John Wardle is one of Australia’s foremost advocates for live music. A musician and teacher, his research and campaigning work has led to involvement in music policy at both state and federal level. As a leader in the Raise the Bar campaign, he was instrumental in the removal of New South Wales’ Place of Public Entertainment Licenses in 2009, which has freed up the provision of live music there. He was also a source of advice for the UK Live Music Forum’s campaign for exemption for small gigs, which culminated in this year’s Live Music Act. His latest success comes with the introduction of the Small Venue License in South Australia, which does away with the ‘needs test’ and a separate process for an entertainment license. Here, he discusses this new development and explains what work there is still be done.
As the Stones roll into town for their anniversary shindig, with accompanying media hullaballoo, it seems timely to take a look at their place in the modern music environment. Following Martin Cloonan’s autobiographical celebration of their history and its place in his own life, Adam Behr makes the case for their continuing relevance to developments in how popular music is consumed, examining their role as an emblem for rock music in the context of current discussions about ticket prices.
Following on from Lord Clement-Jones’ blog post about the Campaign Against Leafleting Bans, Dr Emma Webster’s reply is based on her personal experiences as a flyerer, and on her doctoral research into the promotion of live music. In this post, she identifies a number of reasons why flyering is a vital part of grassroots live music promotion, including branding, networks, and cost.
Lord Clement-Jones, one of the driving forces behind the Live Music Act 2012, is now involved in a campaign to protect small-scale cultural and community events from local authority restrictions on flyering. In this blog post, he explains why he believes that leafleting is a key civic freedom and one vital to grassroots events.
In today’s post Fabian Holt, of Roskilde University, uses the Live Music Exchange website to present a working paper on the evolution and organisational culture of mid-size venues in New York. Taking as his primary case study the Bowery Presents chain of venues he traces the gentrification process back to the Fillmore auditoriums, described last week by Steve Waksman. His analysis ties changes in venues audiences to narratives of ‘cool’ in modern business practice and consumer habits, along with their self-definition as distinctive and discerning.
This week’s guest post is by Steve Waksman, Associate Professor of Music and American Studies at Smith College and author of ‘Instruments of Desire: The Electric Guitar and the Shaping of Musical Experience’ and ‘This Ain’t the Summer of Love: Conflict and Crossover in Heavy Metal and Punk’.
He is currently researching the history of live music in the U.S. from the 19th century to the present and looks here at how archival material about Bill Graham’s legendary Fillmore illustrates changes and tensions in audience behaviour at rock concerts in the 1960s.