Home Concert Covid and the Welsh Music Industries – Paul Carr |

Covid and the Welsh Music Industries – Paul Carr |

Covid and the Welsh Music Industries – Paul Carr |

Dwell Music Change Weblog


On this put up, Professor Paul Carr of the College of South Wales outlines a current report introduced to the Welsh Authorities’s Tradition, Welsh Language and Communications Committee on the influence of Covid-19 on the Welsh music industries. Right here, he summarises key findings and proposals, and displays on the method of conducting the analysis.

I’ve lengthy had an curiosity within the relationships between authorities coverage and the music industries, having been knowledgeable musician for plenty of years previous to transferring into academia. After transferring to Wales in 2003, I shortly fashioned a relationship with The Welsh Music Basis, a now defunct organisation that achieved quite a lot of good by way of being a central supply of data and recommendation for stakeholders within the Welsh music industries. This relationship ultimately resulted within the first report I documented on stay music in 2011, which I introduced at two occasions (Kingston and Leeds) in 2012. A recording of the Dwell Music Change session in Leeds may be discovered right here.

This weblog put up is said to an intensive report I documented for the Tradition, Welsh Language and Communications Committee, which was printed final month on the Dwell Music Change web site. You may also entry the report, some closing reflections and watch the proof session I gave to the Tradition, Welsh Language and Communications Committee through this hyperlink.

Though the report was focused in direction of the Welsh music industries extra broadly, its primary focus was stay music. This was for 2 causes:

  1. The Tradition, Welsh Language and Communications Committee had already been focusing its issues on stay music previous to the pandemic. This was clearly interrupted, and my proof session was the final of the sequence of proof investigations.
  1. All consultants agree that stay music is the sub-sector that has been most impacted by the pandemic – that is mentioned at size in my report.

Earlier than I give attention to some ‘put up report’ ideas, I want to say a number of phrases concerning the building of the report and the method of data gathering. The report is break up into six Chapters (together with the introduction and conclusion) cumulating in 14 suggestions, which I define beneath.

After the Introduction, Chapter 1 outlines the contextual backstory of the emergence of personal and public assist for the music industries in Wales for the reason that pandemic commenced, with public assist falling into the next classes: music particular (for instance the Grassroots Music Reduction Fund managed by Artistic Wales); inventive/performing arts sector particular (for instance the £53 million ‘Cultural Restoration Fund’ allotted in July to the humanities and tradition sector as a part of the £59 million allotted to Wales by the UK authorities); and pan UK/pan sector (through the Coronavirus Jobs Retention Scheme (CJRS) or the Self-Employment Revenue Assist Scheme (SEISS) for instance). As a consequence of many music trade stakeholders being ineligible for any of this public funding, this preliminary chapter additionally outlines the pan UK non-public sector initiatives instigated by the likes of Assist Musicians UK, the Musicians’ Union and the Affiliation of Impartial Musicians.

Chapter 2 begins by analyzing recommendation given to the music industries by the UK and Welsh Governments regarding roadmaps out of the pandemic, with each famous as being on comparable trajectories, though implementing distinct methodological approaches. Because the pandemic progressed, these distinct approaches have resulted in Welsh efficiency venues nonetheless not being open for enterprise, which prompted concern and at occasions confusion, as different nations comparable to Germany, the Republic of Eire, France, Finland and certainly England appeared to have clearer, extra fast protocols.

With a purpose to present additional context on the influence of the pandemic on the Welsh music industries, Chapter 3 focuses on present analysis, starting from UK primarily based trade surveys (together with the evaluation of a challenge instigated by the Forté Venture) to educational analysis, together with journal articles, analysis initiatives, symposia and extra casual ‘thought items’.

Entitled ‘What Wales Can Be taught and How Does it Examine to Different Nations’, Chapter 4 initially compares the assist packages of the House Nations, earlier than analyzing out there assist mechanisms in different components of the world. The chapter highlights the issues of evaluating assist in Wales to many different European nations, who’ve a historical past of supplying far higher sums of cash to artists and art-based organisations—which clearly leaves UK venues and different music trade stakeholders extra uncovered throughout a pandemic comparable to Covid-19. The chapter additionally highlights a number of the issues with evaluating ‘like for like’, with many funding packages elsewhere on the earth not being clear how music is included. The chapter concludes with an summary of initiatives from nations all over the world, which have been included to assist and kick begin their respective music industries.

The report concludes by contemplating the next suggestions for the Tradition, Welsh Language and Communications Committee to think about, prior to creating options to Welsh Authorities. These may be outlined as follows.

Suggestions for Motion

Reopening and Restoration Methods

Advice 1: For the Welsh Authorities to develop an in depth and clear short-term reopening technique for the Welsh music industries, which outlines what is feasible now; what is just not doable but; what’s going to by no means be doable and what assist shall be out there for all of those outcomes. This technique ought to intently think about how sub-sectors which might be open for enterprise can maximise earnings, along with contemplating intently the way it can assist the strategically necessary components of the industries which might be closed for public well being causes get again on their toes.

Advice 2: At the side of related experience from the music industries, the college sector and the Arts Council of Wales, for the Welsh Authorities to develop a long- time period three-year music industries restoration technique, which takes the continued influence of Covid- 19 into consideration. This plan ought to have a spread of outcomes and think about through an motion plan elements comparable to the way it can maintain, retain and incubate expertise; how public confidence may be re-established; how the varied components of the music industries may be supported and invigorated; how reasonable various enterprise fashions may be applied; how trade coaching can meet the wants of the ‘new sector’; and the way the technical infrastructures of venues/rehearsal rooms/recording studios can grow to be ‘covid-proof’.

Advice 3: For the Welsh Authorities to fee detailed analysis into the function music performs within the Welsh economic system and the influence of Covid-19 on its sub-sectors. Along with outlining the monetary, societal and cultural contribution of the music industries varied sub-sectors, the analysis ought to establish gaps within the ‘expertise pipeline’ that exist because of sub-sectors closing. The overarching goal of this work must be to confirm how a lot earnings the Welsh music industries generate; how a lot at present stays inside Wales; and what may be achieved to make sure the nation (i.e music trade stakeholders) can retain extra of it.

Advice 4: For the Welsh Authorities to construct on the venue mapping analysis that has already taken place, by financing a searchable public going through database of the Welsh music industries and an interactive map of its music venues, which outlines venue sorts all through the nation and the way these resonate regionally, nationally, globally and ecologically. This map and database must be recurrently up to date.

Advice 5: For Artistic Wales to develop and agree upon a complete Taxonomy of the music industries in Wales, to make sure all related sub-sectors are supported and represented.

Advice 6: For Artistic Wales to evaluate its membership to make sure it displays related experience associated to the aforementioned taxonomy.

Advice 7: For Artistic Wales to think about the viability of not solely selling Welsh expertise, but additionally, following European nations comparable to France, Norway, Denmark and Switzerland, to set the mandatory protocols in place for Welsh music to be prioritised on radio and T.V, working with UK Authorities when crucial.

Advice 8: As a part of a digital technique, for the Welsh Authorities to discover a web based ‘tradition at house’ initiative (together with each stay and recorded work), which not solely showcases Welsh music alongside different artwork and tradition, but additionally encourages and funds digital capability and creativity. This digital technique ought to be certain that all households in Wales have entry to quick dependable broadband.


Advice 9: To make sure most people proceed to have entry to a broad vary of stay music, for the Welsh Authorities to work with native councils so as to motion ongoing enterprise fee reduction and versatile licensing (for pop up occasions and busking for instance), along with making certain the ‘agent of change’ precept is applied.

Advice 10: For the Welsh Authorities to think about the viability of fixing from a ‘combined economic system’ grant funding mannequin, to at least one which depends much less on business earnings.

Advice 11: For the Welsh Authorities to work with the UK Authorities departments comparable to DCMS to scale back the ‘worth hole’ for Welsh artists (the hole between a music creator’s earnings and the fee of ‘tech giants’).


Advice 12: For the Welsh Authorities to make sure that the varied expertise required within the ‘new music industries’, are mirrored in class, school, college and personal trade curriculums.

Advice 13: For the Welsh Authorities to start to think about and plan for the potential of a psychological well being disaster within the music industries, because the inventive job market continues to be decimated because of the pandemic.


Advice 14: For the Welsh Authorities to work with Arts Council Wales to make sure funding is out there equitably throughout the music industries, and that the grant software course of is demystified, reaching deep into the varied networks of the music industries.

Transient Reflections

After I take into consideration the four-month strategy of writing the report retrospectively, there have been plenty of challenges. The primary is that that is the one analysis I’ve ever undertaken the place there was nearly no literature once I began—though it was gratifying to see it slowly emerge as I progressed. I tried to seize this rising work within the report. Secondly, though I used to be grateful for the trade knowledge that emerged because the pandemic progressed, it was irritating to notice that this ‘world’, ‘European’ and UK knowledge didn’t reply one necessary query—how does this relate to Wales? As I outlined within the aforementioned report I documented for the Welsh Music Basis in 2011, the Welsh music industries have a definite set of challenges, which have been round for a few years. Certainly, most of the suggestions I outlined on this earlier report (such because the significance of ‘mapping’, sympathetic licensing, particular Welsh trade knowledge and venues strategically working collectively) have nonetheless to be actioned.

As my analysis progressed, it turned obvious that particular Welsh knowledge was important if a) we have been to grasp the influence of the pandemic on the nation, and b) are in a position to formulate an in depth consideration of how the nation can recuperate from it. Because the reader can see above, I’ve beneficial that Welsh Authorities motion this problem, however whether or not this occurs stays to be seen. The third problem when writing the report was protecting updated with the ever-changing panorama of presidency coverage and understanding the customarily refined variations between ‘UK’ (which regularly meant English) and Welsh pointers. I tried to seize the emergence of Welsh Authorities recommendation and monetary assist mechanisms over a 4 month interval and there’s no query that though it is rather properly supposed—a lot of the steerage is obscure, open to interpretation and doesn’t provide any clear steerage for the sub sector most impacted by the pandemic—Freelancers. This isn’t to criticise Welsh Authorities, as this problem continues to be vital and unprecedented, however as plenty of commentators have famous— Covid-19 considerably magnified information gaps in authorities understandings of particular industries.

I shut this transient weblog put up in anticipation of the long run, ready to see how Welsh Authorities reply to the recommendation it has been given over the past two years and contemplating how I can personally ‘fill any gaps’ that aren’t actioned. Any enhancements within the stay music industries in Wales would be the results of a joint effort, which incorporates the Tradition, Welsh Language and Communications Committee and all of people who gave proof and submitted statements of assist—be it the Musicians’ Union, consultants from the industries, or certainly lecturers comparable to myself.


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