UK Music launches Manchester Music Review with Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham

UK Music has launched a major review into Manchester’s music scene in a collaboration with the Mayor of the greater city region, Andy Burnham.

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22/06/2018: UK Music has launched a major review into Manchester’s music scene in a collaboration with the Mayor of the greater city region, Andy Burnham.

The review, announced today at Low Four Studios – part of Granada Studios – will look into Greater Manchester’s musical strengths, as well as where the music scene can be improved and how new acts can be supported.

UK Music will lead on the review, supported by three chairs: Inspiral Carpets legend Martyn Walsh, former Sony UK CEO Ged Doherty – who also chairs the British Phonographic Industry and the Brits, and Karen Boardman, Co-Director Crisis Management LLP.

Emerging ‘slightly quirky’ synth-pop duo Koalas (Samuel Jones and Rachel Waters) who met at Salford Uni, also performed their track Sandcastles.

UK Music CEO, Michael Dugher said: “This review is a fantastic opportunity to help further develop Greater Manchester’s vibrant music scene and help grow the city’s economy. 

“This is not about the past, this is about the future and providing opportunities for people.

“Andy Burnham gets how important this is and is passionate about supporting the city-region’s amazing talent and great venues.

“Like UK Music, he wants to look at ways to nurture all the different elements that make up the music industry’s eco-system and to see how we can help it thrive in the future. 

“The review will help identify ideas to widen opportunities and develop the talent pipeline across the city region, building on its formidable music heritage and to lure even more visitors to live music events in and around Manchester. 

“It’s not just about the city centre, it’s about every corner of the greater city region.

“I look forward to working closely with Andy and those leading the review to ensure Greater Manchester’s music scene goes from strength to strength.”

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham said: “Greater Manchester has led the way when it comes to British music, producing some of the greatest bands this country has ever known from Oasis to The Stone Roses, as well as being home to internationally-renowned orchestras.

“The music greats of our past inspire young musicians of today. We must build on this, beyond the already well-defined indie legacy, to truly embed culture and the arts in the heart of our communities and give future generations the opportunities to fulfil their creative potential.

“This review will enable us to support artists, businesses and audiences of all genres so that they are able to get more out of creating the music they love.

“This City has always been a vibrant music scene and it still is today, but we need to help people make their way in a more challenging music world.

“The music industry has changed – it’s not as easy these days – and we want to bring on the next generation of Mancunian talent.”

Both Mr Dugher and Mr Burnham emphasised the importance of “acknowledging the past, but looking to the future.”

An advisory panel will be set up in the coming weeks with representatives from across Greater Manchester’s diverse music scene.

Over the next six months, voices from across the music industry will be asked share their views and experiences of Greater Manchester’s music culture as part of three round tables.

The review will provide a comprehensive assessment of what resources are currently available for musicians, music businesses and audiences across all genres of music, from venues and practice spaces to gigs and festivals in Greater Manchester.

Early next year, it will make recommendations on how Greater Manchester’s status as a music city-region can be enhanced with the cultural and economic benefits to maximise the already thriving scene.

Martyn Walsh said: “I think the Manchester music scene is a bit fragmented and we need to get out there and make sure any musical project has access to whatever it needs to make it the best it can be.”

Karen Boardman, co-director of Crisis Management, added: “I used to run Manchester Music Network, which was about enabling those progression routes for artists taking their baby steps and that’s crucial.

“We’ve got the infrastructure here for bands to practice their craft but it’s about helping those businesses around them – everyone forgets it starts with a rehearsal room.

“Since the network doesn’t exist, we’ve lost sight of that, and we need to see who is here and how we can help them.”

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Michael Dugher and Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham
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Manchester Pop Duo Koalas
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Michael Dugher with Andy Burnham, Karen Boardman and Martyn Walsh
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Michael Dugher with Sacha Lord and Paul Latham

See more coverage here:


Music Week

Mancunian Matters

Planet Radio

Oldham Chronicle

M Magazine

Rochdale Online


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