Varied, vibrant, diverse yet also limited – does this sound like Southampton’s live music scene to you? These are the four most frequently used words used by musicians and audiences to describe live music in Southampton in the ongoing UK Live Music Census – but do you agree? As a musician, perhaps you think that parking is a pain, that the venues aren’t varied enough, or that live music doesn’t pay. Or as a venue or promoter, perhaps you’ve been having issues with property developers or noise controls, or perhaps it’s simply getting more difficult to get bums on seats.
Live music appears to be under threat across the UK, so the better it is understood, the more can be done to help to protect it. The research team need you to take part in the Census so that they can build the most accurate picture possible of Southampton’s live music activity.
Since March, surveys have been gathering data about live music in Southampton and now is your last chance to have your say about your live music life, whether as a music lover in the audience, a musician on stage, or behind the scenes as a venue or promoter. The online surveys are open until 31st May, accessed via the UK Live Music Census website, uklivemusiccensus.org – one lucky respondent will win an iPad! (T&Cs apply.)
The Southampton Live Music Census is part of the wider UK Live Music Census – the world’s first attempt to map live music activity across an entire country – which started at noon on 9th March. Volunteers took to the live music venues of Southampton to collect data about the gigs and concerts taking place around the city, and about the audiences who were out and about over that 24 hour period. What they found was a great diversity of music, from pop punk at Engine Rooms to folk and acoustic at The Talking Heads.
The Census is being 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 in partnership with the Musicians’ Union, Music Venue Trust and UK Music, and is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.
Two years ago the project team ran a pilot live music census in Edinburgh. Its findings were used to inform the city council’s decision to change its policies about noise levels to the benefit of performers.
With enough data, we hope that the UK Live Music Census will help measure live music’s cultural and economic value, discover what challenges the industry is facing, and inform policy to help it flourish.
For further information please contact:
Emma Webster, Research Associate