Analysing Live Music In The Uk Findings One Year Into A -Books Download

Analysing Live Music in the UK Findings One Year into a

2019 | 56 views | 30 Pages | 238.04 KB

musical culture today that seem more akin to his pre-war than post-war situation. My point is that over the last fifty years popular music culture has been organised around the relationship of the recorded music and live music sectors and this relationship is constantly changing. This is the context for our research project.

Simon Frith Matt Brennan Martin Cloonan Emma Webster 2
Anderson is right to argue that the postwar rise of recordings to musical
dominance didn t just happen and that the pre rock era has not had sufficient
attention in popular music studies but his conclusion about the relative cultural
importance of recording and live music is I think generally accepted Who in
popular music studies would disagree with this summary
The basis of the prewar music industry was live performance of music by
amateurs and professionals Whether it involved the purchase of to be
performed sheet music ticket sales or using musicians as attractions for the
sponsored broadcasts the live performance was the major method through
which music was appreciated danced to consumed listened to and
anticipated After the war the music industry systematically altered itself
around recordings all of which are vital to our modern day conception of
how we conceive of popular music Anderson 2006 p 7
On the other hand I suspect that even Anderson might modify this assertion a
little in the light of developments since he wrote there are certainly elements of
musical culture today that seem more akin to his pre war than post war situation
My point is that over the last fifty years popular music culture has been organised
around the relationship of the recorded music and live music sectors and this
relationship is constantly changing This is the context for our research project
We wanted to look at the history of British popular music since 1950 from the
perspective of the live music sector rather than assuming as do most popular
music histories that the postwar history of popular music is in effect the history
of the record industry
What are the effects of this shift of perspective To be schematic
a a clear sense that over the last 50 60 years we have had three popular music
eras I think of these as pre rock 1950s 60s rock 1970 80s and post rock
1990s 2000s in each of which recorded and live music have a different sort of
economic and cultural co existence This argument is developed in Brennan s
corresponding article in this journal but I should stress that live music history isn t
a matter of a sector rising or falling Live musical performance is a continuously
necessary aspect of musical culture and one of the fascinations of the live music
business is promoters ability to adapt to ever changing circumstances
b There are many kinds of live performance that can be classified according to a
variety of criteria amateur professional public private primary secondary and
which involve a variety of economic arrangements commercial charitable state
subsidised corporately sponsored etc To be interested in live performance in
general as we are is therefore to have a much richer sense of British musical
life than a focus on record production and distribution and in particular of the
complexity of what it means to be a popular musician
c The local and national state has a much more significant role in live than
recorded music Its role is partly regulatory live music is licensed and the
history of licensing regimes and their effects on musical venues gatherings etc
is fascinating in itself this point is developed in Cloonan s corresponding article
I J vol 1 no 1 2010 http www iaspmjournal net
Analysing Live Music in the UK 3
in this journal But the state s role is also promotional investing in and
subsidising certain sorts of musical activity and venue This is not just a matter of
arts or tourist policy it also involves for example youth and multicultural policy
think of the role of community centres and resources in the history of black British
d Live music as the work of Sara Cohen and her colleagues in Liverpool has
shown is particularly significant for understanding musical locality and place 1
Live music has to happen somewhere and the changing places of music where
live events happen the geography of audience are a crucial strand of social
history And the place of live music is also a venue whether a pub back room a
farmer s fields or a purpose built stadium The changing spaces of musical
performance contain their own technological architectural and ideological
accounts of what people have understood as a good sound a good performance
a good listening experience a good night out Webster discusses this further in
her corresponding article in this journal
e To look at the business of music from the promoter s perspective is to get a
different sense of the musical power structure than that provided by the record
industry which has interestingly tended to treat promoters as the most shady
and untrustworthy players in the musical game Promoters have both a different
immediate sense of the problem of juggling with many interests at once artists
managers agents venues regulators record companies audiences and a
different long term understanding of musical careers and audience needs to
look after an artist starting out is to benefit from their market value when they
become big stars to look after this audience for this show is to ensure they come
back for the next one The promotional business is a mess of contradictions a
contract based business without contracts an exploitative business based on
face to face goodwill a highly regulated business which often seems close to
chaotic and criminal contradictions which remain even with the recent rise of a
new sort of live music corporate oligopoly From our perspective what matters is
to understand that local small scale do it yourself promotion remains as
necessary to the live music ecology as Live Nation et al The exchange value of
live music as a commodity that is to say is dependent on its use value as a
particular kind of uncommodifiable experience
1 See for example the work coming out of their current AHRC funded project Popular
Musicscapes and the Characterisation of the Urban Environment
Anderson Timothy J 2006 Making Easy Listening Material Culture and
Postwar American Recording University of Minnesota Press Minneapolis MN
I J vol 1 no 1 2010 http www iaspmjournal net
Simon Frith Matt Brennan Martin Cloonan Emma Webster 4
Constructing a Rough Account of British Concert
Promotion History
Matt Brennan
m t brennan gmail com
University of Edinburgh
This is the second of four related articles in this journal presenting findings from the first
year of a research project on live music in the UK A framework in progress is proposed
which periodizes the history of British concert promotion since 1955 The first period of
1955 1969 is characterized by the absence of corporations and ancillary industries and
the presence of entrepreneur concert promoters the Musicians Union reciprocal
exchange the impact of DIY music making and youth pop the strain on concert
promoting conventions by the growth of the pop market The second period of 1969
1996 is characterized by record labels subsidizing tours to promote record sales new
school pop promoters the professionalization of ancillary industries catering to live
music and the development of the arena circuit The third and final period of 1996 2009
is characterized by record sales losing wallet share ticket prices rising well above
inflation the rise of multi national corporations entering the live music market and a
changing dynamic between the recording and live industries
Keywords live music United Kingdom UK Great Britain concert promotion history
music industry promoters Live Nation
The live music research project introduced by Simon Frith in the first part
of this series of articles aims to cover the history of British concert promotion from
1955 to the present day As such one of the biggest challenges for our research
team is to conceptualize over fifty years of the rich and varied history of British
live music and how to best divide it into manageable chunks In this article I will
present our initial attempt to construct an account of the development of British
concert promotion which we have tentatively periodized into three eras These
divisions are likely to change as we go further in our research but they represent
a first stab at giving some structure to what is in reality a very complex history
that is resistant to having crude eras imposed upon it These divisions are
therefore not meant to be definitive however there are some interesting
characteristics in each period that endow the divisions with a certain kind of logic
which I will outline now
I J vol 1 no 1 2010 http www iaspmjournal net
Analysing Live Music in the UK 5
1 1955 1969
a Absence of corporations and ancillary industries concert promoters as
One obvious difference between the live music sector in 1955 versus now
is the absence at that time of corporate promoting entities and a professionalized
sector of ancillary industries to live music live sound engineering ticketing
transport etc Instead we see the presence of a more informal network of
venues agents managers and promoters with key individual entrepreneurial
personalities leading the way At the top of the promoting food chain were
established promoters such as Harold Fielding and Harold Davison who dealt
with jazz musical theatre and jazz based pop There were also newcomer
promoters such as Larry Parnes and Arthur Howes who capitalized on the
burgeoning teen pop market These larger usually London based promoters
often worked with local promoters in towns across the UK to book shows
Promoters also often simultaneously acted as managers agents promoters and
labels for artists they worked with which made the British music industry distinct
from the US where anti trust legislation prevented taking on such conflicting
roles Boyd 2008
b Musicians Union reciprocal exchange
There was also a completely different protocol for foreign musicians
wishing to perform in the UK Since at least the 1930s the British Musicians
Union wielded a strong influence on the Ministry of Labour and discouraged
them from granting work permits to any American dance bands wishing to play in
Britain unless a reciprocal agreement was in place where a British dance band
would be sent to the US to perform in exchange 1 Since there was next to no
demand for British jazz and pop in the US until much later this meant that very
few American artists performed in Britain until 1955 when reciprocal exchanges
began to become more common Even at the height of the British invasion in the
1960s however when there was actually demand in the US for British
performers the Musicians Union reciprocal exchange still had to be abided by
and affected whether touring bands could bring their own backup band or not
c Impact of DIY music making and youth pop
The 1950s and 1960s period is characterized by an upsurge in amateur
and DIY Do It Yourself music making in genres such as trad jazz skiffle folk
R B and rock With these genres came new kinds of venues and clubs that
catered to each style and the emergence of a pub gigging circuit Pop groups
also displaced dance orchestras which for years had enjoyed residential
contracts at ballrooms Young audiences on a night out gradually went to fewer
live dance orchestras instead preferring to dance to DJs spinning records of
popular artists or a mix of live bands and dance records 2 Concert promoters who
proved unable to adapt to such changes risked commercial ruin but those who
remained flexible were able to reap rewards Cliff Richard and the Shadows one
I J vol 1 no 1 2010 http www iaspmjournal net
Simon Frith Matt Brennan Martin Cloonan Emma Webster 6
of the most popular acts performing teen beat music sold out tours in record
numbers which were promoted by Arthur Howes Cliff and the Shadows were
one of the pioneering youth pop acts who began to tour in their own right rather
than as part of a package tour not least because they were able to perform sets
without relying on a backup band
d pop s growing market strains concert promotion conventions
The growth in audience demand for appearances by pop groups like Cliff
Richard The Beatles and other bands resulted in a shifting of the economic
gateposts for the live music sector during this time Pop managers were able to
argue on behalf of their artists for increasingly better terms for concerts and in
the mid 1960s there are many reports in the music press of a growing tension
between concert promoters and pop artists 3 Performers expressed
dissatisfaction with promoters for using venues with inadequate facilities
advertising an artist when no booking had been made and promising fees were
in the post but which never arrived Promoters on the other hand complained of
bands not fulfilling contracts due to getting a record in the charts ignoring their
previous commitments and signing up for better paying gigs elsewhere as well
as a general attitude of indifference by certain professional groups and their
agents The rapid growth of the pop concert market meant that existing norms of
live music promotion on structural technical and performative levels were
quickly becoming inadequate to meet market demand in the UK and finding a
solution was often a painful process of trial and error
2 1969 1996
a record labels subsidize tours to promote record sales
One solution to come into place was for an act s record company to take
control of touring to fit in with album promotion and 1969 is a year when one
begins to notice reports of the dynamic between the recording industry and live
industry changing most noticeably in press releases of record labels subsidizing
concerts and touring costs to promote record sales in Britain And it is this
change that we ve decided to use to mark the beginning of our second period
Record labels had experienced a period of great growth in the 1960s and were
beginning to realize that they now had the cash flow to offer financial support to
help their new signings perform and tour at a loss in the hopes that expenses
would be recouped in future record sales Labels like EMI and RCA started
presenting free concerts to promote their new acts and by 1970 the Marquee
Club was booked every Monday night exclusively for record label promotion
concerts 4 Over the next few years there are reports in trade publications about
labels underwriting substantial costs of tours to break new and even established
I J vol 1 no 1 2010 http www iaspmjournal net
Analysing Live Music in the UK 7
b new school pop promoters via student unions
The music press in 1969 also has many reports about the emergence of a
new touring circuit in colleges An ad in Melody Maker at the beginning of the
year placed by an agency called College Entertainment Limited thanks a list of
67 social secretaries for their patronage so this circuit was clearly taking shape
prior to 1969 as well MM 4 January 1969 p 20 Social secretaries were either
appointed or elected student concert promoters at universities and this
development resulted in two things 1 a new touring circuit that gave acts access
to the very important college market 2 a new route for the younger generation
who were closely connected to the new rocket market to break into an industry in
need of employees who were more directly in touch with their market Jenner
2008 Some industry professionals who got their start as social secretaries
include promoter Harvey Goldsmith Chrysalis founders Chris Ellis and Terry
Wright and the Who and Rolling Stones tour manager Pete Rudge although
there are countless others
c professionalization of ancillary industries sound light trucking security
merchandise ticketing
As anyone who has seen footage of the Beatles playing Shea Stadium
can attest the equipment for used for sound lights transport and other
elements of a large scale concert event were either non existent or woefully
inadequate by the time the Beatles abandoned touring in 1966 However by the
end of the 1960s and early 1970s bands were beginning to buy high powered
custom built sound and light systems for use in American stadiums which they
would then sometimes use in much smaller town halls converted cinemas or
slightly larger venues such as London s Empire Pool or Earls Court 5 Bands that
couldn t afford to own their own high end touring equipment or who realized that
such equipment was only needed when they were on tour for small parts of the
year created a demand for various ancillary industries to the live music sector
such as professional sound and lighting trucking and security There was also a
professionalization of merchandise such as t shirts and programmes in the
1970s which were sometimes the result of labels and managers co opting and
contracting illegal bootleggers who were often more successful and innovative in
their band merchandising than the artists themselves Colson 2009 Finally
companies such as Ticketmaster shifted some of the balance of power away
from promoters as they took over the mechanics of ticket selling and increased
revenue potential via booking fees and commission Ticketmaster was founded in
the US in 1976 and established its UK division in 1981 and was merely one
example of a growing ticketing industry which grew rapidly especially once the
proliferation of credit cards and later internet sales made it easier to set up call
centres and websites rather than individual box offices Ticketmaster 2009
Latham 2009 But the first internet sale by Ticketmaster only occurs in 1996
which brings us to our third period and which I ll discuss in a moment
I J vol 1 no 1 2010 http www iaspmjournal net
Simon Frith Matt Brennan Martin Cloonan Emma Webster 8
d the development of the arena circuit
Another key development during this period was the building of arenas
that could be used for pop concert events Unlike America where bands had
been touring arenas and stadiums since the Beatles in the mid 1960s few
similarly adequate venues existed in most British cities apart from London and
by adequate I don t mean acoustic improvements or audience enjoyment I
mean capacity to cope with ticket demand Even in London stadium gigs started
much later than in the States with the first pop gig at Wembley Stadium being a
1972 rock n roll revue with Bill Haley and Little Richard MM 22 July 1972 p 33
Appropriately sized and equipped venues outside of London were few and far
between until gradually throughout the late 1970s to the early 1990s a workable
arena tour circuit emerged with key venues including the The NEC Birmingham
1976 the SECC in Glasgow 1985 The GMEX in Manchester 1986 and the
Sheffield Arena 1991 The advent of indoor arenas meant that bands could tour
in the UK using similar equipment standards and economies of scale that they
did in the US Most importantly whereas before a band might have to play two
shows a night for two nights at a town hall they could now play one night at an
arena for half of the labour and hire costs making more money more efficiently
and thus growing the live sector Latham 2009
e professionalization of promoters
Throughout the 1970s and 1980s concert promoters themselves also
showed signs of increasing professionalization if only in an attempt to more
effectively lobby government and other areas of the industry In 1986 the
Concert Promoters Association formed in response to an attempt by the
Performing Right Society to treble their fees for live pop concerts prompting
promoters to collectively and successfully take action CPA 2008 Similarly the
International Live Music Conference which takes place in London and is the
most important live music industry event in the world was formed in 1988
according to one source because agents thought they were going to be pushed
out of the business and agents used the ILMC to strengthen their collective voice
Latham 2009 Finally in 1989 a live music industry trade paper called Applause
was founded where none had existed before once again hinting at an industry
that was beginning to become more publicly visible and coherent with concert
promoters beginning to shed at least on the surface what Keith Negus
described as a bad reputation in the past for being aggressive wheeler dealers
making excessive profits and occasionally running off with the takings Negus
1992 p 130
1996 present
a records begin to lose wallet share
The first factor in the third period of British concert promotion has to do
with the recording industry rather than the live industry per se Key dates often
I J vol 1 no 1 2010 http www iaspmjournal net
Analysing Live Music in the UK 9
cited in the digital period of the British record industry are 1999 when Napster
was created or 2001 when broadband arrived in the UK and peer to peer file
sharing began to take off in Britain However in a recent article by Will Page the
chief economist of the PRS he argues that in fact the key year for shifting
patterns in music consumption is actually 1996 According to Page this is when
recorded music begins to lose its wallet share which refers to the proportion of
disposable income that people devoted to buying music recordings Page 2007
He demonstrates that recorded music s wallet share of disposable income has
actually been falling since as far back as 1996 meaning that record labels were
getting increasingly less of the consumer s wallet than they did despite this
trend taking root during a period of uninterrupted economic expansion ibid
More interestingly the fact that this downward trend predates the advent of
broadband in the UK by 5 years offers a rebuttal to claims that piracy is the sole
culprit of the record industry s current woes ibid
b ticket prices begin to rise well above inflation
As I mentioned earlier Ticketmaster s first internet sale occurs in 1996
but meanwhile another equally interesting change in ticket selling starts in this
year Economists Alan Krueger and Marie Connolly 2005 demonstrate that
1996 is the point when concert ticket prices begin a period of rapid growth from
1981 to 1996 concert prices grew slightly faster than inflation However from
1996 to 2003 concert prices grew much faster than inflation ibid
c the rise of SFX Clear Channel and Live Nation
1996 was also the year the American Robert Sillerman and his company
SFX Entertainment began acquiring companies in the live music sector although
he would not acquire any British companies until he bought three of the most
significant promoters and venue operators in the UK in 1999 Apollo Leisure
Group Midland Concert Promotions and the Barry Clayman Corporation
making the American based SFX one of the biggest players in the British live
music landscape virtually overnight Funding Universe 2009 In 2000 SFX was
bought by the multi national corporation Clear Channel which then spun off its
live entertainment assets into a separate company Live Nation in 2005 In a
very short space of time then Live Nation has become the most important
concert promoter in the UK as well as the second biggest music company in the
world larger than any of the major record labels apart from Universal
d changing dynamic between the recording and live industries
The decrease in revenue from recorded music rise in ticket prices and
deeper pockets of multi national promoters have yielded interesting
developments such as reunion gigs by many bands who had been inactive for
years to cash in and buoy themselves against decreasing income from record
sales It s also meant a noticeable growth in the number of summer music
festivals which despite experiencing a contraction this summer due to a mix of
over saturation last year and the recession are still at their most plentiful in the
I J vol 1 no 1 2010 http www iaspmjournal net
Simon Frith Matt Brennan Martin Cloonan Emma Webster 10
history of British music In 2008 consumer spending on live music is reported by
several sources to overtake spending on recorded music in the UK Mintel 2008
Page 2009 Despite the actual value of the live music sector being hard to
measure and a contraction in the past year it remains safe to say that the
dynamic between the recorded and live industries is changing and that it s no
longer clear which revenue stream in pop music is now dominant revenue from
branding syncing and merchandise should also be considered in this debate
In this very condensed periodization of the history of British concert
promotion I haven t had time to mention many important elements such as the
role of radio and TV dancing and discotheques the rise of corporate
sponsorship and countless other factors Indeed one could argue for a different
set of historical emphases and different division points and therefore an
alternative construction of the history of the British live music from 1955 2009 On
the one hand our team is conscious of Keith Negus s suggestion that musical
history making cannot be known in any innocent sense Arranging a vast number
of sounds words and images into musical eras is not a neutral activity It
involves a process of imposing patterns and order onto the many events taking
place across space and through time 1996 p 138 On the other hand
constructing historical eras regardless of their artificial nature can be a
necessary and potentially useful method to make sense of an inevitably complex
and often unwieldy wealth of historical data
This article has described many changes in the history of British concert
promotion and their impacts on the UK s live music culture are varied However
one of our project s aims to also reveal what characteristics have held the British
live music sector together over time Take for instance the following quote from
promoter Harvey Goldsmith
The music Radio One is playing has no relation to the current live trends
Absolutely zero For the up and coming acts life is becoming increasingly
more difficult The Rolling Stones they re still pulling the crowds in
But there are too many shows on the road and I don t think the market
can take it I can foresee a slump in the concert business The new acts
don t seem to be paying dues anymore One hit record and they re already
headlining their own tour They re being pushed too hard and too fast And
not enough good ones are coming through I think this is the fault of the
record companies The companies are holding back to a man and going
through a very strange phase they re not finding new acts The
companies are cutting out what they used to do on promoting acts They re
just saying If they don t sell records well drop em And this is reflected at
our end of the business quoted in Partridge 1974 p 8
I J vol 1 no 1 2010 http www iaspmjournal net
Analysing Live Music in the UK 11
Goldsmith s comments could have come from any number of industry pundits in
2009 but in fact the quote is from 1974 As much as our historical research is
charting changes in the live music sector it s also revealing what appear to be
recurring themes in the discourse of the industry As our research progresses we
hope that an account of the industry s past will be useful not only as a document
but also in illuminating and analysing its present condition
1 Jim Goldbolt 1989 has written more than p 3 MM 9 July 1966 p 8 9 MM 11
any other on the impact of the Musicians February 1967 p 20 MM 13 February
Union on the live music sector although 1966 p 4 MM 17 September 1966 p 25
our research team is currently conducting MM 28 January 1967 p 8
more research to investigate this history
4 See RR 4 June 1969 p 2 16 July 1969
2 In 1959 for instance the Association of p 13 RR 2 May 1970 p 2
Ballrooms which represented over 140
ballrooms across Britain began to 5 See MM 12 September 1970 p 36 MM
formally work with the Musicians Union 25 September 1971 p 1 MM 22 July
against the perceived threat of disc hops 1972 p 9 MM 19 August 1972 p 5 MM
MM 6 June 1959 p 1 19 August 1972 p 24
3 See MM 28 November 1964 p 5 MM 9
October 1965 p 4 MM 8 January 1966
This article is part of a larger project examining the promotion of live music in the
UK and is funded by AHRC research grant F00947 1
Boyd Joe 2008 Interview with Matt Brennan in London 7 November
Colson Gail 2009 Interview with Matt Brennan in London 4 June
Concert Promoters Association 2008 Press release supplied by Carole Smith
CPA secretary
Connolly M Krueger A 2005 Rockonomics The Economics of Popular
Music working paper http www krueger princeton edu working papers html
Accessed 15 July 2009
Funding Universe 2009 SFX Entertainment Inc 22 January
http www fundinguniverse com company histories SFX Entertainment Inc
Company History html Accessed 15 July 2009
I J vol 1 no 1 2010 http www iaspmjournal net
Simon Frith Matt Brennan Martin Cloonan Emma Webster 12
Godbolt Jim 1989 A History of Jazz in Britain 1950 1970 London Quartet
Jenner Peter 2008 Interview with Matt Brennan in London 11 November
Latham Paul 2009 Interview with Matt Brennan in London 3 June
Melody Maker 1959 Ban these Disc Hops Say Ballroom bosses 6 June p 1
Melody Maker 1964 Club promoters to combine 28 November p 5
Melody Maker 1965 Walkers quit the ballroom scene 9 October p 4
Melody Maker 1966 Perils of Pop and the shady men on its fringes 7 July
Melody Maker 1966 Ballroom row 13 February p 4
Melody Maker 1966 Northern promoters attack pop groups 17 September p
Melody Maker 1966 Stones States gates dismal 16 July p 6
Melody Maker 1966 Time to move on from the ballrooms 8 January p 3
Melody Maker 1967 Are All Promoters Angels 11 February p 20
Melody Maker 1967 Who would be a promoter 28 January p 8
Melody Maker 1969 College Entertainments Limited Advertisement 4
January p 20
Melody Maker 1970 2 000 watts of Who Power 12 September p 36
Melody Maker 1971 Who Go Heavy 25 September p 1
Melody Maker 1972 Garden party at crystal palace bowl Advertisement 22
Melody Maker 1972 Garden Party V Advertisement 19 August p 5
Melody Maker 1972 The Rock n Roll Show Advertisement 22 July p 33
Music Week 1973 20 000 Barclay James Harvest promotion 3 February
Music Week 1973 Bowie LP drive on 24 March p 1
Music Week 2009 UK live revenues surpass record sales 17 March
http www musicweek com story asp storycode 1037247 Accessed 15 July
Negus Keith 1992 Producing Pop Culture and Conflict in the Popular Music
Industry Edward Arnold
Negus Keith 1996 Popular Music in Theory Cambridge Polity
I J vol 1 no 1 2010 http www iaspmjournal net
Analysing Live Music in the UK 13
Page Will 2007 Economics Time to Face the Music Music Ally 18 October
Partridge Rob 1974 Business we re heading for a slump Melody Maker
21 September pp 8 9
Prynn Johnathan 2008 Festival explosion turns live music into 1 9bn big
business Evening Standard 10 September
http www thisislondon co uk standard article
23553561details Festival explosion turns live music into 1 9bn big business
article do Accessed 15 July 2009
Record Retailer 1969 2 000 at first EMI Harvest Free Concert 4 June p 2
Record Retailer 1969 RCA books Lyceum for promotion concert 16 July p 13
Record Retailer 1970 Promotion showplace 2 May p 2
Ticketmaster 2009 Company History 22 January
http www ticketmaster com history index html Accessed 15 July 2009
I J vol 1 no 1 2010 http www iaspmjournal net
Simon Frith Matt Brennan Martin Cloonan Emma Webster 14
Live Music and Music Policy Some initial thoughts
Martin Cloonan
M Cloonan music arts gla ac uk
University of Glasgow
This is the third of four related articles in this journal presenting findings from the first
year of a research project on live music in the UK It presents some initial findings and
reflections upon the impact of live music on music policy
Keywords live music music policy regulation
This paper draws on research which has been conducted as part of the
live music project on my own longstanding interest in the regulation of popular
music and also on my recent experience as a band manager It differs from the
AHRC project in that whereas that covers all genres of music my focus here is
more narrowly on popular music I want to tease out some of the policy
implications of researching live music and do so by examining three key areas
1 The necessity of regulation
2 Live music and the black economy
3 The impact of technology on ticketing
I want to argue that live music has direct policy implications for which are not
present with recorded music As such it presents a potentially rich field of
research for those of us who are interested cultural policy and regulatory
I should note before I begin that this paper draws upon work done for the
project by the rest of the team and particularly interviews conducted by Matt
Brennan and Emma Webster So I d like to acknowledge their contribution while
taking full responsibility for the arguments in the paper
I J vol 1 no 1 2010 http www iaspmjournal net
Analysing Live Music in the UK 15
Part One The necessity of regulation
It is noticeable that live music has received much less academic attention
that recorded music has especially in terms of its industrial structure But another
noticeable thing is that when live music has received attention it has been in
terms of issues concerning its regulation thus in the early 1980s Michael Clarke
wrote a book on focussed on free festivals and the problems they were having
Clarke 1982 In 1991 Paul Chevigny documented the way in which local by
laws had virtually banned jazz from parts of New York and my own work on
censorship and music in the UK in 1996 featured accounts of how regulation
could act as a form of censorship In 2003 Shane Homan s first book
documented the way in which Sydney s local music scene was mediated by
regulations or the lack thereof So there is something of a tradition of academic
work on live music concentrating on regulation and thus on policy In order to
illustrate this I now want briefly to address four more areas flyposting the 2003
Licensing Act the importance of locality and Form 696
The regulatory framework around live music begins even before a gig has
started Here perhaps one of the most contentious issues in recent years has
been advertising of gigs by flyposting and or flyering As part of our research
we re interviewing promoters and one of the issues which has come up is the
attitude of local authorities towards this issue Sheffield promoter Alan Deadman
told us that
there s no poster boards I think in many respects that s got worse
It s almost like a neo fascism where cities think that in order to attract
investment people to relocate there they have to have a squeaky clean city
Deadman 2008
Similarly Mark Mackie of leading Scottish promoter Regular Music reported that
The police came up here and gave me a warning about some fly posting I ve
been doing Edinburgh s got its head in the sand right Glasgow met the
problem head on and has official fly posting sites now that are cleaned up
and tidied and the drums and they re working a treat Mackie 2008
Elsewhere it was reported that Newcastle has had a well earned reputation for
vociferously pursuing people flyering from local venues Mean and Times 2005
p 6 and that Liverpool Council has also taken action against flyposting despite
the fact that many music venues depended on fly posting as their main source of
advertising even though it was often in breach of the law Cohen 2007 p 204
This sort of action can alienate live music promoters and a DEMOS report
suggested that compromises such as having designated spaces for flyposting are
necessary and that Ideally there should be no restrictions on flyering in the
street Mean and Times 2005 p 22
I J vol 1 no 1 2010 http www iaspmjournal net

Related Books

Analysing Live Music in the UK: Findings One Year into a ...

Analysing Live Music in the UK: Findings One Year into a ...

Analysing Live Music in the UK: Findings One Year into a Three-Year Research Project Simon Frith [email protected] University of Edinburgh Abstract This is the first of four related articles in this journal presenting findings from an ongoing research project on the history of live music in the UK since 1950. This introductory article outlines the project’s starting assumption—that ...

Continue Reading...


the most popular live music arena in the world. Five of the top ten most successful worldwide tours were from UK acts. 2018 is proving to be no different. We need to build on these achievements and as the Minister responsible for the creative industries I am firmly committed to doing just that. Earlier this year the Government, in partnership with our creative industries, introduced a sector ...

Continue Reading...
Linked Data Publication of Live Music Archives and Analyses

Linked Data Publication of Live Music Archives and Analyses

Linked Data Publication of Live Music Archives and Analyses Sean Bechhofer1, Kevin R. Page 2, David M. Weigl , Gyorgy Fazekas¨ 3, and Thomas Wilmering3 1 School of Computer Science, University of Manchester [email protected] 2 Oxford e-Research Centre, University of Oxford {,david.weigl}

Continue Reading...
Nicholas cook analysing musical multimedia pdf

Nicholas cook analysing musical multimedia pdf

Nicholas cook analysing musical multimedia pdf Buy Analysing Musical Multimedia ne c28 pdf by Nicholas Cook ISBN: 9780198167372 from Amazons Book Store. Analysing Musical Multimedia. Free UK delivery on eligible orders.challenging or unfamiliar problems as does musical multimedia, for the various ways. Indeed, as

Continue Reading...
Have you found what you re looking for? Analysing tourist ...

Have you found what you re looking for? Analysing tourist ...

As live music is not always necessarily part of music-related travel, as, for example, in the U2 walking tour, in this article, music tour-ism is studied in its broader definition. Taken in this broader sense, music tourism appears to be a persistent phenomenon, visible for example in the continued popularity of visits to places such as Elvis’ Graceland (over 600.00 visitors annually, www ...

Continue Reading...
Accessing, analysing, and writing about Taking Part -

Accessing, analysing, and writing about Taking Part -

[email protected] @markrt Some data analysis reception Publically funded arts and culture is for everyone, not for the few. However, the Warwick Commission highlighted that nearly half of live music audiences and a third of theatregoers and gallery visitors are composed of the wealthiest, best-educated and least

Continue Reading...


NATIONAL STANDARDS for MUSIC EDUCATION 1. Singing, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music. 2. Performing on instruments, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music. 3. Improvising melodies, variations, and accompaniments. 4. Composing and arranging music within specified guidelines. 5. Reading and notating music. 6. Listening to, analyzing, and describing music. 7 ...

Continue Reading...
Analysing performance: narrative and ideology in concerts ...

Analysing performance: narrative and ideology in concerts ...

Popular Music (1989) Volume 8/1 Analysing performance: narrative and ideology in concerts by jKaraxu! JAN FAIRLEY Introduction In September 1974 a group of musicians came together in Paris to perform at meetings to mark the first anniversary of the 197 coup3 Chilea d'etat.n 1 The group took the name jKaraxu! which is variously translated in performance as 'to go forward' or as 'a war cry'. In ...

Continue Reading...
Identifying and analysing existing research undertaken in ...

Identifying and analysing existing research undertaken in ...

Identifying and analysing existing research undertaken in the events industry I Executive Summary The term event or events industry is used by a number of people in a number of different ways, with continued discussion about the development of the events industry, however, there is only limited data to support this. If the events industry is to be fully explored, researched and understood ...

Continue Reading...
What is Critical Analysis? - University of Bradford

What is Critical Analysis? - University of Bradford

I live in the beautiful Welsh borders, so it is a pleasure to take a healthy run each day. 2 At Beckfield School, teachers took a scientific approach to school sports over a ten-

Continue Reading...
Music Festivals: A Secondary Market Analysis

Music Festivals: A Secondary Market Analysis

Rapid sellouts for music festivals are increasingly common. Some of the most well-known festivals like Lollapalooza sellout within hours of tickets going on sale, reflecting a massive demand for tickets that leaves many people empty handed (Marotti, 2015). The live music industry’s expansion has been fueled in part by rising attendance at

Continue Reading...