*City* Music Strategy

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Foreword

Cardiff is the UK’s first city to embrace the theory of music urbanism and incorporate it into its planning, licensing, regeneration, health and wellbeing, tourism and overall local authority strategy.  Music urbanism is the act of a local authority understanding the value of music across its entire governance structure, rather than only seeing music as a tool to engage with singularly, either as an industrial mechanism, or through tourism or education, for example.  This is the purpose of Cardiff’s music strategy - and engaging with it for years to come - and the idea that underpins music urbanism as a whole.

© Photographer

© Photographer

Music urbanism encompasses each local authority department and explores how music, if incorporated in at the earliest possible policy stages, can be a force for good, a creator of wealth and an enlivenment mechanism for residents, businesses and visitors.  For this to happen, a local authority must explore the role of music in each of these departments and priorities. Questions that define - and explore the value of music across each department - are:

  • Governance and Leadership - How strong are the lines of communication between the music industry and policy makers, if they exist at all? Is there a board, and, if so, are there a variety of sectors represented on it? Is there a dedicated council member for the music or cultural industries?

  • Licensing & Police - Is there a joined up approach between cabinet members, licensing committee members, police and local residents and businesses to pursue a fact-based, pragmatic approach to licensing that prioritises both safety and cultural value?  

  • Planning - Is music and culture taken as a core priority, alongside other land uses, in regeneration policies?  Are cultural and musical provisions being built into new schemes, or are they left to be bolted on? Are Section 106, CiL levies and other mechanisms inclusive of music uses?

  • Transport - Is a local authorities’ transport policy understanding of the needs of artists, creators and creative businesses?  Is there a sufficient evening and night time economy transport policy that allows for art to be showcased and for those enjoying it to be able to safely travel home afterwards?

  • Employment & Skills - How is the music industry involved in the development, growth and success of the city?  Is it creating jobs, supporting artistic development and engaging citizens? Is there a policy to develop this?

  • Education - Is music education being treated with the same priorities as other subjects?  Music education, at the earliest age, support cognitive development, promote socialisation and engage young minds in ways other subjects do not.  Is a city understanding that its future businesspeople and citizens will benefit from musical engagement?

  • Tourism & Branding - Is music looked at with a deliberate and intentional mindset, to encourage tourism, support soft-power mechanism and improving the desirability of the city?  A thriving music and culture offer is often a priority to attracting investment, jobs and skills. Is this taken seriously?

  • Spaces and Places - Do musicians have accessible, affordable and adequate facilities to rehearse, record and perform?  Is there a variety of capacity music venues? Is there a diversity in genre and demographic representation?

  • Housing - Are we providing affordable housing for creatives, and is the housing stock being developed in town centre and metropolitan areas understanding of their neighbours and ancillary uses, to ensure those living in busier parts of town - when new stock is brought to use - able to coexist with existing uses?  

This is an overview of the potential uses of music across a local authority - all of which Cardiff is actively working across.  Music urbanism is a process and policy direction, similar to an SPD and as such, its objective is not to create immediate change, but lead to a culture shift where a local authority recognises that culture - and people - come first in all decisions.  And music, being our universal language, is one of the best tools to engage with, support and enliven people.

Introduction

About the Project

Methodology

About the Authors

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INTRODUCTION

As the capital of and largest city in Wales, Cardiff acts as a nerve centre for Welsh culture and domestic and international tourism. With the city on track to be the fastest-growing in the UK percentage-wise(1), supportive infrastructure must be put in place or updated in order to foster the growth of these sectors.

It can be easy to forget that ‘culture’ is not an industry, but rather a tapestry of different sectors and economies, each of which carries its own political and infrastructure needs. Cardiff is the first city in the UK to incorporate music urbanism into its city structure, from planning and licensing to social wellbeing and tourism. Music urbanism sees the value that music brings to a city and integrates it across all government departments, rather than reducing it to simply education or as a marketing tool for tourism.

Music urbanism sees the value that music brings to a city and integrates it across all government departments, rather than reducing it to simply education or as a marketing tool for tourism.

In keeping with this, each department within the city council must look at music and ask itself how it can best support the local music industry and how it can incorporate music within its own strategies in order to maximise its effects and improve the standard of living within the city. In order to be used effectively, music must be a primary consideration rather than an afterthought. Questions that define and explore the value of music across each department are:

  • Governance and Leadership - How strong are the lines of communication between the music industry and policy makers, if they exist at all? Is there a board, and, if so, are there a variety of sectors represented on it? Is there a dedicated council member for the music or cultural industries?

  • Licensing & Police - Is there a joined-up approach between cabinet members, licensing committee members, police and local residents and businesses, to pursue a fact-based, pragmatic approach to licensing that prioritises safety as well as cultural value?

  • Planning - Are music and culture taken as a core priority, alongside other land uses, in regeneration policies? Are cultural and musical provisions being built into new schemes, or are they left to be bolted on?

  • Transport - Is transport policy understanding of the needs of artists, creators and creative businesses? Is there a sufficient evening and night time economy transport policy that allows for the arts to be showcased and for those enjoying them to be able to travel home safely afterwards?

  • Employment & Skills - How is the music industry involved in the development, growth and success of the city? Is it creating jobs, supporting artistic development and engaging citizens? Is there a policy to develop this?

  • Education - Is music education being treated with the same priorities as other subjects? Music education, at the earliest age, supports cognitive development, promotes socialisation and engages young minds in ways other subjects do not. Is a city understanding that its future businesspeople and citizens will benefit from musical engagement?

  • Tourism & Branding - Is music looked at with a deliberate and intentional mindset, to encourage tourism, support soft-power mechanism and improve the desirability of the city? A thriving music and culture offer is often a priority to attracting investment, jobs and skills. Is this taken seriously?

  • Spaces and Places - Do musicians have accessible, affordable and adequate facilities to rehearse, record and perform in? Is there a variety of different capacity music venues? Is there diversity in genre and demographic representation?

Each of these categories are represented in the key findings outlined below, which have been developed through the earlier regulatory assessment, a series of local roundtables and interviews and a survey issued to Cardiff’s music industry professionals. The findings will form the base of the recommendations in this report, Cardiff’s unique resource to make it a leader in music urbanism.


(1) Invest in Cardiff (2018)


About the project

Cardiff is poised to become the fastest-growing city in the UK (2). Supported with over £25 million in cultural investment from Arts Council Wales, it is looking to establish itself as a leader in the Music Cities movement, a standard of urban development which champions and promotes music as a tool for growth rather than a by-product of it.

Cardiff already has a thriving music ecosystem, an amalgamation of live music opportunities from corner pubs to stadium shows and everything in between. Music is wrapped in the city’s identity and history, and it has often served as the hub for bands across Wales where they can launch their careers. While this is still true today, the music industry’s growth could be hindered if not considered alongside city strategies aimed at broader economic and population growth. It is important to not only maintain lines of communication between policy makers and industry, but also to adopt a collaborative approach that ensures the city works to support and champion its musicians and music professionals.

This project works to benchmark Cardiff’s music industry in order to identify the most effective strategies for development. This research is divided into several sections, including economy, infrastructure, tourism, education and the built environment, establishing what makes Cardiff the robust city it is and setting out how to maximise its role as a music city.


(2) City of Cardiff Council (2018)


Methodology

This project began with a series of roundtables, interviews and an industry survey. These provide primary sources for statistics and the experiences and opinions of people working in or alongside the music industry. These findings are cross-referenced with desk research, which collates relevant newspaper articles and city policy, such as the Cardiff Local Development Plan, Supplementary Planning Guidance, Section 106 laws, and alcohol and noise regulations. The findings are then mirrored in a series of international comparisons with cities chosen for their similarity in size and industry to Cardiff. From our findings, recommendations are made.

The economic impact of Cardiff’s music industry was measured using existing research by the UK Office for National Statistics (ONS) and PRS for Music as well as a survey conducted by Sound Diplomacy. Music industry subsectors were chosen using the UK Standard Classification of Economic Activities 2007 (SIC 2007). These official statistics formed the basis of any direct economic impact figures. Employment figures were determined using the Business Register and Employment Survey (NOMIS) 2016, while incomes were derived from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earning (ASHE) 2016. Indirect and induced economic impacts were found through the input-output matrix and its multipliers, cross-referenced against statistics by the ONS and the Cardiff University.


Sound Diplomacy is the leading global advisor on music cities and market development. As
strategists for cities, developers, large private sector organisations and governments, Sound Diplomacy provides cutting edge research and market expertise in increasing the value of the music and music business economies in state, city, region and development plans. In addition, they are experts in music tech strategies, from trade missions to market development, research and consulting.

Sound Diplomacy works in the public and private sectors, simultaneously in 20 countries for a number of governments (local, regional and national), property developers, music and music-tech conferences, economic development agencies, arts councils, chambers of commerce, universities, export offices, festivals, brands and record labels.

About the Authors


Economic Impact Analysis

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Economic Impact Analysis

Cardiff is responsible for approximately 30% of the production and 41% of the jobs generated by the core of the music sector in Wales. It generated £153 million, and added £104 million value (GVA) to the local economy in 2016. The total number of jobs generated and supported by the music sector in the city was 2,500; these people’s incomes were worth £75.1 million.

Mapping

Using Sound Diplomacy’s unique tools, we mapped Cardiff’s music industry, from venues to businesses and resource points. There are 40 music venues, 29 nightclubs, 11 record/equipment stores, 27 recording studios, 6 rehearsal spaces, 7 radio stations, 45 registered music teachers, 15 booking agents/promoters, 26 festivals with paid tickets, 20 co-working spaces and 7 record labels.

These statistics, when compared with Bristol and Liverpool, two cities of comparable populations (Bristol has 535,907 people and Liverpool has 552,267), show a city keeping up with its competitors. Cardiff has 0.143 venues per 1,000 residents (12), just behind Bristol, which has 0.147. Liverpool only has 0.107 venues per 1,000 residents. Cardiff also boasts 27 recording studios compared to Bristol’s 9 and Liverpool’s 13.

The city’s nightclubs and music venues are clustered in or around the Central Cardiff area, and most retail points are located on or around St. Mary Street. Recording studios can be found across all suburbs, and rehearsal spaces stretch from north to south, although one location is within Cardiff University and is for students only. While there are a few co-working spaces in suburban areas, most are clustered in Central Cardiff and the Bay Area, adding to the city’s vision of the Bay Area as a creative hub.

A 90-day calendar snapshot shows 161 gigs scheduled across Cardiff. Many of these gigs are undefined by genre, although a few defined themselves as ‘alternative’ music, and one each claimed themselves as pop, jazz, hip hop/rap, or rock. During this same timeframe, Liverpool had a comparable 415 upcoming shows over 90 days. Bristol had the busiest calendar, with a whopping 740 gigs over 90 days (13). While the ‘business’ and ‘creation’ sides of the industry look more active in Cardiff, the performance sector falls behind cities of similar sizes - this could be for a number of factors, including but not restricted to: more weekday, afternoon and evening  gigs in Bristol and Liverpool; more venues (although Cardiff has a competitive venue per capita ratio, it is still a smaller city than the other two); misleading data (there simply could be less Songkick activity in Cardiff).


(12) Information obtained via economic impact analysis.

(13) The period of 90 days was calculated as those dates on the Songkick calendar during the period between 27.8.2018 and 27.11.2018.

Regulatory Assessment

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REGULATORY ASSESSMENT

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