Staging popular music: sustainable live music ecologies for artists, music venues and cities

1 oktober 2017
1 april 2022
VH 9: Kunst en creatieve industrie
Smart Culture

The popular music industry is slowly changing its focus from recorded music to live music revenues. Also, musicians increasingly depend on live concerts to earn a living. These developments have consequences for live music ecologies, i.e. the live music sector as a (inter)local network of different social actors (e.g. musicians, bookers and policy makers) as well as materialities (e.g. venues size, festivals, urban setting). First, for musicians in a precarious labour market, a performance based business model requires an extended and changing skill-set. Second, fixed pop venues experience increasing competition from new and often temporary stages, like festivals and popup locations. Third, live music industries are increasingly expected by local governments to have economic and sociocultural benefits. In short, sustaining popular music as a viable creative industry requires strong local music ecologies that add economic, cultural and social value for various stakeholders.
We will research how local live music ecologies can contribute to value creation in the careers of pop musicians, the position of music venues and festivals, and the local (urban) society in general. On the maker level we focus on the position of musicians and the role of live music ecologies in skill and talent development. On the level of music venues and festivals we concentrate on how to find a balance between structural and temporary live music infrastructure, which caters for diverse audiences. On the societal level we focus on the value of live music ecologies for cities.


Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam

Erik Hitters
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