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UK parliament announces new live music biz inquiry

The inquiry, overseen by the DCMS Committee, replaces the previous probe into 'ticket abuse', and will also focus on ways in which government can support the industry

By IQ on 22 Jan 2018

Damian Collins, DCMS Committee

image © Chris McAndrew/Parliamentary Digital Service

The British parliament’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Committee, is to launch a fresh inquiry into the UK live music business, focusing particularly on secondary ticketing and the declining number of small music venues.

The new investigation replaces the committee’s previous inquiry into ‘ticket abuse’, which was cut short by the snap general election of June 2017, and will once again invite secondary ticketing companies – including previous prominent no-show Viagogo – to contribute evidence.

“This inquiry will be an opportunity for the committee to revisit the important issue of secondary ticket selling,” explains DCMS Committee chair Damian Collins MP (pictured). “We want to hear from the public about their direct experiences with this issue and what they think can be done to tackle it.

“We’ll also investigate what problems many small music venues face, as they struggle to keep their doors open despite the unwavering enthusiasm from the British public for live music.

“The committee also welcomes the government’s announcement [on 18 January] that the agent-of-change principle will form part of the National Planning Policy Framework for housing. As part of this new inquiry, we’ll be exploring other ways in which the government can support upcoming artists and grassroots venues that form such a crucial part of the music scene in the UK.”

“We want to hear from the public about their direct experiences”

Per DCMS, written evidence is invited in the following areas:

  • Music tourism: What are the economic benefits of music festivals and concerts? What can we do to solve the disparity of spending in cities and regions? How can we sustain music tourism especially audiences coming from the EU and overseas?
  • Impact of Brexit: What impact will Brexit have on British artists and international artists intending to tour in the UK? How can these effects be mitigated? What should the UK seek in the transitional arrangements in regards to music and live events?
  • Small music venues: How has the music sector been affected from the closures of small music venues across the country? Should small music venues be classified as cultural venues? What initiatives can be put in place to help grassroots artists and bands?
  • Ticket abuse: How successful have the reforms been to secondary ticketing? What more needs to be done to act against market abuse from ticket touts?
  • Sustainability: How has music provision been affected by education reforms? How can people from lower socioeconomic backgrounds access quality music education?
  • Impact of live events: What are the economic and social benefits of festivals and cultural events to the towns in which they are held? What measures can be taken to extend their success across to the live music sector?

Evidence can be submitted via this link on the committee’s website until 17.00 on 28 February 2018.


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