We have an interesting announcement, as the first census of the UK live music scene will be taking place in March.
What’s interesting, is that the audit won’t be just focusing on the big arena shows, but also smaller gigs as well as street performers and choirs. The researchers conducting the audit will be looking at these shows across seven cities.
The project will be undertaken by the universities of Edinburgh, Newcastle and Glasgow, and has been described as a “Springwatch for music”. The aim of the audit is to discover the challenges faced by both artists and venues in a time when live music is facing a lot of competition and pressure.
For example, 35% of grassroots venues in London have closed in about eight years, and it has been found by UK Music that 50% of Bristol’s venues were affected by development, noise or planning issues.
Dr Matt Brennan from the University of Edinburgh, had this to say on the music scene in the UK: “Live music in the UK – from the Beatles and the Sex Pistols to West End musicals and Glastonbury – has transformed our culture, yet it is constantly under pressure. This census will help give us an accurate snapshot of the scene’s health.”
Those of you in Edinburgh may know that a pilot scheme was conducted there last year, and the findings did assist in getting Edinburgh council to relax their noise laws. Prior to that, venues were required to make sure that music was “inaudible” to adjacent properties. Now, the music must not be a “nuisance” to neighbouring homes, which is much more reasonable.
The UK Music Census will be conducted across 24 hours on Thursday 9 March in Glasgow, Newcastle, Oxford, Leeds, Birmingham, Southampton and Brighton. All aspects of the shows on offer will be recorded, alongside genres, audience demographics and ticket prices.
However there will also be an online survey conducted, which will be gathering information on how much people spend and how far they are willing to travel to see their favourite artists. If you’re interested, you can register for the survey here.