Delivering Cardiff’s Music Ecosystem Strategy

In April 2019, Sound Diplomacy’s full report and strategic recommendations for Cardiff’s music ecosystem were made public by Cardiff Council, representing the culmination of 18 months’ work. In this time, we engaged with multiple council departments and over 130 stakeholders face to face, analysed answers from 1000+ survey respondents and organised multiple city visits. It is the biggest project of this kind we have completed in the UK to date.

2018_10_20 SwnFestival Day 4_SimonAyre_Buzzard-2340.jpg

Over the course of the work, we delivered a Music Vision to lay down our strategic aims and how we hoped to achieve them. We hosted a series of roundtables, open door meetings, town hall style debates, and 1 on 1 interviews with stakeholders in Cardiff’s music ecosystem, ranging from CEOs to students, university professors to classical musicians, venue managers, funders and promoters to everything in between. We launched a Full Music Ecosystem Survey to ensure local residents and organisations outside the music industry also had a chance to have they voices heard, and we undertook a Music Infrastructure Mapping exercise and an Economic Impact Study of the city’s music ecosystem, benchmarking our findings to data from other comparator cities.  

We then completed a Comparative Analysis report, looking at how legislation in areas such as Licensing, Planning, Transport, Governance & Leadership and Funding held up against counterpart policy in five chosen international cities. This was accompanied by a comprehensive Regulatory Assessment of Cardiff’s legislative landscape, and specifically how it interacted with, allowed or prevented music to thrive within it.

Once we completed the qualitative and quantitative stages of the research, we delivered the final report, which included the Key Findings & Strategic Recommendations, and an Executive Summary.

The recommendations are designed to build on Cardiff’s music ecosystem’s strengths, address the areas of underdevelopment, and lay down a path to make music an integral part of the city’s daily life. We are pleased to say that the public reception has been fantastic, with some of Cardiff’s music ecosystem’s leading figures engaging with the work very positively.

Since then, Cardiff’s Scrutiny Cabinet has given unanimous approval to the report, and the full set of recommendations have been approved, with both the Cabinet and all the opposition political parties agreeing to them.

Sinfonia Cymru, Photo Warren Orchard.jpg

I would like to thank every individual that worked with us, took an interest in the report, responded to the survey, attended a roundtable and shared information. Your participation and input has been invaluable and the work could not have been done without it. I look forward to the next stages of Sound Diplomacy’s relationship with the city, to see the recommendations being implemented, and work towards making Cardiff the Music City it aspires to be.

Read the Executive Summary here.

Rollo Maschietto, Cardiff Project Lead, UK Office