A little while back I linked to a questionnaire about Birmingham’s music scene that was doing the rounds. The report and a series of recommendations are now out.
For a bit of background, there’s this from Cllr Philip Parkin, Chairman of the Leisure, Sport & Culture Overview & Scrutiny Committee (who were responsible for the report):
Last year’s UK Music report, ‘Destination UK’, was the ‘most comprehensive study ever undertaken on the power of music as a tourist draw’ and the first of its kind to quantify the economic value of ‘music tourism’ to the country’s regions. It also laid down a challenge to public bodies, locally and nationally, to ‘realise the potential of this considerable economic asset’. And the Scrutiny Committee that I chair in Birmingham has responded to that challenge, coming up with a series of recommendations for city council approval – in our scrutiny report ‘Destination Birmingham‘ – that I hope will send out the clear message that we see popular music as being of huge importance to the cultural and economic life of our city.
There are a series of recommendations on pages 8-10. I’ve not read the whole thing yet but will maybe, probably get round to it at some point. A quick flick through seems to suggest there are some interesting bits in there.
The recommendation picked up by the Birmingham Post is for the council to have a person able to act as a point of contact for studios, venues, promoters, producers and artists. Someone with:
the ability to bring together different departments and take responsibility for providing advice and support
That sounds like it could be alright. I remember hearing that Soweto Kinch’s Flyover Show (which is happening over in South Africa at the end of March and coming back to Brum on 11 August) stalled for years because of the difficulties with coordinating with so many parts of such a large council.
As a side point, it’s a very different thing, but it kinda reminds me of the discussions a few years back about whether Birmingham needs a Creative Director.
Celebrating our musical heritage
This was the other main recommendation highlighted in the preface:
It is also important that we do more to celebrate Birmingham’s rich musical heritage. Following the success of the Home of Metal exhibition, and in the year that Black Sabbath reform, we should celebrate Birmingham’s role in the origins of heavy metal. We should also be celebrating other music events and genres – bhangra and reggae also have their origins in Birmingham.
And don’t forget Duran Duran.
If I’ve anything to add from the brief glance I’ve given the thing, it’s that there’s a lot about providing space and resources for archives and heritage and rather less about how conditions might be improved for the current/next generation.