Bucks students support UK-wide live music census


Date: 9th Mar 2017

Buckinghamshire New University is part of Britain's first live music census today, the UK Live Music Census, which is identifying challenges the industry face, such as rising rates and other issues.

The Census, dubbed 'Springwatch for live music' will give a detailed picture of what exactly it means to be venue owner, a musician, and a live music lover in 2017.

A total of 12 first-year BA (Hons) Music and Live Events Management at the University, led by academics Dr Stan Erraught and Paul Fields, visited Oxford to assess the state of live music in the city.

Students visited The Bullingdon, The Catherine Wheel, The Cellar, East Oxford Community Centre, The Half Moon, Jericho Tavern, Oxford Central Library, 02 Academy Oxford, and Truck Store, among others, and spoke to hundreds of gig-goers.

Mr Fields said, "We had a fun and productive night in Oxford which gave our passionate first-year students invaluable experience of field research very early on in their university journey and highlighted the immense variety present within the UK's live music industry. We look forward to seeing the results of the census, both from Oxford and other UK cities."

In October 2015, Bucks New University and UK Music, through the Music Academic Partnership, published previous research revealing the vast economic, cultural and social impact of live music to the city of Bristol.

The UK Live Music Census is led by the universities of Edinburgh, Newcastle and Glasgow.

For 24 hours from noon today (9 March), a volunteer army of music lovers will track performances in cities across the country - from lone buskers to massed choirs and from dancefloors to stadium concerts.

There will be coordinated censuses in Glasgow, Newcastle, Oxford, Leeds, Southampton and Brighton. Volunteers will attend live music events including Olly Murs at Leeds Arena, Nicola Benedetti at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, R&B in Oxford, and jazz in Newcastle.

A nationwide online survey for musicians, venues, promoters and audiences will also go live and will be open until 8 May. Music fans, musicians, venues and promoters across all genres and at all levels are asked to fill in the survey at the official website: www.uklivemusiccensus.org.

The Census will quantify for the first time the nationwide challenges the industry is facing and inform policy to help it flourish.

Jo Dipple, chief executive of UK Music, one of the Census' industry partners, said: "UK Music is delighted to partner this ground-breaking UK Live Music Census research. The findings for each of the six cities will inform academics, entrepreneurs and music fans alike. It will help organisations like UK Music to understand better the pressures on music businesses and venues so we can lobby for the most effective policies in each area."

Other issues the Census aims to capture include the diversity of musical genres, audience demographics, ticket prices, live music's economic and cultural value, and attitudes towards secondary ticketing - the reselling of tickets.

The Census is led by academics from the University of Edinburgh's Reid School of Music - part of Edinburgh College of Art - in collaboration with Newcastle University's International Centre for Music Studies and the University of Glasgow's School of Culture and Creative Arts.

The project is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. The industry partners are the Musicians' Union, Music Venue Trust and UK Music. The affiliated institutions are Brighton's British and Irish Modern Music Institute, Leeds Beckett University, and Southampton Solent University.