The Music Network has been contacted by a group drawn from Birmingham City Council and the Arts Council England to begin to determine an overview of the current state, needs and potential of the “independent music industry” in Birmingham.

The Music Network invites people with an interest or active role within Birmingham’s Independent Music Industry to answer 10 questions.

Completed questions will be published at unless you state otherwise. Please include your Name, 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.

Please note, as with all funded projects, if you don’t voice your opinion a decision will be made on your behalf without any reference to you and you may not benefit from any strategy that gets agreed and put into action.

Here are 10 open questions. If you wish to get involved, please send your completed responses by email to: info at – Thank You.


1. In your view, what is the current state of the region’s “Independent Music Industry?”

2. What do you think are it’s immediate needs with reference to the areas that you are most familiar with?

3. As far as the region’s “Independent Music Industry” is concerned, what do you think shows the greatest potential for the next few years?

4. In recent years, there has been a range of initiatives and projects designed to support the development of music in Birmingham. Can you list 5 projects or initiatives that you think have proved beneficial to the “Independent Music Industry?”

5. Can you list any projects or initiatives that you think have proved “of little use or benefit” to the “Independent Music Industry?”

6. With regard to your answers to questions 4 and 5, do you think Birmingham should continue to pursue the idea of more initiatives and projects designed to support the development of music in Birmingham?

7. If you could make any changes to, or include any new ideas for, any “strategy for supporting the development of music in Birmingham” what would your top priorities be?

8. If you were given the task of evaluating whether a project or initiative had been successful, what would you suggest as the best indicators of success, failure, benefit or disaster for the “Independent Music Industry?”

9. As far as your knowledge or understanding of the region’s “Independent Music Industry” is concerned, what are it’s greatest strengths, and what are it’s greatest weaknesses?

10. If you could do anything to “support the development of music in Birmingham” what would you do and why would you choose to do that?

Simon Howes has created an easy to use google survey for these 10 questions here

(The term “Region” as far as these questions are concerned refers to Birmingham or the geographic area Birmingham City Council works within.)

I have also quoted a number of existing articles below. I have suggested that the group should read through each of the articles and consider the content carefully.

Can anyone suggest any other existing articles that the group should read and consider that may have been omitted?


The people who control the Funding are damaging the Creative Industries in The West Midlands by Anthony J Hughes

Birmingham Twinned with Your Darkest Thought? by Mark Iron Man Records

A Year later – Perspectives on the West Midlands Music Industry – Scott Roe, Solar Creations

What is your view of the West Midlands’ music industry? by Mark Iron Man Records

A Vision for the Music Industry in the West Midlands by Clare Edwards June 2008

Another view of the West Midlands’ music industry and FUNDING by Andy Ward

Countercultural Capital & the Creative Economy – How do 1990s DiY Music ‘Entrepreneurs’ talk about the contemporary music business?” by Charlotte Bedford 2008

Funding the Creative Industries by Andy Derrick 13th Feb 2009

The Scottish Music Industry Association(SMIA) – launched at Go North conference

Redefining the Music Industry – A public consultation on the future shape, needs, direction and ambitions of the music industry.

National Survey and Mapping Exercise assessing provision & scope of music support work across UK 2009

How does Iron Man Records choose it’s artists and how does it promote them?

your comments please…..

cheers Mark – The Music Network, January 2010