Live Music Exchange Blog

All blog posts are peer-reviewed by the Live Music Exchange team. We welcome guest bloggers so please get in contact if you would like to write about live music. You can see our guidelines for blog posts here.

Please note that the Live Music Exchange does not post promotional material or articles placed by marketing companies.

Please note that this is a forum for discussion, dialogue, and debate, and posts and comments on this blog represent only the author, not Live Music Exchange as a whole, or any other hosting or associated institutions.

"Thanks so much for publishing our blog on the Live Music Exchange. It has been shared on Facebook and re-tweeted over and over again; the response has been fantastic."
Suzanne Bull BME, CEO, Attitude is Everything

What it’s like to open a venue: the experience and the context – Julie Carty/Leith Depot

This week’s post features the management of Leith Depot – a small venue in Edinburgh – discussing the experience of getting the space up and running, the valuable role it plays in the local music scene, and the threat to its continued existence from a proposed development on its site.  

Mediation and Liveness in DJ Performance

This week’s blog by Kim Ramstedt is a discussion of issues related to the study of superstar DJs and follows the recent death of Swedish DJ Avicii. Superstar DJs frequently perform on the main stages of pop music festivals, and festivals built predominantly around DJ performances and electronic dance music attract record amounts of visitors. Yet, popular discourse around large-scale …  

Crunching the Numbers: DIY Touring in 2018

David Rovics is a Portland-based singer songwriter of “Songs of Social Significance”. Originally published as a blog on his website, in this article David explains the economics of touring as a politically committed artist who still needs to pay the bills. We would like to thank David for permission to use this article. I suddenly feel compelled to do some …  

Rolling Stones tour: they may be older but time waits for no one

This week’s blog is a repost of an article by Live Music Exchange’s Adam Behr in The Conversation following the recent announcement of a Rolling Stones tour. An article in Rolling Stone magazine described the legendary band – its near namesake – as “growing old angrily”. Its portrait of Mick Jagger referenced “age lines around his eyes … as old as …  

Interview with E.W. Harris, Singer/songwriter, Brooklyn

E.W. Harris is a singer/songwriter who is based in Brooklyn and performs internationally. This interview speaks to the logistics, realities and significance of touring and playing live, both at home and abroad, from a North American perspective. This blog post is based on an email interview with Emma Webster on 29 November 2017, which was part of the UK Live …  

Interview with Razor, Musician, London/Brighton

Razor is a London-based grime artist who performs regularly in London and Brighton. This interview highlights some of the issues for musicians still at a relatively early stage in their career, particularly around artist pay, and about  discrimination against certain genres. It is based on a telephone interview with Emma Webster on 15th November 2017. The interview forms part of …  

Interview with Gavin Sharp, Chief Executive, Inner City Music (owner/operator of Band on the Wall)

Band on the Wall in Manchester is one of the city’s longest-running music venues. This interview with its Chief Executive highlights some of the difficulties in running a small music venue in 2017 and shows that even Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisations are not necessarily immune to the issues posed by city centre development. It also highlights the importance …  

Interview with Guto Brychan, Chief Executive, Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff

Cardiff’s Clwb Ifor Bach is one of longest-running small live music venues in the city. In this blog post the Chief Executive Guto Brychan talks about the history of the venue, its position within Cardiff’s live music ecology, the Save Womanby Street campaign, the ‘Agent of Change’ principle, skills development and funding within the sector, and the importance of developing …  

Agent of Change progresses to second reading in Parliament – Music Venue Trust

Three years after Frank Turner launched the Music Venue Trust campaign to make Agent of Change a part of UK Law to protect grassroots music venues, music fans, artists, organisations and politicians united behind John Spellar MP’s Ten Minute Rule Bill, which was read in Parliament on Wednesday 10 January and no objections were raised. A huge list of sponsors …  

Profile interview with Richard McCallion, Bar Manager, The American Bar, Belfast

The American Bar and its sister pub The Sunflower are small music venues in Belfast. In this profile interview, bar manager Richard McCallion discusses the history of the venues, some of the challenges faced by a new music venue like The American, and a brief account of the problems that The Sunflower has had with property development and noise complaints. …  

An interview with Emma Rule, Musicians Against Homelessness

Musicians Against Homelessness is an initiative set up by Emma Rule in 2016 with a twofold aim: to raise money for the homeless and to help young musicians to get gigs and exposure for their music. The following blog post is based on a telephone interview with Emma Webster on 18th October 2017. It is one of a number of …  

Making festivals accessible: Chase Park Festival, Gateshead – Alistair McDonald

Chase Park Festival is one of the UK’s most inclusive festivals and is one of very few to have been awarded Gold for accessibility by Attitude Is Everything. This week’s blog post by the festival’s organiser, Alistair McDonald, gives some background to the festival, lays out some ideas for best practice around accessibility, and offers some more general advice to …  

View Blog Archive