The first in a series of posts that detail the themes and ideas developed over the course of research into the history of live music in the UK. Here, Simon Frith takes a materialist approach to live music, examining the factors necessary for a live music event. Simon also offers an initial typology of performance spaces and examines how the venues in which live music events take place have affected the evolution of live music promotion.
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.
Robert Kronenburg of the University of Liverpool contemplates the task ahead as he starts a British Academy/Leverhulme funded project to write the history of popular music performance architecture, which will build on the typology of contemporary popular music performance venues that he has already developed.
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.
Stuart Galbraith (Kilimanjaro Live) is interviewed by Simon Frith (University of Edinburgh/Mercury Prize) as part of the Live Music Exchange, Leeds event on May 4th 2012. Stuart covers topics such as his career history, the role of the promoter, the issues facing the live music industries, ticketing and setting ticket prices, the importance of festivals, the male domination of the live music sector, and the increasing importance of digital media.