live music

‘Health of live music’ census kicks off in Bristol

Music and event management experts at Buckinghamshire New University will gauge the ‘health of live music’ in British cities by carrying out the first of a series of live music censuses with UK Music in Bristol on 22 October, 2015.

The census will involve lecturers and students visiting clubs, pubs and other venues where live music is performed and documenting numbers of musicians and artists performing, audience size, and the support personnel involved in staging a live music event, from sound engineers and lighting technicians to security and bar staff.

The data will be inputted on-site in Bristol using specialist data management software, and supplemented with data provided by the venue management and audience surveys. Taken together, the data collected by the live music censuses will form the basis of a report on the cultural and economic contribution that live music makes to UK cities.

The Bristol live music census will act as a pilot and the report will be published in early 2016. Live music censuses of other cities will follow.

The live music census project is a new link-up between Bucks New University and UK Music, which represents the commercial music industry. It emerged from the Music Academic Partnership (MAP) between the music industry and academic institutions, of which Bucks New University is a founding member.

The live music census of Bristol will complement UK Music’s annual Wish You Were Here report which reveals the valuable contribution of ‘music tourism’ to the UK economy.

Teresa Moore, Head of Music and Event Management at Bucks New University, in High Wycombe, said the Bristol live music census would give a ‘further clear indication’ of the contribution live music makes, but through the lens of cities, providing more detail.

She told ArtsCulture: “We are undertaking the census to give us a richer assessment of the health of live music in our cities.

“Pubs, clubs and venues often act as the incubators for new and up-and-coming artists, as well as being the hosts for more established acts. These live music venues are increasingly important and act as a barometer of how the UK’s live music scene is faring.”

“We will be reviewing all perspectives of the live music scene in our census, to provide a valuable insight into this sector of the music industry and also a model for further work across the UK.

Jo Dipple, chief executive of UK Music, said: “Research is incredibly important for the UK music industry to get a true understanding of its ecosystem. This census will give us great insight into our hugely important live music scene and is a fantastic first collaborative research project between MAP institutes and UK Music.”


(from a press release)