January 29th 2024

Promoting our Music Venues Map at the Eurosonic Festival

This blog post was contributed by Liverpool Mapping Project Team Researcher, Grace Goodwin, in which she documents her recent trip to the Eurosonic Festival in Groningen, Netherlands, to promote and represent the Liverpool City Region (LCR) Music Board Venues Map. 

On the 19th of January, I had the privilege of being part of the panel titled ‘Building better Live Music Ecosystems in European Cities.’ I shared this platform with my colleagues from the Live Music Mapping Project, including Timo Wiseman from Hamburg Music, Patrycja Rozbicka from Aston University, Martijn Mulder from Rotterdam University of Applied Science, and our moderator, Simon De Wijs from Breda University of Applied Science.

During the discussion, I had the opportunity to present the LCR venues map, which highlighted over 600 active live music spaces in the city region. I demonstrated various filters, such as capacity and open mics, sparking a conversation on how these maps and their data can play a role in shaping cultural policies, especially concerning cultural spaces and late-night provisions. An example of t=it’s use was the recent reintroduction of the night bus in the LCR to support audiences and workers engaged in the nighttime economy.

The panel also featured the unveiling of our team’s extensive heritage venues mapping, a project spanning several months. The map revealed an initial list of over 100 venues in the region that have unfortunately closed post-2000, providing a poignant insight into the changing landscape of live music spaces.

The audience displayed great interest in the panel coversations, with many expressing a desire to initiate their own venues mapping projects for their respective towns or cities.

Amidst enjoying some outstanding new music, I also had the pleasure of exploring venues around Groningen, including The Forum, OOST, and VERA. VERA, operational since 1899, holds a rich history, having hosted iconic musicians such as Joy Division, U2, and more recently, Dua Lipa. I learned about their ongoing archiving project, compiling materials dating back to the 1970s, including posters, newspapers, and booking logs. Notably, VERA strives to cover all aspects, offering a free-of-charge on-site hotel for musicians and even possessing an in-house printing press for crafting limited edition posters for every gig. Recently, VERA collaborated with our local venue, Futureyard, to host an exhibition of these posters, which are also available for purchase.