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

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 …  

Ten things learned at Venues Day 2017 – Emma Webster and Adam Behr

2017 saw the fourth instalment of the (hopefully) now annual Venues Day, which gathered over 300 venues from across the UK in one room. The day was kicked off by an impassioned introductory speech by BBC Radio 1’s Steve Lamacq in which told the assembled venues and promoters that ‘We must never stop telling people how important you are’ and …  

Valuing small venues: The Cellar, Oxford – Live Music Exchange team

Anyone following the Live Music Exchange blog will be well aware that the UK has seen an alarming number of small music venue closures over the past decade or so.  The latest venue under threat is The Cellar in Oxford, an underground 150-capacity venue which has been a music venue for more than 45 years. The owner, St Michael’s and …  

Is Glastonbury really running out of headliners? – Adam Behr

Today we feature a repost of an article by Live Music Exchange’s Adam Behr in The Conversation discussing the debate about headliners at Glastonbury and other festivals. Controversy around the Glastonbury line-up, given the vagaries of the British weather, is an even more reliable feature of the festival calendar than photographs of mud dwelling festival-goers. This year, Norman Cook, one of …  

Thinking About Gender And Festival Bookings – Chris T-T

This week’s blog post is by Brighton-based musician, Chris T-T, and was originally published on his website. In it, he examines the ongoing issue of the lack of diversity in festival line-ups and recommends looking further down the bill to better assess the future ‘direction of travel’ for gender diversity at festivals. Note that the original article was originally posted …  

Liverpool, Music City? – Craig G Pennington

Is Liverpool really a global music city? Ahead of a public discussion at Constellations on 4th May which sees the launch of the Liverpool Live Music Census (part of the UK Live Music Census project), Craig G Pennington makes the case for a Liverpool City Music Office, run by the city’s music community. Craig is the Editor-In-Chief and Publisher of …  

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 …  

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