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.

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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

Girls Against – a rally call against sexual harassment – Anna Cowan

Anna Cowan, is 17 and lives in Glasgow.  She, along with 3 of her friends, founded and run the campaign, Girls Against, to fight against sexual harassment at gigs. This blog post was first published in 2016 on the Girls Against blog. I believe all powerful political movements and campaigns begin from a sense of anger or alienation; the feeling that …  

Resources for Road Crew – Gabrielle Kielich

This blog is an introduction to the resources available for workers who may be interested in becoming a member of a tour’s road crew. Gabrielle Kielich provides guidance to some of the information available and we invite readers to comment and suggest additional resources in the comments box below. Road crew — or “roadies” — are an important part of …  

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

Today we feature a re-post of Live Music Exchange’s Adam Behr’s piece for The Conversation discussing the pressures on live music, and the context for the UK Live Music Census.  

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

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 …  

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 …  

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 …  

UK Live Music Census 2017 – update

As we announced back in November, the Live Music Exchange team are currently working on an exciting new project, the UK Live Music Census, the first exercise of its kind anywhere in the world to attempt to measure live music activity across an entire country. Yesterday the University of Edinburgh published a press release about the Census and it has …  

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. On September 15, after Skepta was awarded the 2016 Mercury …  

Shining a light on the ‘murky market’ of secondary ticketing – Annabella Coldrick, Chief Executive of the Music Managers Forum

Annabella Coldrick is Chief Executive of the Music Managers Forum (MMF). She appeared before the UK Parliament’s Media Sport and Committee on 15 November when it discussed the issue of Ticket Touts. Here we publish an edited version of the notes which Annabella prepared for that meeting.  

TRIBUTE: Bill Kyle (1946-2016) by Tom Bancroft

A tribute to Bill Kyle, jazz drummer and driving force behind The Jazz Bar on Edinburgh’s Chambers Street, who passed away suddenly at the beginning of November 2016.  

New online live music agencies have oversized power over musicians – Charles Umney

By assembling long lists of acts, online live music agencies create reserve armies of labour and force fees down, writes Charles Umney.  

Pop and election campaigns in the U.S.A. – Adam Behr

With the Presidential election taking place tomorrow, we repost a recent piece by Live Music Exchange’s Adam Behr in The Conversation about the long and often fractious history of the use of pop in U.S. election campaigns.  

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