10 years of Live DMA: our story

Live DMA anniversary

For 10 years now, Live DMA has been working actively to help its members in making live music scenes better everyday. The creation of the network marks the beginning of a long-time cooperation story: 10 years ago, national live music associations in France ans Spain which were already defending live music scenes in their own country, felt the need to know what was happening abroad. They met some peer associations in other European countries, and decided to create Live DMA.

Since then, the network never stopped growing, showing the essential need for live music actors to gather around common issues, learn together, exchange experience and expertise. We cannot exist without our members, THEY are the foundations of Live DMA.

The Live DMA 3 core missions

We are proud and happy to notice the evolution of the network since its creation. Today, 20 members in 16 European countries exchange knowledge and good-practices on a daily basis, with the support of the Live DMA team. Our mission consists in three main objectives:

Observation · Provide facts & figures about the European live music sector

The Survey is a pivotal project for Live DMA: for almost 10 years now, we collect and release facts and figures about live music venues and clubs in Europe, in order to better understand how they function and what they need. It is a participative methodology in which music venues representatives create the questionnaires and indicators which best fit with reality. Live DMA works towards using the outputs and methodology of The Survey to pave the way for a European Music Observatory that would be based on the cooperation of sector representatives and policy makers.

Capacity Building · Create a trusty network of live music actors

Live DMA supports its members on core challenges such as sustainability, gender inclusion, audience development and diversity in music booking. Exchanging with European peers is a way to take a step back and reflect on one’s own practices. We provide collective thinking, resources and create tools to support music venues, clubs and festivals’ professionals and volunteers across Europe.

Recognition · Advocate for the recognition of live music scenes

Live DMA’s core mission is to emphasize music venues, clubs and festivals’ huge cultural and social values. Live music is an essential component of people’s lives: to participate in local cultural life and express oneself through the music of one’s choice is a crucial factor of individual and collective emancipation. Small and medium sized venues and clubs, especially, are the backbone of the music chain. They give opportunities to artists to get stage experience and meet with their audiences. Therefore, it is important to include live music in cultural policies in order to support venues, clubs and festivals in taking artistic risks with emerging artists and create more sustainable, diverse and inclusive spaces.

Live DMA timeline

This timeline identifies the main projects in which Live DMA was involved or projects that were created by the network.






· All the Survey reports: facts & figures of the sector

· European Music Observatory


· All the Safaris and linked articles


· Try-Angle tool


· Discover the programme

· Cooperation of Small Music Venues

· MusicAIRE


· Musication

· Lighthouses


· Music Is Not Noise

Back to the future!

Live DMA can’t exist without its members, nor its staff. In 10 years, we have seen the live music landscape move, and the network grow in the best ways we could expect! We have seen a lot of faces, met many people, and worked with amazing peers. Words and memories are important, therefore we asked former colleagues and members to tell us more about their experience within Live DMA.

I had the chance to do a 6 months internship at Live DMA as a Communication and Project Assistant in 2018. Then, I joined the Court-Circuit team for two years as a Communication Assistant and Survey Coordinator !

My internship at Live DMA was my first immersion in the live music sector. I learned a lot about the working conditions of the music professionals all over Europe, the challenges they are facing on a daily basis. But I also experienced the solidarity among Live DMA’s members, met passionate people, who joined their forces in order to promote the European local music scenes and get the recognition they deserve. Cooperation and exchange is the key !

Live DMA has a key role in the European live music scene, as a growing network and a strong voice for its 20 members. Gathering data for the annual Survey, the team does an incredible job in putting a light on the live music sector’s realities. Live DMA also enables professionals from all over Europe to meet and share their ideas, best practices, etc. And therefore it is an essential resource tool for the music sector.

I wish the team to keep going with all the great projects the network is leading. More than ever, I wish Live DMA to keep empowering their members and be stronger than ever !Happy birthday Live DMA !! ❤️
Congratulations on the first 10 years of Live DMA!

Almost from the very beginning, I took part in this fantastic European live organiser network. As a representative of the Danish venues and festivals, I was – together with the Netherlands – the first non-French speaking member of the association. Maybe it was because the others did not understand what I was saying that I quickly joined the board – or because we were not more members countries than there were board seats. I became vice-president and ran a wonderful couple race with the first president – legendary Sephanie “Stiff” Thomas from France – and the rest of the founding board with Spanish Armando, Dutch Berend, Flemish Marc and Wallon David. A fairly manageable gropu – which, however, quickly gained flight attitude with Switzerland, Norway, Germany, Catalonia, the Basque Country and Sweden on board. And I can happily state that the family increase has continued after my time.

It was actually quite inspiring to take part in treading new ground – live music was not part of the EU’s cultural programs at the time, and cooperation across Europe’s borders was reserved to commercial purposes – primarily among record companies, promoters, agencies.

In this way, Live DMA has really made a huge difference in bringing together the organizers across the continent – and asserting ourselves in cultural policy contexts. The most remarkable thing about having participated in this network is that despite different economic conditions and the laws, traditions and cultural support of the individual countries and regions – the festivals and venues are on a par with each other. Mentally connected. We understand each other’s challenges, know each other’s everyday life, generously share best practice and business models – and thus support the industry in developing. On a sustainable basis; economic, artistic, ethical. With community and music at the center.
Congratulations on the 10 years, friends. I want for Live DMA that you can use the strength of the community to expand the network even more in Europe – especially with the East.
Largely thanks to Live DMA’s office (and LiveFIN and Svensk Live) we established Live Music Estonia in 2019 – a network of Estonian music venues, promoters, and festivals. At that time, I was the one who was given the chance to initiate and organize LME’s activities from 2019 till the summer of 2021. Although LME became a member of Live DMA in 2020, then Live DMA had been a great dialogue partner for LME already before the official formalization of the network.

I gained assurance that every Live DMA member has something to learn from other members. Also, I acknowledged that there is a great interest among stakeholders in the European live music sector to cooperate with their peers from other countries.

I see Live DMA as the main link in accelerating Pan-European collaboration in the live music sector.

I wish much success in everything that Live DMA does! I believe that Live DMA has focused on relevant topics and issues and has gained lots of credibility among its members (and for a reason). Also, I believe that currently there is a great momentum to think about how the digital shift and Live DMA’s good reputation among its members could help Live DMA to connect its members’ members. Especially because I believe that connecting members’ members would help to better tackle the difficulties caused by the COVID years as well as overcome the challenges related to the environmental, but also other issues the live music sector might be facing in future.
I was Live DMA’s first Communication Manager and had the chance to see the network grow in numbers, confidence and impact in the European cultural and creative scene.

Working for Live DMA was truly a once in a lifetime experience where I met so many passionate and inspiring people, music activists, and friends.

In the past 10 years, Live DMA has clearly become a role model in the European music sector showing that cooperation is key for facing today’s urgent societal challenges.

Happy Network Birthday to all the amazing people who make Live DMA such a great projet! Keep on spreading your amazingness all over Europe and beyond! You make this world a better place!

Hugs, kisses & glitter!
As the first intern and then employee of the network, I was involved in setting up the network and its development, as well as writing and managing the first Musication and Lighthouses projects. Together with the first members, and the Fédurok team at the time, we laid the foundations that I hope will be solid!

The coordination of the Live DMA is my first professional experience and therefore the best school! I learned everything there is to know about European project coordination, band management, communication, production, accounting… I also learned how to have meetings early in the morning after having spent sleepless nights at festivals! But it’s much more than a professional experience, my teachers / colleagues and all the members have also given me a lot on a personal level. The Live DMA has allowed me to grow personally, culturally and profesionnally.

The network as developed and professionalized a lot, the work themes have widened, while keeping structuring projects like the Survey. It is a great success of exchanges and cooperation between professionals who have succeeded, despite certain difficulties, in building a strong and useful project. I left a child at a young age and he is now a teenager!

For your 10th anniversary, I wish you to continue on this path and to remain an emulator of good ideas as well as a very nice support tool for live music professionals in Europe.

Anecdote, my life would not be the same without the Live DMA because thanks to a meeting at the SPOT festival, I met my partner there and then moved to Belgium 😉
As the first intern and then employee of the network, I was involved in setting up the network and its development, as well as writing and managing the first Musication and Lighthouses projects. Together with the first members, and the Fédurok team at the time, we laid the foundations that I hope will be solid!

The coordination of the Live DMA is my first professional experience and therefore the best school! I learned everything there is to know about European project coordination, band management, communication, production, accounting… I also learned how to have meetings early in the “Live DMA was like a warm and welcoming hug and a helping hand for a newly established national association which was just building its identity and searching its place on the advocacy field both locally and internationally. Live DMA’s strength is the open and caring community and the amazing specialist team which really focuses on the quality of communication, transparency and encouraging the member organizations.

Easily a close community might appear a bit an inward-looking circle of people but this is not the case with Live DMA. For a new organization and young managing director Live DMA’s activities and community provided a fertile soil to root its operations as a part of an international and supporting collective. Keep up with the good work!”

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