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.
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.
Nathan Clark, general manager and promoter at the award winning Brudenell Social Club in Leeds, talks here about its history, its unique status and the DIY ethic at its heart. He also touches on the Leeds music scene more generally and the wider relationship between promoters, venues, acts, government and the academy.
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.
This first in a series – Anatomy of a Gig – introduces a space for people to comment objectively about live music events that they have attended, to build a resource for promoters and musicians on what works and what doesn’t work at a gig. In this way, the Anatomy of a Gig series will review the gig as a live music event rather than reviewing the music per se. Emma Webster kicks off with an account of a John Bramwell show.
Edinburgh sometimes feels like a ghost town after the Festival – a city with a hangover, figuratively and literally. After a theatrical and musical binge when it feels like every back room and every spare courtyard is a venue, we return to a shrunken version of Auld Reekie. Maybe it seems a bit early in the year to be making …