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Research Case studies


Our Work

Leeds Beckett University’s research has contributed to the development of Music: Leeds, a project designed to respond to the needs, issues and opportunities for SMEs, larger organisations and microbusinesses within the Leeds region’s music sector. Leeds Beckett University’s research collaboration with Music: Leeds has impacted the music and cultural sector of local authorities by contributing to Leeds City Council’s delivery of their Culture Strategy and programme for a year of culture in 2023, and collaborating with the Leeds City Region LEP, local and Core Cities local authorities. Research conducted in the Leeds music sector by Leeds Beckett University and Music: Leeds has also impacted the strategy of national music organisations such as the Association of Independent Music (AIM), Featured Artists Coalition (FAC) and Music Managers Forum (MMF), who implemented Music: Leeds’s model for decentralised outreach programs.

The underpinning research has four distinct aspects:

Plus Icon 1. Mapping Leeds' music businesses and organisations

This aspect has two parts; firstly, a comprehensive mapping of Leeds music businesses and organisations. Data collection is on-going and seeks to capture the types of music businesses operating within the city, gathering data on around 400 music businesses and organisations across twenty-four categories, including around 1000 artists. Secondly, a Live Music Census was conducted as part of a larger Census of UK Live Music. Data from twenty-four live music events and 300 surveys were collected in March 2017 as a ‘snapshot’ of the economic and cultural impact of live music in the city.

Plus Icon 2. Creating a database of music businesses and organisations in Leeds
An extensive database of Leeds’ music businesses and organisations has been created to record the amount and type of music businesses operating within the city.
Plus Icon 3. Designing and implementing a series of interventions to gather local and national stakeholders
The music businesses and organisations identified in the database were invited to a one day symposium, organised by Music: Leeds and sponsored by Leeds Beckett University to disseminate research findings and provide a large-scale networking opportunity. The symposium was attended by around 160 people from over 100 different businesses and organisations involved in music in Leeds. The event included talks and provocations from government, business leaders and experts in music city policy across the UK and Europe. 
Plus Icon 4. Collect data from these interventions and networking events

Large-scale data was captured from the participants throughout the symposium on aspects of their perception of music in Leeds and their viewpoints on where support (economic, social, cultural, governmental, etc.) may be needed. This data will form the basis for a report to be published by Leeds Beckett University and Music: Leeds to evaluate the economic and cultural impact of these organisations, as well as add qualitative data through a series case studies, alongside quantitative figures.

Our Impact

Leeds Beckett University’s research collaboration with Music: Leeds has impacted the local music and cultural sector of the Leeds region and directly contributed to the following collaborations between music business and organisations:
  • Come Play With Me with HA Music – identified similarities between intended output and complimentary delivery of these two organisation and facilitated the connection of Come Play With Me label releases with HA Music’s artist mentoring to fulfil an Arts Council England-funded project;
  • Come Play With Me with Paramount Music – identified ambition of Come Play With Me to reach a more diverse base of artists (urban/r&b), with Paramount Music’s reach in the area and a desire to collaborate. This has resulted in a collaborative showcase night as part of Leeds International Festival;
  • Come Play With Me with Girl Gang with Equaliser – identified Girl Gang & Equaliser’s complimentary offering in empowering women in music through workshops and networking, and directed them towards Come Play With Me who had received funding for similar projects from Leeds Inspired and PRS Foundation. This has resulted in support for the film showcase “Amplify Her” and after party on International Women’s Day;
  • MAP Charity with Leeds City Council – through the Music:Leeds event, MAP Charity gained access to decision makers in Leeds City Council (Chief Executive, Chief Officer Culture), who are now proactively looking to support their work in creative music education in the city;
  • Super Friendz, Brudenell Social Club, New Citizens with Leeds BID/Leeds International Festival – moving into their second year, Leeds BID wanted to expand the scope of the music programing of the Leeds International Festival. Through Music: Leeds, we distributed this message to our network of promoters in the city resulting in the commissioning of the Festival’s open night event – Vessels & Friends at Canal Mills (Brudenell/New Citizens collaboration), An Audience with Steve Lamacq (Brudenell), and an International Choir performance, presented by Super Friendz;
  • Leeds International Piano Competition with Brudenell Social Club – identified ambitions in Leeds Piano’s outreach work and have facilitated partnership around Brudenell’s upcoming Piano Day concert (29 March 2018);
  • Brighter Sound with Come Play With Me, Studio 12, Chapel FM, Leeds College of Music and Leeds Beckett University – through wider coordination of promoting gender equality events and networks in Leeds, Music: Leeds are coordinating the delivery of Brighter Sound’s Both Sides Now project in Leeds with a series of partners, which is funded by Arts Council England’s Ambition for Excellence fund. This includes artist in residencies, open space and showcase events;
  • Formation of Yorkshire Music Forum – Music: Leeds has played a pivotal role in bringing together group of six music development agencies from across Yorkshire (Music: Leeds, Come Play With Me, DMF Digital, Higher Rhythm, The Warren and Yorkshire Music Forum) to align collaboratively as YMF – securing PRS Foundation Talent Development Partner status.

Research conducted by Leeds Beckett University and Music: Leeds has also impacted the cultural strategy of Leeds City Council’s Culture/2023 team who have used the research findings to shape their aims for music policy in the city. Based on the recommendations made in the initial research findings, Leeds City Council propose to invest to create structures to support music in Leeds, aligned with wider research into Music City and Music Offices.

Leeds Beckett University’s research collaboration with Music: Leeds have created stronger ties with national music organisations such as Association of Independent Music (AIM, Featured Arists Coalition (FAC), Music Managers Forum (MMF), British Phonographic Industry (BPI) and UKMusic, who are planning strategic outreach activity in Leeds. While some of these will manifest in one-off events, AIM in particular has committed to eight events in a twelve-month period. Music Managers Forum, PRS Foundation and Brighter Sound will all present panel discussions at the Unconference event 2018, and event supported by Leeds Beckett and Leeds College of Music, facilitated by Music: Leeds as part of the Leeds International Festival.

Media Mentions

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