Connecting research on cultural value and the ecology of live music – Matt Brennan

This week’s blog post is by Live Music Exchange’s own Matt Brennan, this time writing in his capacity as part of an AHRC project investigating the cultural value of live music. In this post, he connects recently completed work on live music at the Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh, to a new research project on the ecology of live music venues throughout the UK.  

A good day at the office: tales from the road – Graeme Smillie

In this week’s guest blog, musician Graeme Smilie looks back at some of his own memories on the road as bassist for Emma Pollock, Unwinding Hours, The Vaselines and Karine Polwart. He sets up a typology of touring musicians – those who love it and those who don’t – before offering his own enjoyable take on his four favourite venues across Europe and the USA.  

The pervasive curse of pay-to-play in Tokyo – James Hadfield

Today’s guest post is by James Hadfield, an English writer and photographer based in Tokyo, where he writes about music and other subjects for The Japan Times and Tokyo TimeOut amongst others. In this piece he looks at the ubiquity of pay-to-play, or noruma, in the Japanese capital.  

Five ways to improve disabled access at festivals – Howard Thorpe, ABLE2UK

Last Summer Howard Thorpe of ABLE2UK staged his first concert for disabled awareness. Based on the website, ABLE2UK, the night welcomed the likes of Steve Cradock, Miles Kane, Frank Turner, Billy Bragg, Mystery Jets, and Friendly Fires for a five-hour benefit concert at Camden’s Roundhouse to fund more disabled facilities at festivals throughout the UK. He talks here about five ways to improve such access.  

Big news for small venues in South Australia – John Wardle

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.