The UK Live Music Census, dubbed a 'Springwatch' for live music, will be the world’s first national live music census.
It aims to track performances in cities across the country, from lone buskers to massed choirs, and from pub gigs to dancefloors to stadium concerts.
A world first, the survey will help measure live music’s cultural and economic value, discover what challenges the industry is facing, and inform local and national government policy to help it flourish.
The nationwide online survey for musicians, venues, promoters and audiences will go live on Thursday 9 March, and we encourage all MU members to take part via UK Live Music Census.
The survey closes on Monday 8 May.
All participants will be entered into a draw to win an iPad.
You can also keep up with the latest Live Music Census news via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
The survey is just one part of the census. There will also be coordinated snapshot censuses in Oxford, Glasgow, Newcastle, Leeds, Southampton and Brighton, run for 24 hours from noon on Thursday 9 March. Volunteers will record aspects of local gigs including the musical genre, the venue, door charge and audience demographic.
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.
Lead organiser Dr Matt Brennan from the University of Edinburgh says, “Live music in the UK – from the Beatles to Live Aid, West End musicals to grime, and from morris dancing to rave culture, the Notting Hill Carnival 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 – 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.