Today the first fruits of our work with The UK Live Music Industry in a post-2019 era: A Globalised local perspective project are now available, via the release of our report: “Birmingham Live Music and Brexit“.
The report can be downloaded as a PDF here. There is also a summary of the report available on the Music Week website.
The report reveals Brexit-related worries voiced by policymakers, academics, industry figures and media representatives during a one-day event we held in Birmingham earlier this year. Organisations who contributed to the report included Arts Council England, Birmingham City Council, Birmingham Music Archive, Birmingham Music Coalition, Hare & Hounds Birmingham and Leftfoot Venues, The Musicians’ Union, Town Hall & Symphony Hall Birmingham, and West Midlands Combined Authority.
One of the main issues raised was the way that Brexit could lead to fewer artists and productions travelling to the UK from Europe, which in turn could mean a marked decrease in the number of ‘music tourists’ visiting the country and region specifically for live music experiences.
Other key issues raised in the report include:
- Concerns that the summer festival season of 2020 would be negatively impacted by Brexit. It’s feared that the potential costs of running big events could spiral and lead to heavy losses due to disrupted supply chains.
- Brexit is likely to generate a massive administrative cost for UK-based artists. While larger acts will have labels, promoters and investors to support them, smaller acts will not be able to afford such costs to build up their presence on the continent through touring and cultural exchanges.
- The future of a high number of production companies located in the UK – which provide lighting, staging and tour management – is also clouded by Brexit, with a large number of jobs possibly moved elsewhere to minimise disruption and maximise sales.
Crucial to exploring the problems, questions and opportunities related to Brexit will be the mapping exercise we have built into our research plans. One of the key tasks in arriving at an understanding of the issues facing the sector will be an exercise that will attempt to create a map of the ecology of Birmingham’s live music sector, including not only music venues but also related businesses and services. With so many complex, inter-related parts and relationships to map, we will rely on partnerships with local stakeholders to help us gather useful and reliable data. The event that helped generate this report demonstrates the willingness of stakeholders to work with us on this exercise, and reveals the potential for growing further key partnerships in the UK.