LMX is currently comprised of research staff based at the University of Edinburgh (Matt Brennan, Simon Frith, and Emma Webster), the University of Glasgow (Martin Cloonan), and the University of Newcastle (Adam Behr).
The project has had an impact on the UK’s music policy-making process through the provision of relevant data and data analysis and by improving communication between the sector's stakeholders.
It has had an impact at both the local and national level, improving the quality and reach of policy discussion.
By June 2016, LMX had organised five policy events across the UK with over 200 participants, and in spring 2017 held the UK's first national live music census.
The initial AHRC-funded project found that:
- the economic and cultural importance of live music was underestimated by both academic researchers and policy makers, who tended to focus on the recording industry and copyright issues;
- the value of live music could not be understood simply in terms of cost: cultural factors were equally important in determining live music promoters' abilities to sustain a business;
- the health of the live sector, particularly over time, depended on a balance of different kinds of promoter (enthusiast, state, commercial) and types of venue (in terms of both size and audience experience);
- the activity of local government in terms of regulation, licensing and the interpretation of national legislation had a significant impact on the health of the live music sector in different cities and UK regions
Pub to Stadium
The “Pub to Stadium” project on the ecology of music venues, also funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), found that:
- the weakest point of the live music ecology at present is the small to medium independent venues.
- policymakers need to pay more heed to the economic and cultural contribution of smaller venues. Local regimes often focus their attention on major developments whose key beneficiaries are larger businesses.
- greater harmonisation of regulatory regimes and their implementation across the UK will benefit independent and major operators alike.
- the need for a more ‘joined up’ approach across council services is widely acknowledged but not always fully implemented.
- competition between cities drives investment in infrastructural projects, yet one of the side effects of such regeneration can be a more difficult environment for venues without the commercial or political wherewithal to adapt quickly to ‘gentrification’.
- it is these smaller spaces that provide both performance and social spaces for rising acts. They feed into an area’s ‘local character’ – its musical history – in a way that makes them difficult to replace.