11.05.2023: UK Music’s Parliamentary and Research Manager Hannah McLennan attended SPOT+ Festival in Aarhus, Denmark to speak on a panel titled “How Can the Danish Music Industry Gain Political Influence?”
The panel sought to answer the questions: How can the music industry in Denmark organise itself to get a stronger political voice? Is the way the industry is currently organised helpful or harmful when it comes to setting the political agenda? And what could a “UK Music” look like in Denmark?
Panel moderator, Lark Uldal, opened with a presentation explaining how the Danish music industry works. She stated currently “in terms of political influence in the Danish music industry…. all the interest organisations are the little fish getting eaten by the big fish”. She shared stories of how the industry struggled to get support during COVID-19.
Turning to the next part of the presentation, Lark explained how UK Music works, describing it as “an umbrella organisation gathering the whole British music industry under one roof”. Lark then pitched a “DK Music” for the Danish music industry, using UK Music as a model.
She explained the potential funding structures for a DK Music, talked about the members, key factors for success, and remit for such a group. Lark’s presentation was supported by a research project she submitted in 2022, featuring interviews with people from across the Danish and UK music industries.
Turning to the Q and A, Lark asked Hannah to describe how UK Music works.
Hannah described the work of UK Music as broadly fitting in to two strands: the first strand is the long-term, bigger picture initiatives, such as the economic or health research reports. The second strand is the more reactionary, campaigns focussed initiatives, very much led by its members.
Hannah spoke of UK Music’s members as being its greatest strength and where the real expertise comes from. She highlighted the importance of transparency and trust with your membership and gave examples of how UK Music elevates and supports the work of its membership.
Hannah then turned to highlighting some key recent successes such as the campaigning work done on a potential text and data mining copyright exception for AI and the work done under the Let the Music Play campaign during COVID-19.
When asked what happens when UK Music members disagree with one another, Hannah described the “power of neutrality”. She spoke of UK Music being a useful organisation for signposting in this circumstance. She also stated that not taking a specific position on a cause doesn’t mean they don’t stay very engaged in issues across the whole sector.
The panel were then joined by Rikke Andersen, Head of Venue and booker at Fermaten, and Esben Danielsen, Director at Kulturens Analyseinstitut.
Esben was asked about The Cultural Analysis Institute, which is a new institution in Denmark that holds a similar structure to UK Music. Lark asked Esben whether he sees signs of greater unification in the Danish Music Industry.
Lark then asked Rikke about the coalition for Danish festivals and venues (a body that simultaneously covers the music sector and venues such as libraries). She asked whether that side of the sector sees the need for stronger collaboration between the actors in the Danish Music Industry.
Concluding the session, Hannah reiterated the importance of trust and strength within your members. She wished the Danish industry luck in the next steps with such an endeavour!
To download Lark’s full report, scan the QR code below.
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