Volunteers are needed for the UK’s first live music census, which will take place on 9 March.
The project aims to take a snapshot of music across the UK over the course of 24 hours. The census will run in Glasgow, Newcastle, Oxford, Leeds, Birmingham, Southampton and Brighton, and will encompass live performances from buskers to massed choirs.
Those participating will be asked to record aspects of the concert, including the genre of the music performed, the venue, ticket cost and audience demographic. Organisers hope that this information will provide some indication as to live music’s cultural and economic value, highlight some of the challenges the industry is facing, and inform policy to help it flourish.
A nationwide online survey for musicians, venues, promoters and audiences will also go live on 9 March and will be open until 8 May. It will gather information about why people attend concerts, which venues are considered important, how much people spend, and how far they will travel.
The University of Edinburgh’s Dr Matt Brennan, who is lead organiser on the project, likened the census to ‘a Springwatch for live music’.
He added: ‘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.’
The census is led by academics from the University of Edinburgh’s Reid School of Music 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.