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UK live music census announced

By | Published on Thursday 12 January 2017


Researchers from the universities of Edinburgh, Glasgow and Newcastle have announced plans to carry out a census of live music in the UK. The aim is to identify the cultural and economic value of live music across the country, and to confirm the challenges it faces.

The census will be carried out over one 24 hour period in March, with organisers now calling for volunteers to help to record musical activity in their local area. Those volunteers will be asked to note aspects of any gig they attend on Thursday 9 Mar, including the musical genre, the venue, door charge and audience demographic.

“This is like a ‘Springwatch’ for live music”, says lead organiser Matt Brennan from the University Of Edinburgh. “We want people to let us know everything about the music they see on this one day”.

He continues: “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”.

As well as calling on the general public to assist the research on the ground, there will also be an online survey opened up to musicians, venues, promoters and audience members.

The team behind the research ran a pilot version in Edinburgh in 2015, which identified issues with the local council’s policy on noise levels at gigs. This informed a decision to revise those rules.

Find out more about the project and sign up to take part here.