Local volunteers wanted for UK-wide music venue ‘census’

Concorde 2 Brighton SUS-151017-143121001
Concorde 2 Brighton SUS-151017-143121001

Britain’s live music scene is to be measured in a world first ‘Springwatch’ style census.

A volunteer army of music lovers is being recruited to take part in the first ever live music census.

From lone buskers to massed choirs, from pub gigs to stadium concerts, for one night in March organisers aim to track performances in cities across the country.

They hope the first ever survey of its kind anywhere in the world will help measure live music’s cultural and economic value, as well as discovering what challenges the industry is facing.

Co-ordinated censuses are planned in Brighton, Glasgow, Newcastle, Oxford, Leeds, Birmingham and Southampton.

The UK Live Music Census - conducted by the universities of Edinburgh, Newcastle and Glasgow - will run for 24 hours from noon on Thursday March 9.

Volunteers will be asked to record various aspects of the performance including the musical genre, the venue, door charge and audience demographic.

Lead organiser Dr Matt Brennan, of Edinburgh University, said: “This is like a Springwatch for live music.

We want people to let us know everything about the music they see on this one day.

“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.”

A nationwide online survey for musicians, venues, promoters and audiences will also go live on March 9th and will be open until May 8.

Dr Brennan said it will gather information about why people attend gigs, which venues are considered important, how much people spend and how far they will travel.

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.

For more information go to http://uklivemusiccensus.org/