Music Cities pp 167-188 | Cite as

The UK Live Music Census: The Value of Researching Live Music in Glasgow, Newcastle, Oxford, and Beyond

  • Adam BehrEmail author
  • Matt Brennan
  • Martin Cloonan
Part of the New Directions in Cultural Policy Research book series (NDCPR)


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.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Centre for Music Studies, School of Arts and CulturesNewcastle UniversityNewcastle upon TyneUK
  2. 2.School of Culture and Creative ArtsUniversity of GlasgowGlasgowUK
  3. 3.Turku Institute for Advanced StudiesUniversity of TurkuTurkuFinland

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