The University of Glasgow’s Music research area is one of the institutions organizing a pioneering live music census which will take place in seven British cities on Thursday 9 March. With live music facing significant pressures (up to 40% of venues in London have closed in the last eight years), the project intends to provide a snapshot of live music in Britain and investigate the challenges faced by artists and venues.
Professor Martin Cloonan, a co-investigator on the UK Live Music Census,explains that the census has been the result of the universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh collaborating for over ten years on researching the live – and wider – music industry. This has included the establishment of an online portal, Live Music Exchange, which acts as a focus for discussing all issues germane to the live music industry.
Professor Cloonan noted that one of the most important aspects of the live music census is that it is being undertaken in partnership with key organisations in the live music industry including the music industry’s representative body, UK Music, the Music Venues Trust and the Musicians’ Union. Professor Cloonan said:
“We have designed our research methodology in consultation with our partners who have helped us refine our methods and approved the final approach. The census is the first of its kind in the world and we have designed a methodology which will be made freely available online, meaning that anyone, anywhere, who wishes to asses the value of live music in their town can do so.”
As part of the research, censuses will take place in Glasgow, Newcastle, Oxford, Leeds, Birmingham, Southampton and Brighton on Thursday 9 March. On this night volunteers will visit as many venues as possible in order to compile the fullest picture possible of live music activity, across all genres and styles. Professor Cloonan is co-ordinating the Glasgow census. Anyone interested in helping with the census should contact Professor Cloonan.