#LiveStyleEurope – Looking back on a great first year!

This first year of #LiveStyleEurope empowered Live DMA as a network and contributed to the recognition and influence of our work. Live DMA’s members, 18 national and regional associations representing together over 2500 grassroots venues, clubs and festivals, identified very strongly with #LiveStyleEurope and its values. Because of their active engagement, the European perspective becomes increasingly important and natural in discussions on a national and local level.

As result of our different activities, we were able to narrow down precisely the natural values carried by our network and by the organisations it represents. The term grassroots coined our identity. Although it is not the most accurate word when it comes to describing the immense diversity of Live DMA, its definition succeeded in creating a strong feeling of solidarity and togetherness among our network:

“Grassroots venues and clubs have a cultural and social role and are the backbone of the live music sector and its underground scenes. The term describes venues and clubs who 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. Grassroots 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, the grassroots build the strong foundation of the music sector.”

More than just entertainment places, the venues, clubs and festivals we represent actively participate to the development of cities and rural areas. They are strongly attached to their social responsibility as cultural actors. The #LiveStyleEurope working groups on the topics “the value of live music venues to local authorities” and “audience diversity” particularly revealed this social dimension.

We succeeded in developing the Survey, our participatory data collection and sector monitoring tool. Investing more time and means in the dissemination of the Survey Report also led to an increased recognition by other research and data inquiry entities. Our ambition is to develop data collection even further within our network and to deepen relationships and exchange opportunities with popular music studies specialists.

As part of #LiveStyleEurope, Live DMA coordinated for the first time the Open Club Day on a European scale. 125 live music venues, clubs and music bars in 12 countries opened their doors during daytime and invited the audience to discover what happens behind the scenes. The overall positive feedback from the venues and the numerous visitors attending the initiative highlighted the need of such precious moments where enriching encounters and engaging discussions happen naturally.

Overall, being recognized by the Creative Europe programme allowed us to affirm our position as stakeholder in the European music industry. Our European peers have repeatedly requested Live DMA’s expertise. By formalizing partnerships with European music stakeholders and building on this years’ experience and outcomes, we will forge a powerful second year of #LiveStyleEurope.

 

#LiveStyleEurope – Big plans for year #2

In early June 2018, our member Kultura Live welcomed us for our annual members meeting in Bilbao. At this occasion, we had time to reflect together with all Live DMA members on the first #LiveStyleEurope year, as well as to kick off the second year and define its activities and perspectives:

 

Activities: 

 

°Launch of the Live DMA Resource & Inspiration Platform – early autumn 2018

°Development of the LiveStyleEurope Podcast – First episode will be broadcasted in September 2018

°Coordination of the second European edition of the Open Club Day – 2nd of February 2019

°Further development of our data collection tool the Survey & development of new fields of research and observation at national level, and in partnership with researchers.

°Organisation of a working group on the topic sound regulation with 20 experts from the Live DMA network to discuss and explore tangible outputs.

 

Building on the experience and outcomes of the first Live Style Europe year:

°Following up the methodologies and tools explored in the working group on audience engagement and publication of tools on the Live DMA resource & inspiration platform.

°Highlighting best practices in terms of the venues and clubs’ social engagement, as well as their importance in our society.

 

Topics that we want to develop and explore with partners, as well as in our resource and panels:

°Gender equality in the live music sector regarding employment, initiatives on women associations and research on both artists and other music professionals.

°Secondary ticketing: keep a watch on national projects and campaigns about ticketing transparency and secondary ticketing regulation, as well as research projects.

°Contracts / fair codes between venues, agents, artists: follow-up projects on standard contracts (Denmark), faire practices code (Belgium) and social security for artists (Spain).

°Electronic music/club culture: highlight the support and recognition of club culture in the European landscape, especially with nightlife platforms to address transversal topics such as health, urban development, values, support to youth initiatives, etc.