UK Live Music Census 2017 data for DataVault

  • Matthew Brennan (Creator)
  • Matthew Brennan (Project Leader)
  • Matthew Brennan (Data Manager)
  • Adam Behr (Creator)
  • Martin Cloonan (Creator)
  • Emma Webster (Creator)
  • Samuel Nicholls (Researcher)
  • Phil Nelson (Researcher)
  • Chris Anderton (Researcher)
  • Mat Flynn (Researcher)



The dataset which was created for the UK Live Music Census 2017 and which consists of data from audiences, musicians, promoters and venues.
# Access #
This dataset is held in the Edinburgh DataVault, accessible only to authorised University of Edinburgh staff. To request access to the data please contact the Depositor, or in their absence the Contact Person or Data Manager, named on this page. Further information on retrieving data from the DataVault can be found at:


Live music is popular across the UK, and has become increasingly important to the music industries, overtaking recording revenues in 2008. Yet recent years have been difficult for venues. These challenges are felt particularly keenly by the smaller venues, clubs and pubs which provide for local musicians and audiences, and which serve as the training ground for future headline acts.

Notwithstanding widespread interest in the sector, however, and despite numerous previous reports from industry organisations, policy bodies and the third sector, there are still gaps in our knowledge of the situation nationwide and regarding different types of music and venue. Accounts of live music activity vary across the country and also between different sectors according to which type of policy, industry or academic research has provided them. This can make meaningful comparisons across cities and types of music difficult. Likewise, live music takes place in a huge range of spaces and contexts and this variation is not always captured by music industry or policy specific fields of focus.

The UK Live Music Census (originally titled the Great British Live Music Census) was a collaboration between music industry organisations, policy bodies and leading academic live music researchers. Working with key personnel in the live music sector, and building on the project team's pilot study of a census of live music in Edinburgh, we have provided the first account of live music in the UK that covers the full range of venues and that includes all types of musical activity - from amateur to top-flight professional.

With project partners UK Music, the Musicians' Union and the Music Venue Trust, we surveyed musicians, venues and audience members nationwide to provide the most comprehensive dataset yet of live music in the country.

Our prior research shows that different local government responses to cultural activity and venue licensing can have a profound effect on live music provision, but also that it is difficult for policymakers to make informed decisions given the variety of different definitions and parameters used in the available evidence.

By bringing together industry bodies, policymakers and academics to formulate the questions and promote the surveys, this project will assist researchers, policymakers and industry alike, providing consensus on an academically rigorous methodology and subsequent dataset for assessing the scope and value of live music in the UK. This is a large step forward for all concerned in working to safeguard and develop the cultural and economic wellbeing of this most valuable component of local character in cities and localities across the country.

Data Citation

Brennan, Matt; Behr, Adam; Cloonan, Martin; Webster, Emma "UK Live Music Census 2017 data for DataVault" (2018)
Date made available21 Feb 2018
PublisherEdinburgh DataVault
Temporal coverage1 Sep 2016 - 28 Feb 2018
Date of data production9 Mar 2017 - 30 Jun 2017
Geographical coverageUnited Kingdom

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