The genesis of the Live Music Exchange was a comprehensive three-year study of the live music sector in the UK, undertaken by the University of Edinburgh and the University of Glasgow and funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

After a successful conference to mark the completion of the study and with a three book series forthcoming, this project , also supported by the AHRC, marks the progression of our work into knowledge transfer. Building bridges between the academy, the music industries and the wider public, Live Music Exchange is informed by academic research and hands-on experience in a range of musical contexts. It’s our starting premise that constantly shifting relationships between state and commercial investors, small scale and corporate interests, merits a view of live music practice on an ecological model. From a neutral standpoint, we’ll be working with a host of practitioners to promote a healthy and vibrant environment. We are able to bring our expertise to bear on consultancy and research services across the field of musical activity.

Click here to see the timeline of Live Music Exchange activities since 2012.


Professor Simon Frith

simonSimon Frith is Tovey Professor of Music at the University of Edinburgh. A founder member of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music and a founding editor of the journal Popular Music he has published regularly in this field and edited several key collections, including On Record (with Andrew Goodwin, 1992), The Cambridge Companion to Pop and Rock (with John Street and Will Straw, 2001) and Popular Music: Critical Concepts In Media and Cultural Studies, Volumes 1-4 (2004) Notable book publications include Sound Effects (1983), Performing Rites (1996) and Taking Popular Music Seriously (2007).  The Art of Record Production (co-edited with Simon Zagorski-Thomas) will be published by Ashgate in September 2012. Simon has also had long engagement with the popular music world through policy research and as a music journalist (for publications such as Melody Maker, Village Voice, The Sunday Times and The Observer).  He has chaired the judges of the Mercury Prize since its inception in 1992.

Professor Martin Cloonan


Professor Martin Cloonan is Director of the Turku Insitute for Advanced Studies (TIAS, www.utu.fi/tias) at the University of Turku, Finland. His research interests include the politics of popular music and issues concerning regulation, censorship and freedom of expression, in which he has published extensively. He is co-ordinating editor of Popular Music (CUP) and he sits on the editorial board for the journals Popular Music and Society and the Beitrage zur Popularmusikforschung. Notable publications include:  Players’ Work Time: A History of the British Musicians’ Union (with John Williamson, 2016), Dark Side of The Tune: Popular Music and Violence (with Bruce Johnson, 2008), Popular Music and the State in the UK (2007) and Banned! Censorship of Popular Music in Britain: 1967-92 (1996). Martin also managed the Glasgow-based band Zoey Van Goey and chairs the anti-censorship organisation Freemuse (www.freemuse.org). He quite likes The Fall.

Dr Emma Webster

Emma Webster received her PhD from the University of Glasgow in November 2011. The title of her thesis was ‘Promoting Live Music: a behind-the-scenes ethnography’, and the research involved comparative ethnographic work into live music scenes in Glasgow, Bristol, and Sheffield, including participant observation and extensive interviews with live music workers and audiences. Prior to this, she received a Bachelor of Music from the University of Sheffield and then worked for eight years in music in a variety of roles and genres including opera, ‘world’ music, acid techno and digital distribution. With previous experience in marketing, historical and statistical data analysis, and company management, and working at a variety of levels from small-business to large arts organisations and local councils, she brings a broad skill-set to the Live Music Exchange, along with a comprehensive understanding of the varied needs and interests of stakeholders in the UK live music sector. In 2015-2016, Emma worked on the one-year AHRC-funded Impact of Festivals at the University of East Anglia with George McKay, in collaboration with the EFG London Jazz Festival. In 2016-2018, Emma is working on the AHRC-funded UK Live Music Census project with Matt Brennan, Adam Behr and Martin Cloonan. For more, see emmawebster.org

Dr Adam Behr

abehr0011.jpgDr Adam Behr is a Lecturer in Contemporary and Popular Music at the International Centre for Music Studies, Newcastle University. He has taught a range of popular music and related courses at the Universities of Edinburgh, Glasgow, Stirling and City University, London. His PhD, from Stirling, involved historical and ethnographic research into the evolution and social dynamics of the rock band as form of creative practice. Subsequent research also includes work on the live music sector, musicians and copyright and cultural policy. Adam has also performed as a guitarist, bass player and DJ in a variety of contexts and has extensive front-line experience of event and venue management.

Dr Matt Brennan

MattMatt Brennan is a Chancellor’s Fellow of Music at the University of Edinburgh, and has served as Chair of the UK and Ireland branch of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM). He is the author of When Genres Collide: Down Beat, Rolling Stone and the Struggle between Jazz and Rock (Bloomsbury, 2017), co-author of The History of Live Music in Britain from 1950-1967 (Ashgate, 2013), and co-editor of the Research Companion to Popular Music Education (Routledge, 2017). He is editor of the Bloomsbury book series, Alternate Takes: Critical Responses to Popular Music. He is currently writing a book on the social history of the drum kit.


Danny Hagan – Co-Founder, Green Man Festival

Mark Hobson – Managing Director, Corporation, Sheffield

Peter Jenner – Sincere Management; Secretary General, International Music Managers’ Forum; Director, UK Music Managers’ Forum

Nod Knowles Nod Knowles Productions

Paul Latham – President UK Live Nation; Chair, National Skills Academy for Creative & Cultural

Sheena Macdonald – Regional Officer (Scotland and Northern Ireland), Musicians’ Union

Louise Mitchell – CEO, Bristol Music Trust

Will Page – Economist, Spotify

Alex Reedijk – General Director, Scottish Opera

Beverley Whitrick – Strategic Director, Music Venue Trust

Dr Kevin Milburn – Kings College