1st Edition

The History of Live Music in Britain, Volume III, 1985-2015 From Live Aid to Live Nation

    288 Pages
    by Routledge

    288 Pages
    by Routledge

    To date there has been a significant gap in existing knowledge about the social history of music in Britain from 1950 to the present day. The three volumes of Live Music in Britain address this gap and do so through a unique prism—that of live music. The key theme of the books is the changing nature of the live music industry in the UK, focused upon popular music but including all musical genres. Via this focus, the books offer new insights into a number of other areas including the relationship between commercial and public funding of music; changing musical fashions and tastes; the impact of changing technologies; the changing balance of power within the music industries; the role of the state in regulating and promoting various musical activities within an increasingly globalised music economy; and the effects of demographic and other social changes on music culture. Drawing on new archival research, a wide range of academic and non- academic secondary sources, participant observation and a series of interviews with key personnel, the books have the potential to become landmark works within Popular Music Studies and broader cultural history. The third volume covers the period from Live Aid to Live Nation (1985– 2015).


    1. Introduction: New Times

    2. We are The World

    3.  Taking Care of Business

    Bristol 2007

    4.  Live Music and the State

    5.  The Political Economy of Music Festivals 

    6. Festival Worlds

    Glasgow 2007

    7. DJ Business

    8. Moving to a Different Beat: Jungle, Bhangra, Garage and Grime

    9.  Making a Musical Living

    Sheffield 2007

    10. Live Music Experience in the Digital Age

    11. The Live Music Ecology

    Rolling Stones 2006-7

    12. Conclusion: The Value of Live Music


    Simon Frith is Emeritus Professor of Music at the University of Edinburgh. From 1985 to 2000 he reviewed live music for the Sunday Times, Observer and Scotsman and from 1992 to 2016 chaired the judges of the Mercury Music Prize.

    Matt Brennan is Reader in Popular Music at the University of Glasgow. He has served as Chair of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music (UK and Ireland branch) and is the author of two monographs, When Genres Collide (2017) and Kick It: A Social History of the Drum Kit (2020).

    Martin Cloonan is the Director of the Turku Institute for Advanced Studies in Finland and coordinating editor of the journal Popular Music. He chaired Freemuse for its first 20 years and, with John Williamson, co- wrote a history of the UK’s Musicians’ Union, Players’ Work Time (2016).

    Emma Webster completed her PhD, Promoting Live Music: A Behind- the- Scenes Ethnography, at the University of Glasgow in 2011. She has held a fellowship at Oxford Brookes University and AHRC- funded post- doctoral positions at the Universities of Edinburgh and East Anglia, working on the UK Live Music Census and Impact of Festivals projects. She co- founded Live Music Exchange and is currently working in research support at the University of Oxford.