On the 12th of February 2019, Live DMA hosted a webinar on the question of the Agent of Change principle with Mark Davyd, musical activist and CEO of Music Venue Trust who succeeded in implementing the Agent of Change principle in the UK law in August 2018.
What is the Agent of Change?
Agent of Change says that the person or business responsible for the change is responsible for managing the impact of the change. This means that an apartment block to be built near an established live music venue or club would have to pay for soundproofing, while a live music venue or club opening in a residential area would be responsible for the costs.
Until last summer, UK law was saying that whoever is making a nuisance is always responsible for that nuisance. No matter how long it has existed, or whether there were any historic instances of the same noise being a nuisance, if somebody moved right next door to the noise and decided it was a nuisance, the UK law was supporting it.
Agent of Change has been trialled in Australia and is now effective in the UK. This initiative might give echo to similar challenges faced in different European cities and countries.
Highlights of the webinar:
1’33: Introduction to the Agent of Change concept
4’23: How the UK Agent of Change campaign was launched
16’50: First Q&A session
25’30: Implementing the Agent of Change concept in law
31’54: Resources needed to launch an Agent of Change campaign
36’: Next steps regarding Agent of Change in the UK
38’50: Second Q&A session
52’55: Is Agent of Change adaptable to every territory?
56’40: Advice from Mark Davyd should you want to implement Agent of Change at your local level
To go further…
Here is more information on the Agent of Change principle should you want to dive deeper into the subject:
- The White Paper on the Agent of Change principle written by Music Victoria, the Australian network of live music for the region of Victoria, who initiated the implementation of the Agent of Change principle and was an inspiration for the Music Venue Trust campaign.
- A NME video report of the protest that took place in front of the British Parliament in defense of the Agent of Change principle. Many civilians, live music professionals and politics attended the protest alongside some famous British musicians. Popular mobilization is also a means of action. If interested, here is the list of Music Venue Trust’s patrons
- Articles from the British press focusing on what’s next regarding Agent of Change:
CityMetric – “The UK Planning System Finally Recognizes the ‘Agent of Change’ Principle. So Now What?” (11/23/2018)
One article that explores the next steps regarding the preservation of live music spaces
The Conversation – “‘Agent of Change’ protects music venues from noise complaints, but won’t stop them from closing” (01/29/2018)
One article that celebrates the Agent of Change principle but still acknowledges that it is not a miracle solution and that live music spaces still need to be defended and protected.
For any question or remark on Agent of Change, do not hesitate to contact Mark Davyd or Live DMA coordinator Audrey Guerre.
Audrey Guerre – Live DMA : firstname.lastname@example.org
Mark Davyd – Music Venue Trust : email@example.com