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The UK Live Music Census: the value of researching live music in Glasgow, Newcastle, Oxford and beyond

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Adam Behr



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of a book chapter that has been published in its final definitive form by Palgrave Macmillan, 2020.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


This chapter examines the process, and potential outcomes, of researching live music in cities through the means of a ‘live music census’, drawing on the UK Live Music Census, the first attempt to conduct such an exercise across multiple cities (Glasgow, Newcastle and Oxford). It begins with a discussion of the broader context of the research—the growth of ‘music cities’ as both a concept and as a tool for cultural policy and regenerative efforts by city authorities themselves. The research activity itself associated with this is then outlined, including previous census projects, leading into selected key findings from the case-study cities of the UK Live Music Census, with an emphasis on points of comparison, including divergence and common ground, across those cities. The chapter concludes with a consideration of the potential for live music censuses to inform policymaking, at national and local levels. It notes that research of this kind can encourage local authorities—and national government—to look across their portfolios of activity and take strategic stock of the situation for live music, including those participants in a live music ecology—the city beyond the official narrative of a ‘music city’—who may otherwise be difficult to identify.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Behr A, Brennan M, Cloonan M

Editor(s): Ballico,C; Watson,A

Series Editor(s): Belfiore,E.

Publication type: Book Chapter

Publication status: Published

Book Title: Music Cities: Evaluating a Global Cultural Policy Concept

Year: 2020

Pages: 167-188

Print publication date: 13/06/2020

Online publication date: 13/06/2020

Acceptance date: 06/09/2019

Series Title: New Directions in Cultural Policy Research

Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

Place Published: Cham, Switzerland


DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-35872-3_9

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9783030358716