Category: Pitch (Page 1 of 17)

Find out what the Midlands has to offer. Send us your 250 word pitch on any music related service you offer and we’ll put it here.

The challenges facing Musicians in the UK

Musicians face numerous challenges in the post-Brexit landscape. These challenges have raised concerns, leading to considerations of potential career change and a call for government support.

Work Permits and Visas: Musicians can no longer travel and work freely across the EU, requiring work permits and visas for performances in certain countries. This leads to additional costs, paperwork, and potential limitations on touring.

Financial Impact: The music industry contributes significantly to the UK economy, and Brexit poses a threat to its success. Increased costs, potential losses in revenue from European tours, and additional financial burdens affect musicians’ livelihoods.

Uncertainty and Lack of Clarity: The lack of clarity surrounding post-Brexit regulations and the need for bilateral deals with certain EU member states create uncertainty for musicians. This impacts their ability to plan tours, navigate work permit requirements, and make informed decisions

Impact on Live Sector and Music Tourism: The live sector and music tourism may be affected, with potential declines in international collaborations, fewer European acts traveling to the UK, and a negative impact on music tourism.

Iron Man Records Rehearsal Space

City bar closes after 16 months citing ‘unforeseen circumstances’

There’s frustratingly little discussion of our music and nighttime industries in this election

Spiking costs and ‘apex predators’: Inside the UK’s music festival crisis. “It’s carnage,” says one music festival organiser. “People are fighting tooth and nail,” says another. “Something needs to happen because this isn’t working anymore.”

UK Music sets out priorities of the music industry ahead of general election

UK Music wants politicians to devise a national music strategy

Face the music of Brexit barriers. ‘Face the Music’ campaign is urging politicians to find solutions for UK artistes trying to tour in Europe after Brexit

100+ UK festivals will shut down this year – who’s left? – RouteNote Blog

UK Music calls on MPs to fix European touring crisis – Access All Areas

Towersey Festival, UK’s longest running independent, to bow out after 60 years. Operators said this year’s edition of the UK’s longest-running independent music festival will be the last, due to spiralling costs

‘People are forfeiting meals’: musicians on the struggle to financially survive

The Scots band using their DIY touring experience to help with Brexit red tape

What support do you need when working or thinking about working in the EU? Take Part in the MU’s New Survey on Touring in the EU Post Brexit

‘The working class can’t afford it’: the shocking truth about the money bands make on tour. Musicians these days face pitiful fees and frequent losses. What can be done about it?

Visa fees for international artists to tour in the US shot up 250% in April. It could be devastating

Musicians busk along city centre to protest Brexit touring rules

UK dance music industry pens open letter urging young people to vote. over six million young people did not vote in the last election, and more than half of those aged 18-34 were not even registered to vote

All Musicians, artists, performers + MU Midlands Members Urged to Attend Public Meeting to Fight Birmingham City Council Cuts. If you live or work in Birmingham, join us on Sat 27th April for Brum Rise Up to resist cuts

The United Kingdom Faces Many Cancellations Of Music Festivals

Budget slammed as a “missed opportunity” by UK live music industry

Music touring and my career in the industry

Top musicians could disappear unless EU touring issues solved, says MP

UK Sounds: PRS Foundation Launches New Initiative to Support UK Music Export

The music industry is dying! – the effect of Brexit

Brexit Blues: UK Music Industry Suffers as Artists Face Touring Turmoil

British Music Artists Get Post-Brexit Break, With Europe Touring Regulations Eased

‘The whole ecosystem is collapsing’: inside the crisis in Britain’s live music scene

Further festival cancellations – Connect & 110 Above. “The current economic climate means it would be reckless to plough on with such uncertainty and volatile costs – particularly for a fully independent festival”

Brexit: despatches from the downside. The government is starting to give the impression of behaving like the sorcerer’s apprentice, having conjured up forces in Brexit that it doesn’t understand and can’t control.

AIF Launches 5% for festivals scheme to save UK festivals. This World-leading industry still suffers due to issues around Covid and Brexit, making maintaining a UK festival even more difficult than ever

‘UK’s position as live music leader at stake’: nine festivals cancel amid rising costs. Standon Calling among events scheduled for 2024 to call time or postpone amid fears of impact on new talent

UK music festivals at ‘critical point’ as more events cancelled. Covid pandemic, Brexit, the war in Ukraine and cost of living crisis are all cited as contributing factors towards a looming crisis for UK festivals

Flagship venues and grassroots arts across Birmingham hit by ‘devastating’ cuts

Birmingham City Council announce “alarming” culture budget cuts

Brexit may be ‘terminal’ for UK music industry, top academy principal warns

Face The Music Petition. European Movement launches campaign to shine spotlight on plight of musicians post-Brexit

European Movement launches campaign to shine spotlight on plight of musicians post-Brexit

US visa petition fees for international touring musicians to increase by over 120 per cent

Ministers urged to ‘call Paul and Ringo’ over touring musician tax forms

Opera singer David Butt Philip on how Brexit is impacting British musicians

Introduce ticket levy on sponsors of large music venues to support grassroots music venues – Sign the Petition!

Brexit’s bum note: UK orchestras hit by new touring tax. Musicians fear European tours could become unviable under the new regime.

Brexit has been bad for the UK economy, majority of Britons believe

If you spot any other articles worth sharing with Musicians please email the link/url and follow us



The Musicians’ Census 2023

What is the Census?

The music industry brings together a broad and diverse range of people, each embarking on a unique career path pursuing their own creative vision.

The first ever Musicians’ Census will paint a comprehensive picture of the industry as a whole. By mapping the total population of musicians and learning what musicians’ lives and careers look like, organisations across the industry will have the insight they need to support today’s community of musicians, as well as musicians of the future.

Can I take part?

The Census is open to anyone considering themselves to be a musician in the UK who earns an income from music or plans to earn an income from music in future.

Whether you’re a performer, teacher, studio engineer, composer, whatever your role, we want to hear from the widest group possible.

Why is this happening?

Musicians are heading into 2023 facing a perfect storm of challenges, from the barriers to touring brought about by Brexit, to the ongoing difficulties in reconnecting with audiences post-pandemic, to the cost of living and cost of working crisis.

In order to provide the best possible support, we need to get to know the music community better; who you are, where you are, what you do and what support you need to keep doing it.

Who is behind the Musicians’ Census? 

The Musicians’ Census is a project from Help Musicians and the Musicians’ Union, working with the expertise of leading research agency Walnut.

The Census is being supported by a huge number of organisations across the sector, including UK Music, Black Lives in Music and many other industry partners who have input into the project and will also benefit from its insight.

Complete The Census

The census is being carried out by Walnut Unlimited on behalf of Help Musicians and the Musicians’ Union.

Help Musicians is an independent charity for professional musicians of all genres, from starting out through to retirement. They help at times of crisis, but also at times of opportunity, giving people the extra support that they need at a crucial stage that could make or break their career.

The Musicians’ Union are a trade union for professional musicians living and working in the UK representing over 30,000 members.

Your answers to this census will help us gain an up-to-date picture of what the U.K. population of musicians looks like and gather further insight on what life is like for musicians today e.g., career information and wellbeing. This insight will enable us to track changes in the musicians population over time (with the Census being run every five years), with key statistical findings shared with other charities and music industry bodies to enable others to make better decisions in how to support the U.K.’s community of musicians. With this in mind, we’d love you to share information about this survey with other people in the music sector so that we hear from as many people as possible. You can copy the online link and share on your socials, via email or text message.

Thank you for your time, you know what to do.

Going to Ireland on Tour and crossing the UK/EU Border using a Carnet

If you have Tour Dates in Ireland and you’re travelling with a Carnet for your Musical Equipment, Mark at Iron Man Records explains how to keep it simple when crossing the UK/EU Border in a Splitter Van.

I took Sinead O’Brien to Ireland in October 2022 working as Tour Manager via Holyhead to Dublin Port. Here’s what I would recommend if you have Tour Dates to play, the UK/EU Border to cross, and a Carnet for Musical Equipment to deal with.

The first thing to do is book your Ferry as required. Be sure to buy a “Passenger” ticket for a 9 seater Splitter van as it is classified as a “passenger carrying vehicle.” Don’t go on a “Freight” ticket. I bought a Flexi ticket from Irish Ferries, it worked out £622.00 return. I chose Irish Ferries as their departure times were most suitable for our travel plans. But you can also go with Stena Line. I prefer Stena Line, but Irish Ferries worked out cheaper and sailed at the time we needed.

I chose a “Flexi” ticket as it’s valid for a year from date of purchase, ideal if plans change or there’s any delay with getting the Carnet stamped, and you need to move the booking to a different time. The ticket is also refundable if something happens. Don’t try and do the UK Carnet and Ferry on the same day. Always allow extra time in case something happens.

Tour Management: Crossing the UK/EU Border Using a Carnet

We travelled to Holyhead from London and did the Carnet on the way to the Hotel. We caught the ferry the following morning to be sure we didn’t get delayed handling the Carnet. When we arrived in Dublin Port we did the Carnet on the way to our first show. Luckily for us it didn’t take long. It was the same on the way back, We did Dublin Port Carnet and then the Ferry on the way back to Holyhead. We did the UK Carnet after we checked out of our hotel the following morning on the way back to London. Don’t try doing it all in one day, you will only get yourself in a mess. For those who haven’t used a Carnet before, you have to get 4 sets of stamps. One leaving UK, one entering Ireland/EU, one leaving Ireland/EU, and one last one returning to the UK. I advise getting each stamp within 24 hours of Travel across the Border.

ATA Carnet - How To Use

UK Outbound (Export)

If you are going to choose an Inland Border Facility to present your Carnet, there’s one at Holyhead, it’s off ?A55 Junction 2, almost next door to Premier Inn. The address is: Holyhead Interim Inland Border Facility Service, Parc Cybi, Holyhead LL65 2YQ

There are many Inland Border Facilities to choose from. You don’t need to book Holyhead in advance, you can turn up anytime you like. Holyhead inland border facility is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

You only need to attend the inland border facility if you’re travelling through Holyhead and you’re moving goods:

– under the Common Transit Convention and you’re not using the services of an ACC to start or end your Transit movements
into the country under the Common Transit Convention and you’ve been instructed to report to a site for those goods to be checked

– excluding live animals, using an ATA Carnet

– excluding live animals, covered by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)

In October, I used the Inland Border facility at Warrington as I had heard it was not very busy and a quick and easy turn around for Carnet processing. I also chose Warrington just in case Holyhead was busy or doing a “Stress Test” when I got there. However, there’s no point in me telling you about that here as Warrington Inland Border Facility is now permanantly closed. But I can give you some basic points about handling the Carnet when you get to Holyhead.

On arrival at Holyhead Inland Border facility, follow the instructions you are given. Remember to wear your High Vis when moving around in the truck park.

I use Rock-It Cargo when I need a Carnet. There are plenty of other companies you could use, some might be cheaper. I put The Carnet in the name of Iron Man Records Ltd at the Iron Man Records address. You can list yourself and any member of the band/crew as ‘named representatives’ so any member of the travelling group can present the Carnet. Here’s an example of the letter that should be contained in your ATA Carnet, probably folded up near the back somewhere.

Tour Management: Crossing the UK/EU Border Using a Carnet

You need to present ID with the Carnet to show you are either the holder or a named representative. This is what the front cover of the ATA Carnet looks like below. You can see the Border Force Stamp you will get and the clear statement that the “Intended use of Goods” will be as “Professional Equipment.”

Tour Management: Crossing the UK/EU Border Using a Carnet

Make sure the Green front page of the Carnet is signed by the Holder. Note that section H. Certificate by Customs at Departure b) Goods Examined shows as NO. It is unlikely you will have to have the goods examined but always allow extra time just in case.

In the past I have lost 4 hours while UK Border Force have gone through every item and checked every serial number and flight case. So be professional, polite, and just stay focussed. Do not try to be clever and start any conversation that may accidentally give UK Border Force a reason to inspect the items you are carrying. Say as little as possible. Don’t make jokes or make fun of the staff behind the window, or explain what a futile nonsense the Carnet system is. Try not to get angry. Answer the questions and don’t go off topic. Be respectful.

I have had to watch others in front of me regret their words when they are told they will have to be inspected after upsetting the staff. You don’t want to spend 4 hours dealing with an inspection and no one will care who you are, or how much of a hurry you are in, or whether you or your band is any good.

When leaving your country of origin, in this case you will be leaving the UK via Holyhead, fill out a Yellow “Exportation” voucher. If you look at the top right of the form you will see it says: Exportation Voucher Number 1. You can do all of this in advance but you must sign the yellow voucher in front of the clerk you are handing it to.

If you are using your Carnet for the first time, here’s a brief overview of the four Visits (All using Exportation Voucher 1) you will need to make to Inland Border Facilities. This is what you need to understand.

Validation: All ATA Carnets must be Validated by HMRC / BF before the first use (this will be done at the same time the Exportation Counterfoils and Vouchers are being endorsed.)

1. Exportation: this refers to UK goods leaving / exiting from the UK (Leaving UK Via Holyhead)

?2. Importation: this is entry into a country of temporary admission (working visit). (Arriving via Dublin Port, T11)

3. Re-exportation: this is the departure or exit from the country of temporary admission (Leaving via Dublin Port, Yard 3)

4. Re-importation: the return of goods to the UK  (Arriving UK via Holyhead)

Transit: transits are rarely used, but may be required if your goods are moving through one Carnet country en-route to another (i.e. driving through EU on the way to a working visit to Switzerland counts as Transit. Note that Changing flights does not count as transit). Russia and Switzerland may request transits in case the goods are inspected away from the national border.

Vouchers: Are completed by the holder and detached/removed form the Carnet by Customs officials. Vouchers serve as a Customs declaration and must be signed by the Holder

Counterfoils: Are completed by Customs and serve as receipt audit trail for each declaration lodged.

This is what you will need to complete on arrival at the Inland Border facility, see highlighted areas below:

Tour Management: Crossing the UK/EU Border Using a Carnet

D. Means of Transport: Your Number plate / Vehicle Registration

E. Packaging Details: Flight Cases etc

F. Temporary Export Declaration, section a) 1 – 82

Place: Holyhead

Date: 2022/11/23 (Note the date is backwards, year/month/day)

Name: Print your name, be sure you are listed as a named representative on the Carnet first.

Signature: Your usual Signature.

If you have a list of 82 items and you are taking all of them, you write 1-82 in the box marked F. Temporary Export Declaration, section a)

If, like with Sinead O’Brien, you have had to leave some items behind, write in the items 1-82 but excluding the missing items, like this: 1-40, 42-51, 53, 56-64, 66, 68, 75, 77-82

Here’s another example Carnet from 2018, you can see the boxes to complete. The sheet is marked EXPORTATION.

Tour Management: Crossing the UK/EU Border Using a Carnet

You should also have copies of your general list in case of inspection. This would be your items 1-82 or whatever you are carrying with you in the Vehicle.

Tour Management: Crossing the UK/EU Border Using a Carnet

You may be asked for a GMR (Goods Movement Reference). As I understand it, you don’t need one because you are NOT freight. Your are travelling in a “passenger carrying vehicle,” you are private individuals, musicians on tour, you have “Professional Equipment.” You have an ATA Carnet but NO GMR. The staff may persist but tell them straight, you are NOT frieight therefore you do NOT have a GMR. Hopefully that will be enough but you will have to be firm, remember: don’t get angry.

Once the staff at the Customs office window have your Carnet they will ask you for a mobile phone number. They keep all your paperwork and give you a slip/receipt and you go and wait for a text. Be sure to wait where there is plenty of phone signal or somewhere within visual distance of the Customs office Window. This will be the first Carnet stamp of four.

The first time I had to visit an Inland Border facility I got a text after nearly 3 hours saying everything was fine and to collect the paperwork. Typically the wait might be 20 minutes, but be prepared for a longer wait on occasion. If I had been picked for inspection that would have added extra time to inspect the goods against the general list.

Once you have the Carnet back, return to your vehicle and head to the Exit. You don’t have to pay for the parking. Watch the site speed limit.

EU Inbound (import)

On arrival at Dublin Port, you may be asked if you have anything to declare. Tell the Border Force that you are heading to T11 with a Carnet for “Professional Equipment.” Follow signs to Customs at T11 which is just past the Circle K garage, see photo below. The Circle K Garage has reasonable toilets and food and drink on offer in case anyone needs anything on the way.

Dublin Port - Call To Customs EU Inbound (import)

Further information is available on:

Urgent queries relating to goods entering or leaving Ireland should be directed to:

Revenue’s Customs 24 hour Helpline: +353 1 738 3685

T11 – Terminal 11 Border Crossing Station EU Inbound (import) what3words ///this.gained.proven

When you get to T11, follow the instructions given on where to park. Wear your High Vis and walk to the customs office. Say you have a Carnet that needs stamping as you are importing from UK to EU. Look for Voucher 1 in the Carnet. The sheet will be white and marked IMPORTATION. This will be second Carnet stamp of four.

EU Inbound (import) - Importation

In this example you will notice it says Voucher 3. Thats because the band’s Voucher 1 was used for a trip to Europe earlier in the year. Voucher 2 was used to go to Europe again in September. Voucher 3 pictured above was used for the trip UK/EU to Ireland.

Take ID & your Carnet with completed white importation voucher and copy of general list, sign it in front of them and hand it over. I stood at the window while the staff completed the paperwork. On completion the Staff said “let’s do a quick inspection.” We walked to the Vehicle and indeed, the inspection was quick. He asked me about the Vehicle, was it mine or a hire vehicle? He asked where had we come from and where were we going? He asked me what he would expect to find in the back of the van. I just said “Flight Cases as listed on the Carnet.” I opened the back doors of the van and he looked inside. “That all looks fine to me.” He said. “Anyone in the Vehicle?” I told him the names of the travelling group and he just peered through the window. “Ok That’s fine.” We walked back to the office, he stamped the Carnet and wished us safe travels.

I walked back to the van as quickly as possible without making it look like I was walking as quickly as possible. I climbed in and drove out of the Customs area as quickly as possible too, taking care to observe the site speed limit and making it look like I wasn’t in a hurry to leave. The job was done and we made our way to the first Irish show in Cork.

One thing you need to know about Ireland, you only need to get the Carnet stamped at your port of entry and port of exit. There is no need to deal with customs if you travel north or south. The Tour took us from Dublin Port to Cork, back to Dublin, to Belfast, to Limerick and then back to Dublin Port again. In our situation we only needed to get the Carnet stamped at Dublin Port on arrival and Dublin Port again on our departure.

If you haven’t been to Dublin before, be aware of the Toll Roads. Some roads have Toll Booths where you can pay cash or card, others are online like M50. If you are travelling in a hire Vehicle be sure to register the vehicle for auto pay just in case you forget to pay the online tolls. Try

EU Outbound (re-export)

You need to go somewhere different at Dublin Port on the way back to the UK to get the carnet stamped. Follow the signs again to Dublin Port T11 but you want to go, this time, to Yard 3 – Customs Export which is almost opposite on the other side of the road to the T11 entrance. What3Words address: ///token.abode.sticks

EU Outbound (re-export) - reexportation

Complete your white re-exportation voucher (Still Voucher 1) and sign it in front of them as mentioned before. This time the process took 5 minutes. Keep quiet and let them process it as you stand at the window. They are no more interested in your Carnet than you are. Let them do the work while you wait. Say nothing. Only answer direct questions if you have to.

The staff told me they are open 24 hours, 7 days a week. It must be a Dublin Port thing as the staff asked to do an inspection, again. It was much the same as the last one, they walked to the vehicle, asked me to open the back doors. They looked in and then said “fine” as soon as they saw all the flight cases stacked up. We returned to the office once they had asked who else was travelling in the vehicle. They peered through the window to check as before. Once the Carnet was stamped it was returned to me and they instructed me to proceed to the exit. Two staff in high vis were stood at the exit and they waved goodbye as we passed. In all the whole thing took less than 15 minutes. No issues, the staff were professional and courteous. This will be the third Carnet stamp of four.

UK Inbound (re-import)

Return to Holyhead Inland Border Facility as you did before. Same procedure. Park up in the van parking, hand your carnet in at the office window. You will need to get your yellow re-importation marked voucher 1 stamped. This will be the fourth Carnet stamp of four. See also below how the counterfoil gets stamped by UK Customs on the way out then stamped on the way back? Both say counterfoil 1. You don’t need to fill this in but the picture shows you what the UK staff will complete while they have your carnet.

Tour Management: Crossing the UK/EU Border Using a Carnet

If that’s the end of your trip you have to return the Carnet to Rock-it Cargo or whoever supplied the Carnet.

It seems to me that no one is inspecting vehicles UK outbound or UK inbound unless they have good reason to do so. The EU Staff at Dublin Port may check your vehicle but only briefly unless you give them reason to do otherwise. Always tell the others in the travelling group to keep quiet when you are being questioned by Customs or Border Force Staff. Answer the questions in full as simply and clearly as possible.

You may also find this post useful:

Tour Management: Crossing the UK/EU Border Using a Carnet

Useful Addresses:

Rock-it Cargo

Holyhead Interim Inland Border Facility Service, Parc Cybi, Holyhead LL65 2YQ

Inland Border Facilities

Urgent queries relating to goods entering or leaving Ireland should be directed to:

Revenue’s Customs 24 hour Helpline: +353 1 738 3685

Watch and Learn about all things Music and Brexit here: UK Europe Arts Work


I can recommend watching the relevant Videos by Ian Smith here:

Merchandise UK Border regulations and easy explainer what you need to do inwards to UK and outwards.

A very quick explainer on getting your merch out of the UK to the EU Schengen area (and beyond) and what you need to do when bringing it in, from simple declaration by conduct (walking through the green channel without saying anything) making a simple online declaration or making a full customs declaration. Please note all the advice here is based on HMRC (UK) current advice and links to said advice is here below. Also please note that the limit of £1500 is different to the limit for ENTRY to the EU we’ve been advised for the EU Schengen area which is €1K euros as a maximum, HMRC (Her majesty’s revenue and customs) PLEASE NOTE VAT … Declarations even if under the allowances for simple declaration at customs (in the red channel if making declaration on the day or online before entry) STILL MEANS YOU HAVE TO PAY VAT IF NECESSARY ! If Under £1500 usually no import duty if goods made in EU; this is for entry to the UK ..

Tour Management:

Iron Man Records Tour Management Services

Just Ask: West Midlands Tickets Online Event, Zoom. Monday 05 December 2022

Just Ask

This is a free training session for promoters, venues, show reps etc. to learn and discuss how to best support artists with access requirements, delivered by Attitude is Everything. Just Ask sets a standard for how we can work together across the live music industry to meet the access requirements of artists and crew who identify as Deaf, disabled and/or neurodivergent.

Launched in partnership with Independent Venue Community, Attitude is Everything and a flagship group of promoters, Just Ask sets the blueprint and will make asking about access requirements an industry standard question in advance of a gig or festival performance – taking the burden away from disabled artists.

About Attitude is Everything

Attitude is Everything,
have over 20 years’ experience supporting the live music sector to include disabled fans, professionals and performers. It is a chance to ask any questions, learn new skills and develop accessible practices which you can put in place when engaging with artists.

Just Ask: West Midlands Tickets Online Event, Zoom. Monday 05 December 2022

About the session

  • This event will be hosted on Zoom – you’ll receive a meeting link on the day of the session via email.
  • Download the Just Ask guide which should be used as an accompaniment to this introductory training session.

If you have any questions or issues, please contact Community Manager Lou at

Just Ask Guide

New Birmingham Venue and ‘Vinyl Bar’ opens: Dead Wax Digbeth, 28 Adderley St, Digbeth, Birmingham, B9 4ED.

Dead Wax Digbeth

“. . . an optimistic mind-set finds dozens of possible solutions for every problem that the pessimist regards as incurable.” – Robert Anton Wilson, Cosmic Trigger I: Final Secret of the Illuminati

– 45 Birmingham and Midlands artists and DJs launch Dead Wax Digbeth from Thursday 28th November
– Venue will be home to a collection of 4000 records, operating an ‘all vinyl, all the time’ policy
– Music fans invited to play the venue’s records or bring own vinyl to play at city’s newest music destination
– Craft beers from Beavertown, Laine Brew Co. and local breweries on offer all year round

Dead Wax Digbeth
28 Adderley St, Digbeth, Birmingham B9 4ED | @DeadWaxDigbeth

Richard March

A new Birmingham venue and ‘vinyl bar’ will open its doors to music fans this weekend with a huge four-day launch featuring 45 bands, musicians, artists and DJs from across Birmingham and the Midlands.

Dead Wax Digbeth hosts a series of specially curated free events running across its three spaces from Thursday 28 November to Sunday 1 December – including two all-dayers, late-night DJ sets, rare live performances and acoustic sets.

Some of Birmingham’s hottest live acts, including Swampmeat Family Band, Brain Food, Violet, RISCAS, The Empty Page and Wax Futures will take to the stages at the 120/230/100-capacity multi-room venue, formerly punk, rock, metal and alternative haunt The Wagon & Horses in the city’s creative quarter of Digbeth.

Fully transformed by Brighton’s Laine Pub Co, Dead Wax Digbeth features a renovated and expanded building incorporating live music spaces both upstairs (120 capacity) and outside in the ‘Duck Bath’ yard (230 capacity).

The main bar area (100 capacity) will present a craft beer offering from Beavertown and Laine Brew Co. alongside guest draft lines from local breweries including Dig Brew Co, plus a Dead Wax Pizza menu with fresh carnivore, vegetarian and vegan choices overseen by city food tastemaker Anthony Duffy.

Music fans and vinyl lovers will be encouraged to choose and play albums and singles from the bar’s large 4000 record collection as well as enjoy vinyl-only sets from a diverse line-up of DJs in a bright and vibrant setting in the heart of Digbeth designed and created by local artists.

A mural, curated by in-demand street artist Gent48 featuring influential Birmingham bands, musicians and DJs including Big Bear Records, Birmingham Promoters, Catapult Club, Chicks Dig Jerks, ColdRice, Die Das Der, Distorted Tapes, Iron Man Records, Punch Records, This Is Tmrw, and Sweat amongst others will complete the visual identity for this latest addition to the city’s live music landscape.

The launch comes as good news in light of a number of concerns around Birmingham’s music and pub mainstays with city-centre venues including The Flapper, Scruffy Murphy’s and the Eagle and Tun all under threat from closure due to redevelopment.

Leading city live music bookers Birmingham Promoters, KILLER WAVE, Sonic Gun, and DIE DAS DER have all leant their industry expertise and support to the new venture, managed by former Sunflower Lounge boss and recording artist Ben Drummond.

Speaking ahead of the opening, Drummond said, “Its an incredibly challenging time for venues and bars in the city and across the UK so we’re doubly thrilled to be bringing Dead Wax Digbeth to life this week with a team that has worked very hard to create a very special offering. We’re hugely grateful to all of the local creatives who’ve helped us put together a full and exciting launch weekend programme and we look forward to contributing to the city’s cultural fabric, live music offering and UK touring map over the coming months and years.”


“We need more positive thinking and especially well researched, well thought out, positive thinking. Running a Music Venue is not an easy task. Doing it yourself and taking risks is easy, but doing it properly and maintaining a music venue will be tough. By the looks of what I’ve seen so far, Dead Wax Digbeth stands a good chance of doing it properly and music and art will be stronger for it. Anyone who makes an effort to champion Live Music and Music on Vinyl gets my full support. I’m looking forward to seeing the place for myself. Music brings us all together. Here’s to hoping for a brighter future.” – Mark, Iron Man Records

20 DJs from a number of well-known city music brands will take part in the opening weekend, including Cherry Bomb, Distorted Tapes, Kaleidoscope, Night Owl, Sweat Club, and Takin’ Care of Business, whilst the live billing boasts 25 live acts drawn from Birmingham and the Midlands’ flourishing indie, psych, art-rock, acoustic, rhythm and blues, heavy, punk, soul, math and pop scenes.

Dead Wax Digbeth launch weekend listings

Dead Wax Digbeth Opening Night Party
1700 – 0300 Thursday 28 November 2019

Main venue performances (1800 onwards) from:

Swampmeat Family Band
The Good Water

Main bar vinyl DJ sets (1800 onwards) from:

Richard March (Bentley Rhythm Ace, Pop Will Eat Itself) & Daniel Finnemore – DJ set
Cheese Dip (Sweat Club)
Joel Webster (Killer Wave, PNKSLM Recordings)

Duck Bath outdoor stage DJ sets (1800 onwards) from:

Cherry Bomb (Elizabeth Ilsley & Jonny Murphy)
Carlton Wainwright (Takin’ Care Of Business)

Killer Wave present Dead Wax Digbeth launch Friday

1800 – 0300 Friday 29 November 2019

Main venue performances (1800 onwards) from:

Cherry Pickles
Witch Fever
Brain Food
The Devil & Saint Joseph
Elephant Peel

Main bar vinyl DJ sets (1800 onwards) from:

‘T-Bird’ Thomas Jones (Takin’ Care Of Business)
Mazzy Maryam Snape (The Night Owl)

Duck Bath outdoor stage DJ sets (1800 onwards) from:

Sonic Gun

Saturday Dead Wax Digbeth Launch Alldayer
1200 – 0300 Saturday 30 November 2019

Main venue performances (1700 onwards) from

George Pannell
Alex Ohm
Faux Palms
Boat To Row
Cheap Thrills (DJ set)

Duck Bath outdoor stage DJ (1300 onwards) and live performances (1400 onwards) from

Paid in Full (DJ Wayne Lango)
Issy Holmes
Louise Woodley
Jen North
Paper Buoys (acoustic set)
Alex Lleo
Esther Turner

Vinyl-only DJ sets in main bar (1200 onwards) from:

Weird Wax
I Dig Your Wig (Dan Finnemore)
Randy Billings (The International Submarine Club)

DIE DAS DER present a Dead Wax Digbeth launch event
1500-2200 Sunday 1 December 2019

Main venue performances (1500 onwards) from:

The Empty Page
Exotic Pets
Modern Literature
Liars at the Witch Trial

Main bar DJ sets (1500 onwards) from:

Distorted Tapes

Birmingham Promoters

Birmingham Promoters are an independent live music, events and gigs promotions company based in Digbeth, Birmingham. They have hosted a diverse array of artists including Ed Sheeran, Ben Howard, Jake Bugg, Editors, Bastille, Peace, GZA (Wu-Tang Clan), Skepta, Tinie Tempa, Royal Blood, Gabrielle Aplin, Tom Odell, The Staves, Nick Mulvey, The Fall, Metronomy, Sam Fender and much more.


Killer Wave has been putting on gigs and parties for seven years, pushing their brand of garage rock and psychedelia on stereos and promoting local, UK and worldwide live acts such as Black Lips, Shame, Sunflower Bean, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard to local favourites Black Mekon, Swampmeat, Mighty Young etc, working closely with PNKSLM records pushing parties all over the world.


DIE DAS DER is a community of like-minded musicians, artists, bloggers, photographers, film-makers and journalists. They curate and organise events and aim to highlight Birmingham’s thriving underground music scene; assisting acts with exposure and encouraging mutual promotion, resource sharing and networking.

Laine Pub Co

Founded 23 years ago, with a single pub in Brighton, Laine Pub Co has grown to become one of the most innovative pub companies in the UK. With over 60 pubs in Brighton, London and Birmingham including some of the most creative experiential pub offerings in the industry, ranging from retro gaming to escape rooms, virtual reality, circus acts and immersive theatre, Laine is now at the forefront of the UK’s leisure sector. Taking its inspiration from the vibrant pub and beer scene in the city of Brighton and Hove, Laine Brew Co creates beer imbued with flavour, experimentation and good times. Its beers are unpasteurised and uncompromising, meaning more flavour and more love. With a focus on consistent, sessionable beers, 2×3 supported with market-leading design and POS, Laine creates highly individual and authentic craft beer which is accessible to all.

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