In the second of the ‘Live Music 101’ series of blog posts detailing the themes and ideas that developed over the course of the initial live music project, Simon Frith examines the political economy of live music, and defines two basic models of performance as a starting point with which to examine the economic transactions between artist, venue, audience, and promoter.
This is a video from the Live Music Exchange, Leeds event that featured a panel of academics and representatives from Leeds and beyond. The theme of the conference was ‘Interesting Times for Live Music’ and the panel discussed the threats and opportunities to local live music in the current economic downturn. Chaired by Martin Cloonan (University of Glasgow), the panel featured, Simon Frith (University of Edinburgh / Mercury Prize), Whiskas (Live at Leeds Unconference / Honour Before Glory / ¡Forward Russia!), Nick Simcock (Dead Young Records/Oporto), Ben Kirby (Manager of The Subways).
Now that The Games are almost afoot, naysaying is an increasingly unfashionable position. They’re here now – enjoy. Not the most consistent of arguments – it’s like saying, “I’ve been threatening to crash your house and hold a party for weeks, but now that it’s in full drunken flow, you’re as well grabbing a beer and getting into the swing of things”. I ponder here on a couple of the issues arising from later curfews for Olympic gigs in public parks than others that have taken place this year.
To mark the recent fiftieth anniversary of The Rolling Stones’ first gig we revisit Martin Cloonan’s candid examination of his experiences of them live through the years, his motivations set against a wide ranging account of how their career has been intertwined with his own life alongside the popular culture and society of the UK.
Professor Christopher Bailey (Director &Co, The Cultural Marketing House) chairs a panel of leading figures in the progress from idea to inception of the arena, due to open in 2013. Jean Dent, OBE previously Interim Chief Executive, Marketing Leeds and Director of City Development joins him, along with Marin Farrington, the current Director of City Development and John Knight, the Regional Vice President of SMG – the venue operators. The background to important decisions about the nature of the arena are covered, along with the unique features of the venue are covered, as are broad ranging theoretical and practical questions from the floor.
Music festival season for young, inexperienced, and unsigned artists, can be a time spent anxiously waiting to see whether they are one of the chosen few selected to perform on the ‘unsigned stages’ that are present at most major festivals in the country.
Less well known than the much-touted exposure that they can bring an unsigned band is the introduction that they bring to the PRS whose collection of revenues from events like festivals is hotly disputed by promoters. Here, Matt Brennan discusses the implications and advantages for unsigned bands of a relationship with the agency.
One of the pioneers in the field of popular music studies, Dr. Dave Laing (from the University of Liverpool) presents valuable work on assessing the economic value of live music globally, collating data from international sources to present an overview and a sense of how the live sector compares with recording industry.