The UK’s live music culture under pressure – Adam Behr

The UK Live Music Census – a Live Music Exchange project – opened on Thursday 9th March with snapshot censuses across six cities. Online surveys of audiences, musicians, venues, and promoters open until May, aim to build a picture of live music activity across the country. Today’s post features a repost of Adam Behr’s article for The Conversation, which discusses the pressures on live music in the UK along with the historical and present day context of the census.

Please do complete the surveys, which are available at: http://www.uklivemusiccensus.org

UK Live Music Census begins amidst concern over the threat to gigs from budget tax

The UK Live Music Census – a Live Music Exchange project – began at noon yesterday, on Thursday 9th March.  The first strand to the data collection exercise – snapshot censuses in Glasgow, Newcastle, Oxford, Leeds, Brighton and Southampton – finished today at 12 noon. Volunteers have been out and about trying to get to every live music event in town to collect rich data about events and audiences. The second strand are online surveys of audiences, musicians, venues, and promoters, open until May, which aim to build a picture of live music activity across the country.

Please do complete the surveys, which are now online at uklivemusiccensus.org and will be open until May.


Are DJ fees killing dance music? – Gareth Whitehead

This week’s blog post is by guest contributor Gareth Whitehead, who manages Bullet Dodge Records, regularly  promotes House and Techno events, and lectures in Music Business at New College Lanarkshire. In it, he highlights the issue of high DJ fees and the booking agents who ask for them, and questions whether there is now a need for collective action against such practices.


Getting the Needle – Martin Cloonan

This week’s blog post is by Live Music Exchange’s own Martin Cloonan, who, with John Williamson, has just completed an important piece of work on the social history of the Musicians’ Union (for more on this, listen to Martin on BBC Radio 4’s Thinking Allowed). This piece is about how the policy of ‘needletime’, brought in to protect the musicians who were employed to play live on radio, had far-reaching consequences and helped to shape British music radio and the history of UK popular music – it was first published on the Social History Blog.


UK Live Music Census 2017 – update

A short piece giving an update on what the Census aims to find out and how it’s already capturing people’s imaginations.


Reflections on the Mercury Prize – Simon Frith

In this, the last blog post of 2016, Live Music Exchange’s own Simon Frith reflects on his 25-year tenure as the chair of the judges of the Mercury Prize to consider what has – and hasn’t – changed within the UK record industry over the last quarter of a century.


Informed opinion and lively discussion from expert sources

How To Communicate With Your Monitor Engineer – Mark Hadman
The ecology of live music – Neil McSweeney
What’s it worth? Calculating the economic value of live music – Dave Laing
America’s Got Talent Invite, Must Be The Music, and my Rapid Rise to Superstardom – Thomas Truax
Martin Cloonan on the secondary ticket market
Venue design and redesign – Robert Kronenburg
The political economy of live music: first thoughts – Simon Frith
A materialist approach to live music – Simon Frith 

Comprehensive and evolving archive of industry, academic and government research, and media reports, on a wide range of topics related to live music in the UK and beyond.

The Rocktober Report: The Live Music Act, One Year On – UK Music / Musicians’ Union
The UK Festival Market Report 2010 – Matt Brennan and Emma Webster
Social Semiotics – The Business of Live Music: Special IssueMusicians’ Union’s Live Music Kit
Destination Music: The contribution of music festivals and major concerts to tourism in the UK
The Event Safety Guide: A guide to health, safety and welfare at music and similar events (Second edition)Ticketmaster and Live Nation: A report on the completed merger between Ticketmaster Entertainment, Inc and Live Nation, Inc [full report / appendices and glossary]
EU Creative Industries Funding Guide: Joanna Parker.
Supporting UK Musicians Abroad: Julia Payne and Adam Jeanes – Arts Council and British Council research on funding opportunities.


How will the Live Music Act affect me?
I’m a musician – how do I get a gig?
Where are the venues in my hometown?
How do I know my ticket is legitimate?
Are festivals in decline?
What’s all the fuss over secondary ticketing about?
Where can I found out about the economic effect of festivals?