The UK Live Music Census was released on Friday, and it’s really packed full of useful information you should know and can use! The Census was conducted by academic researchers who are passionate about music. Here are some of the findings:
More than three quarters of people surveyed had visited small music venues – defined as those with a capacity of up to 350 people – during the past year.
Two-thirds (67%) of respondents to the musician survey had performed in small music venues in the past 12 months.
Attendance and performance at these venues is around double the next two venue types (small outdoor spaces at 38% and churches at 31%).
Nearly half of 4,400 people surveyed spend more than £20 on tickets for concerts or festivals each month.
All of this tells us that Grassroots Music Venues are still hugely important. And the Census tells us that as well. People really value their local venue and the community and culture it brings to their town or city.
But something is going seriously wrong.
Two out of every five (40%) venue online survey respondents identifying as small music venues and a third (33%) of all venue survey respondents said that increased business rates had an extreme, strong or moderate negative impact on their live music events in the past 12 months.
One-third (33%) of venue online survey respondents identifying as small music venues and nearly one in five (22%) of all venue survey respondents said that planning and property development had a negative impact in the last 12 months.
Nearly one-third (29%) of venue online survey respondents identifying as small music venues and 27% of all venue survey respondents said that noise-related complaints had a negative impact in the last 12 months.
More than one in five (22%) of the respondents to the musician survey had gigs which were negatively affected by noise-related complaints in the last 12 months.
What do all these noise complaints, planning, tax rises and decaying infrastructure mean? What do we actually mean when we say there’s a huge problem in our Grassroots Music Venues?
68% of respondents to the musician survey said that stagnating pay for musicians makes it difficult to bring in a viable income while this figure rises to 80% for those respondents identifying as professional musicians.
Because if you’re paying the government an inappropriate business rate, paying a lawyer to fight a licensing issue, paying an acoustician to tackle a noise complaint, paying PRS for Music a minimum fee that equates to 20% of the door money, spending half of your day just trying to keep the doors open, you’ve got no money left to give the musicians a decent PA, lighting and backstage and no money left to pay them.
We need comprehensive action from government, the cultural sector and the music industry to protect, secure and improve our Grassroots Music Venues.
Music Venue Trust has a clear plan of action that everyone who genuinely wants to support these venues can take. This is not rocket science. We know what the problems are and there are clear steps to tackle them.
So let’s stop talking and act now.
You can read the report here: http://uklivemusiccensus.org/…/UK-Live-Music-Census-2017-ex…
The DCMS Inquiry into Live Music is currently open for responses. You can respond here: http://www.parliament.uk/…/inqui…/parliament-2017/livemusic/
The Arts Council England Consultation on the future of cultural funding is open, you can take part here: https://aceconversation2018.ning.com/
You can find your MP and write to them here:https://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/
All of this tells us that Grassroots Music Venues are still hugely important! People really value their local venue and the community and culture it brings to their town or city.
If you’re interested in reading more about the census, the Executive Summary, as well as the full report, is available here :http://uklivemusiccensus.org