Another 10 Questions for Birmingham’s Independent Music Industry.

Last year, Birmingham’s Independent Music Industry was asked to answer 10 Questions. In 2011 The Music Network is asking Another 10 Questions to continue the discussion. Replies by email can be sent to: info at birminghammusicnetwork.com

In May 2011 UK Music published “Destination: Music” the first study of its kind to scope the economic contribution of music festivals and major concerts to tourism throughout the UK. You can read all about it at http://www.ukmusic.org/news/post/147-music-tourists-contribute-at-least-864m-a-year-to-the-uk-economy

In recent weeks Emma Williamson (Group Overview and Scrutiny Manager) & Baseema Begum (Research & Policy Officer) at the Scrutiny Office of Birmingham City Council have been in touch. Emma & Baseema sent through several documents that ask a number of interesting questions. Rather than try to answer the questions on your behalf, The Music Network has decided to pass the questions on to you direct. The questions have no deadline for submission, the questions will be open to anyone to answer at any time. Your thoughts and opinions are welcome, at any time. We hope the discussion will continue. For more opinion, consultation and research we have collected together, read through our posts so far in the Strategy category.

If you want to submit your own “Ten Questions” or even just “One new question” please email them in. When we have enough, I’ll post them as “More Questions”. Completed submissions will be published at http://www.birminghammusicnetwork.com unless you state otherwise. Please include your Name, brief biography or information about who you are and what you do, and links to your website or blog. You will be credited as the author of the response. Views from all sides are sought so don’t be afraid to speak your mind. We may learn something. I will invite Emma, Baseema and their colleagues to read your published answers here on the website for themselves.

The following questions have been inspired by the contents of a letter to Birmingham Music Network from Councillor Philip Parkin, Chairman – Leisure, Sport and Culture, Overview and Scrutiny Committee, The Council House, Victoria Square, Birmingham, B1 1BB. (The letter was dated 29 July 2011)

Destination Birmingham: Birmingham, A Music City

The Leisure, Sport and Culture Overview and Scrutiny Committee is undertaking a review of the role of popular music in improving perceptions of Birmingham. One of the drivers for this work is the recent report from UK Music on music tourism and its value to local economies (Destination Music).

The Committee is keen to understand how Birmingham, and in particular the City Council, can better support the city’s music heritage and current industry to attract visitors to the city and improve quality of life for residents.

The Committee intends to explore how to take forward work already completed, in particular around how those involved in creating, promoting music are brought together in Birmingham and what could and should the City Council be doing to support this.

In particular, we would be interested in your views on the following questions:

1. Are there groups / partnerships in place to facilitate the promotion of music in Birmingham? Can you name any?

2. Is there a role for a large annual event in Birmingham to bring people together or should we support multiple smaller events delivered by a range of promoters? What comments can you offer on similar, or past events?

3. How can we better promote the Birmingham music industry both nationally and internationally?

4. How is music currently promoted in the city, how has it been done in the past, and are there ways in which this could be improved? How can the City Council support live music in the city?

5. How easy is it to work with Birmingham City Council, and what should the Council be doing to support the industry?

6. What role can and does popular music play in improving perceptions of Birmingham, both in attracting visitors to the city and in enhancing the quality of life of residents? How can this role be strengthened in Birmingham?

7. What practical developments could be put in place to develop & promote our Heritage: How do we celebrate our musical past? How does this compare to other local authorities?

8. What practical developments could be put in place to develop & promote our Current industry: What are Birmingham’s strengths and weaknesses; where are the gaps?

9. What practical developments could be put in place to develop / promote the Future: What can the City Council do practically to help? How can it most effectively deploy its resources, expertise and position?

10. How can Birmingham City Council support the recommendations in UK Music’s Destination Music report and replicate outcomes at a local level?

(Note on the context of the discussion: In undertaking this Scrutiny Review, the Committee would be supporting the Council in two of its key priorities:

• Succeeding economically
• Enjoy a high quality of life.

By examining the role music can play in improving perceptions of Birmingham and the City Council’s role in facilitating this, the Committee will be supporting the development of the city’s cultural identity and sense of place. This in turn will help to ensure that “Birmingham is a city where business can thrive and recruit and retain key staff because it is a place where people want to live and
work” and enhance “our reputation and influence as a global city, positioning and profiling Birmingham as a vibrant, cosmopolitan, modern and desirable destination with a strong international, community and sports event programme.”)

Your input would be invaluable in assisting us to draw informed and appropriate conclusions and to encourage an ongoing  discussion around the issues raised.

Please find attached original documents sent to Birmingham Music Network explaining a bit more about Overview and Scrutiny at Birmingham City Council. Make of them what you will.

What is Scrutiny Leaflet – May 2011

110729 – Birmingham Music Network pdf

110720 FINAL Terms of Reference

http://birminghammusicnetwork.com

3 Comments

  1. Is this sudden interest by the Council in Music Heritage the result of the success of Capsule’s ‘Home of Metal’ initiative which garnered national publicity for this city’s metal music heritage? ‘Home of metal’ and the like is what ‘Birmingham : The Creative City’ should be about, not some amorphous initiative with the unknown Ed Vaizey MP as its mouthpiece. Let the City’s ‘Creatives’ have the money rather than holding costly swanky events. The money spent on that event could have been used to better effect by Birmingham’s creative community rather than ‘crappy canapes for Conservative Councillors’ IMO!!!!!

  2. Was Home of Metal actually good or was it’s PR successful? I found it hard to stomach that a publicly funded initiative in a usually free public building had to charge money to get in. What were th audience numbers like? Who curated it? We’re they in the music business?

  3. Reply to Andy’s 5 questions for Home of Metal.
    Yes.
    Yes.
    Good.
    Capsule.
    Yes.

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