UK Music Holds Special Webinar On Music Tourism Report For Council Leaders

UK Music joined forces with the Local Government Association to a hold a special session for council leaders to discuss our Here, There and Everywhere report and toolkit to support music tourism.

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29.02.2024: UK Music joined forces with the Local Government Association to a hold a special session for council leaders to discuss our Here, There and Everywhere report and toolkit to support music tourism. 

In July 2023, UK Music released its Here, There and Everywhere report. The report found the total number of music tourists attending live music events across the UK in 2022 was a phenomenal 14.4 million, with total music tourism spending in 2022 hitting £6.6 billion. 

A key part of the report focuses on the action that nations, regions, and cities across the UK can take to use music to help turbo-charge their local economies and support jobs. The report features a special Music Powerhouse Toolkit, which outlines how local authorities and others can utilise existing funding and spaces to help music thrive across the UK.    

Following up on this work, UK Music hosted a special, one-off webinar for local government officials, shedding light on the comprehensive report and toolkit. Drawing in an audience of over 50 individuals and teams from across the UK, the event provided a chance to hear from the UK Music team and speak to some of those people who feature in the report as case studies.

Opening the session, Councillor Julie Jones-Evans, Isle of Wight Council’s cabinet member for regeneration and culture, highlighted some of the work being done in her local area. She shared what it’s like to be working on culture on a music-focussed island, with key events such as the Isle of Wight festival and bands including Wet Leg having great success in recent years. 

Tom Kiehl, UK Music’s interim Chief Executive, shared a short history of UK Music’s work with regions and cities, emphasising the important relationship between music and local government.

Hannah McLennan, UK Music’s interim Head of Public Affairs, ran through the reports five recommendations from the Music Powerhouses Toolkit, offering insights into its potential applications at the grassroots level. 

Liverpool City Region Music Board were the first case study to present their experiences of utilising music to boost tourism opportunities. Sarah Lovell, Lead Officer for Culture, Policy and Strategic Commissioning, shared the history of the Board, outlining its core priorities and the tricky impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr Mat Flynn, Head of Music Undergraduate Studies & Lecturer in Music Industry at the University of Liverpool, then shared an explanation of Liverpool’s music venue mapping project, which has helped enable a better understanding of the cities music economy.  

The second case study from Cheltenham Festivals focussed on a pilot that aims to make music more sustainable and accessible. Culture Board Coordinator at Cheltenham Borough Council, Andrew Lansley, challenged the misconception that such initiatives must make things more costly. He championed the need for strong collaboration and data-driven decision-making, sharing details of the current pilot programme as a testament to the viability of such programmes. 

Transitioning to the Q&A segment, participants asked questions around strategies to bolster high street footfall through music, maximising daytime venue utilisation, and advocating for music-centric initiatives amidst budget constraints. 

The webinar concluded on a positive note, encouraging attendees to take forward these actionable ideas for boosting music tourism in their area. Tom and Hannah also welcomed teams reaching out to UK Music with any questions or further thoughts on this work. 

Attendees and sign ups included representatives from: Ashfield District Council; Basildon Borough Council; Blackburn and Darwen Borough Council; Boston Borough Council; Buckinghamshire Council; Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council; Canterbury City Council; Chesterfield Borough Council; East Staffordshire Borough Council; Eastleigh Borough Council; High Peak Borough Council; Hull City Council; Isles of Scilly Council; Leicester City Council; Liverpool City Council; Maldon District Council; Melton Borough Council; Mid Suffolk District Council; Milton Keynes Council; North West Leicestershire District Council; Reigate & Banstead Borough Council; Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council; Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council; Sheffield City Council; Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council; South Oxfordshire District Council; Sunderland City Council; Swindon Borough Council; Tunbridge Wells Borough Council; Waltham Forest London Borough Council; West Suffolk District Council; West Yorkshire Combined Authority; Wolverhampton City Council. 

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