This glossary consists of words and concepts that we regularly use and refer to. With this glossary, we explain our understanding of those terms and give insight on why we use them.


We employ the term actors in order to identify people that are professionally and/or voluntarily involved in the music sector.


Supporting a cause or a proposal. Live DMA prefers the term “advocacy” to “lobby” because the term “advocacy” induces a general interest and cooperative dimension, while lobby refers to private and economic interests only.


When talking about audiences of concert venues and festivals, Live DMA focuses on the human and social aspect as to a purely marketing oriented approach. Consequently, our consideration of audiences is a dynamic and inclusive version of “users”, “mixed community” and simply “people”.

Best Practice

A best practice is an innovative, transdisciplinary and inspiring project. It can constitute a relevant example to follow and an answer to the challenges the sector is facing. Live DMA collects best practices among its members and shares them on its Resource Platform as a potential inspiration for all other Live DMA members.

Cultural Rights

Cultural rights, as defined in the Fribourg declaration, guarantee that people and communities can participate in the culture of their election. Cultural rights are human rights aiming at assuring the enjoyment of culture in conditions of equality, human dignity and non-discrimination.
The “cultural rights” defers from the “democratization” perspective in the sense that no culture or art form is more legitimate than another is.
See Fribourg declaration (2007)


The European Union defines competitivity as a city/region/country’s ability to improve the quality of life of its citizens on a long-term perspective, with a high employment rate, social cohesion and a qualitative environment. Competitivity can be assessed by their capacity of maintaining and attracting activities, and by the companies’ capacity to face competitors (anti-monopolistic principle).


Live DMA regularly uses the term dissemination in regards of internal and external communication. It is a technical term often used in the European programme objectives. Definition of dissemination: The act of widely spreading and sharing information.


Live DMA often refers to diversity in its activities and ethic charter. It is also a very common word used in the music sector talks, and cultural policies.
Live DMA considers the notion of diversity through three main pillars: artistic, political and economic. Live DMA venues, clubs, and festivals are warrants of music and cultural diversity because they book music in a not-for-profit perspective. They cover a broad artistic programme and audience’s tastes, out of commercial logics. In this way, they respect cultural rights as they pay attention to artistic expression and diversity in the audiences. Diversity is also a challenge in the teams (staff and volunteers) to reach a gender, age, and social/cultural background balance.
To sum-up Live DMA’s perspective, we can say that artistic diversity goes hand in hand with the general diversity of the music actors and democratic governance of the cultural organisations.

Educational Projects

Educational projects aim to develop the individuals’ abilities, in the context of a cultural organisation. Live DMA supports venues, clubs, and festivals that diversify their activities in order to develop their audience through social or educational projects. Educational projects represent an opportunity to introduce children and the youth in particular because they represent the next generation and may contribute to build a thriving future for the music sector.

European Added Value

The EU’s competence in culture is limited because of the subsidiarity principle. Subsidiarity means “make no decision and perform no function at a higher or more central level than can be accomplished at a more local level”. Culture remains the Member’s States competence. When working at the European scale, cultural actors must give evidence of a “European added value” of their cross border projects.

Gender Equality

Live DMA supports local, national and European initiatives related to gender equality. Women are still under-represented as musicians, technicians and in other music management positions. They can suffer from discrimination in hiring, remuneration, skills recognition, and harassment in their working environment.
In order to change our perception of women in the music sector, Live DMA pays particular attention to highlighting women’s careers in our resource, panels, and communication.


The phenomenon of gentrification consists in the appropriation of a poor neighborhood by middle class or affluent people. It includes a process of renewal or rebuilding which most of the time jeopardise the poor and long-time neighborhood residents, forced to move. Gentrification can have an impact on venues and clubs causing external factors of weakening or even closure such as increasing rents, noise complaints, etc. At the same time, the development of cultural and creative spaces also triggers gentrification effects.The phenomenon of gentrification consists in the appropriation of a poor neighborhood by middle class or affluent people. It includes a process of renewal or rebuilding which most of the time jeopardise the poor and long-time neighborhood residents, forced to move. Gentrification can have an impact on venues and clubs causing external factors of weakening or even closure such as increasing rents, noise complaints, etc. At the same time, the development of cultural and creative spaces also triggers gentrification effects.


In the past 20 years, The European vision of culture has evolved from the notion of “common heritage” to “intercultural dialogue” and finally to “innovation and creativity”.
The Lisbon Strategy, launched in 2000, aims to develop the economy of knowledge and innovation in order to make the European economy the most competitive economy in the world. Innovation can take various forms: material goods, intangible ideas and goods, practices and technologies.
Within European projects, innovations can be seen as prototypes to think and experiment new models, and spread (disseminate) the best practices to the largest scale.

Local Authorities

Local authorities are organisations and institutions that represent the local government and/or that are responsible for the public services, facilities, rules and regulations in a particular area.

Nightlife culture

The term nightlife refers, in general, to activities that are available from the late evening into the early hours of the morning. Nightlife institutions include pubs, bars, clubs, music venues, concerts, events, theatres, restaurants, etc.
The vibrant nightlife microcosm comes with its own set of challenges, such as the coexistence of nightlife cultures and residents, or the risky behavior of party goers related to their consumption of alcohol, drugs and sexual activities. Hence, cross-sectorial issues such as safety, health, economy, urban development, transport, tourism and social cohesion are directly related to nightlife.
Although the venues and clubs of Live DMA network cannot exclusively be seen as nightlife actors, they are often confronted with challenges, problems and needs related to nightlife activities.

Nightmayor and Night Councils

Nightmayors are recognized as official representatives of the nightlife sector of a city. They are the link between the nightlife sector, the inhabitants and the public authorities with the objective to improve their relationship and communication.
Most of the time night mayors are representatives from the civil society and themselves experts of nightlife and culture (e.g. London, Amsterdam, New York). In certain cities, night mayors are nominated among the members of the ruling party (e.g. Paris). In 2011, the first Night-Mayor was active in Groningen in the Netherlands. Following the success of the Dutch experience, the model of a mayor of the night has become more and more common in European cities during the last years.
In other cities, the night mayor concept has been adapted in different forms: Night councils and/or club associations play a crucial role in regards to the governance of the night (e.g. Berlin, Zurich).


Live DMA is an umbrella network as it gathers regional and national live music associations.
A network is a group of interconnected nodes that exchange information and that is precisely how Live DMA works. Live DMA members are all connected virtually or through physical meetings to work on common projects and share best practices, tools, expertise, data, etc. Rather than competition, Live DMA encourages cooperation to make a strong and innovative music sector, based on common values.

Non-profit / Not for profit

Non Profit organisations can make income but must not use it for their own benefit. If they make a profit they would reinvest it back into the organisation to carry out their activities and serve their cause.
A not-for-profit organisation is not an official status but is a deliberated choice of working in a non-profit way. The majority of Live DMA members are private non-profit or not-for-profit organisations.


Music venues in Europe need recognition for their cultural value. In too many countries or cities, music venues are not considered as “cultural places” so they cannot benefit from specific regulations or public support, such as specific sound regulations, low VAT, opening hours flexibility, under age accessibility,…
Music venues in Europe also deserve recognition from the music industry, as most of the artists start their careers in grassroots venues. This is where they practice and build an audience. Music venues have fragile business models because they take financial risks booking emerging artists when they are not successful yet, but they never get any return on this investment from the industry.


Regulation is an abstract term that refers to a set of rules implemented by the government and/or local authorities that provide the framework for carrying out a certain activity. Regulations for the live music sector include certain legal restrictions (opening hours, sound level restrictions, etc.), laws (employment, artist engagement, minor protection, etc.), licenses (alcohol licensees, entertainment license, etc.), and taxes.


While “music industry” refers mainly to an economical approach and induces the notion of mass production and a strict offer/demand relationship, “music sector” has a broader approach where the non-business oriented organisations can be included.


Today, music professionals are subject to a sector that is evolving quickly. They constantly have to adapt and learn new competences. Live DMA aims to facilitate the training mobility and the exchange of skills, resource and expertise among music professionals. These skills can be related to audience development, advocacy, relations with local authorities, social partnerships, etc.

Social responsibility

Music venues’ main activity is to programme live music, but most of them also develop educational or social activities, support to amateur or professional artists, they work on audience engagement, sustainable actions, etc. Social responsability comprises it all, and means that music venues teams feel concerned by cultural and social challenges. They try to develop solutions, from their local to national and European level, going beyond their core activity.


In Europe, the word “territories” does not only refers to physical or administrative spaces (county, department…). It refers to areas, fields, spheres, which can also be abstract such as digital territories, scientific territories, etc.

Urban Development

Urban development is the fact of planning the evolution of cities (constructing, developing new neighborhoods, rehabilitating old areas, etc.) by public authorities with the integration of experts of certain disciplines, such as design engineers, project managers, architects, and environmental planners. The primary focus of urban development are residential areas. Urban development occurs mainly by expansion into remote locations or by renovating unpopular areas.
Experts from the cultural and nightlife sectors are rarely involved into the planning of urban development strategies. Hence, live music venues, clubs, and bars where loud music is an important feature are not considered as being necessary elements of new or rehabilitated areas.
We fight for the recognition and integration of the live music sector into urban development strategies in order to stop venues from having to close, but also to make sure that venues and clubs have the right conditions for their activities (public transports, signaling devices).

Venues, clubs and festivals

A music venue or club is any location used for a concert or other musical performance. They range in size, business models and genres.
The venues, clubs and festivals Live DMA represents have a cultural and social role and are the backbone of the live music sector. Venues, clubs and festivals have an organisational and cultural focus on music: programming music is their main purpose and music experts (paid or volunteers) run the organisation. They are important in the local sphere and they encourage the next generation of young cultural activists to step in the live music sector. They take risks with their cultural programmes as they programme artist that deserve audiences with no expectation of direct financial benefits. By supporting artists and providing the necessary resources for talent development, they build the strong foundation of the music sector. These venues, clubs and festivals are often so called “the grassroots”. Although Live DMA agrees with the definition of this term, Live DMA does not use it anymore as it refers to a very specific historical background and cultural movement that might exclude certain typologies of venues, clubs, and festivals represented by the European network.
Live DMA simply refers to live music venues, clubs, and festivals and highlights that these are small to medium sized locations that are mainly non/not for profit and focus on programming popular music.


Volunteers are people who choose to be involved in an organisation without being paid, motivated by interest or passion. They are very common in non-profit organisations. They are very important for the live music sector and in great number in festivals. The Live DMA Survey revealed that more than 56 000 volunteers contribute every year to the venues’ activities and to the dynamism of local life.