August 21st 2023

Consultation about Liverpool’s Music Community: Let the Music Play Event

Creative conversations reverberated at our recent ‘Let the Music Play’ consultation event, marking the fourth installment in the series. Nestled in the heart of Liverpool’s vibrant Baltic area, the event was hosted at 24 Kitchen Street, drawing a variety of music artists and industry professionals. This dynamic congregation shared their invaluable insights into the local music landscape – its opportunities and challenges.

Representatives from the Liverpool City Region (LCR) Music Board lent their presence, including Michael Eakin, Chair of the Board and Chief Executive of the Royal Philharmonic; Saad Shaffi, Board member and the evening’s host; Dr Mathew Flynn, a lecturer at the University of Liverpool; Andy Dockerty, the Managing Director of Adlib; and Barbara Philips, Artist Manager at Positive Impact.

The Music Board recognises the distinctive significance of each borough within the city region, with their unique contributions adding to the diverse musical tapestry. Upholding an unwavering commitment to inclusivity, we have meticulously planned a series of consultation events across all six boroughs of the Liverpool City Region.

The musical journey continues, with the upcoming events on the horizon:

Host and Board Member, Saad Shaffi, commented: “The turnout was impressive, with a good variety of professionals sharing invaluable insights. These inputs will serve as a cornerstone for the board’s future priorities and actionable strategies. Additionally, it’s crucial for local artists and professionals to gain an understanding of the Music Board’s behind-the-scenes efforts and our commitment to providing support aligned with their needs.”

Beyond showcasing ongoing initiatives like the Venues Map, the event fostered an environment conducive to open dialogues between attendees and the Music Board members. Attendees had the chance to ask questions and share concerns directly with the Board.

The wealth of insights gathered during these discussions has been meticulously documented by the Music Board. These inputs will play a pivotal role in shaping our upcoming strategies and initiatives, ensuring the sustainable evolution of the local music industry, not only within Liverpool but throughout the expansive Liverpool City Region.

From these round-table discussions, several key themes emerged, shedding light on the current state of the music sector in Liverpool:

  • Resurgent Live Music Scene: The post-Covid era has seen a vibrant resurgence in live music, with an increasing appetite for live performances.
  • Parking Predicaments: Concerns arise around proposed changes to city centre parking, particularly the possible enforcement of a four-hour maximum parking limit impacting artists and gig-goers alike.
  • Commendable Venues Map: The Music Board’s venues map has garnered excellent feedback for its potential to bolster support for venues and allied businesses in the future.
  • Planning Perplexities: Persistent concerns about venue planning and new developments underscore the importance of enforcing the Agent of Change principle.
  • Promotion Predicaments: Conversations revolve around the monopolies major promoters hold in booking artists and the need for increased promotion of significant city events.
  • Transport Trials: With the discontinuation of night buses, there’s limited affordable night transport options.
  • Cultivating Careers: The call for greater encouragement and understanding of careers in the music sector, especially among younger generations, is supported by the imperative to reshape perceptions.
  • Grassroots Financial Feats: Grassroots musicians face financial challenges due to the prevalent issue of low gig fees.
  • Ticket Troubles: Escalated ticket prices for major artists impact sales for smaller performers.
  • Eurovision’s Echo: The positive impact of Eurovision on the local music industry is evident.

The Liverpool City Region Music Board is extremely grateful to all who have and will attend these consultation events, allowing us to remain steadfast in shaping a harmonious future for Liverpool’s diverse and dynamic music scene.