Behr, Adam, Matt Brennan, Martin Cloonan, M. and Emma Webster. 2020. Stop making census! Some experiential reflections on conducting a live music census. In: Osbourne, R. and Laing, D. (eds.) Music by Numbers: The Use and Abuse of Statistics in the Music Industry. Intellect. ISBN 9781789382532 (In Press).
Frith, Simon, Matt Brennan, Martin Cloonan, Emma Webster. 2019. The History of Live Music in Britain, Volume II, 1968-1984: From Hyde Park to the Hacienda
To date, there has been a significant gap in work on 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 second volume covers the period from Hyde Park to the Hacienda (1968–84).
Webster, Emma and George McKay. 2017. Music From Out There, In Here: 25 Years of the London Jazz Festival. Norwich: University of East Anglia.
From the cover blurb:
“Webster and McKay have pieced together a fascinating jigsaw puzzle of archival material, interviews, and stories from musicians, festival staff and fans alike. Including many evocative images, the book weaves together the story of the festival with the history of its home city, London, touching on broader social topics such as gender, race, politics, and the search for the meaning of jazz. They also trace the forgotten history of London as a vibrant city of jazz festivals going as far back as the 1940s.”
Music From Out There, In Here will be of interest to jazz and music fans, to historians and lovers of London, to festival-goers and festival workers, cultural funders and sponsors, to musicians, and to anyone curious as to how a city like London or a music like jazz continually reinvents itself while building a cultural tradition.
Music From Out There, In Here: 25 Years of the London Jazz Festival is FREE to read and download by clicking here: London Jazz Festival Book – Webster and McKay (2017).
Webster, Emma. 2015. ‘Roll Up and Shine’: The role of promoters at arena shows. In Edgar, R. et al (eds). The Arena Concert: Music, Mediation and Mass Entertainment. London: Bloomsbury: 99-110.
‘You have to put as much effort into putting somebody on to 120 people as to putting them on to 2,000 people, almost. It’s a bigger gamble, financially, but probably less work … The bigger the act, it’s probably less work’ (S. Basford, pers. comm., 6 July 2009). So Sheffield-based promoter, Stuart Basford, concluded when considering his role within large-scale live music events, and whose somewhat surprising analysis will form the basis of this chapter. While promoters stand to lose or gain more at large shows than for smaller shows, both in terms of financial and reputational gain, their involvement at large shows such as arena concerts is often far from being anywhere like as hands-on. Hence the seemingly paradoxical statement that as the size and scale of the show increases, so too the promoter’s active role decreases. This chapter examines this paradox within the context of arena shows in the United Kingdom and shows how the diminished role of the promoter is a result of the necessity of the division of labour, and because of the nature of the UK’s arena promotion sector.
Frith, Simon, Matt Brennan, Martin Cloonan, and Emma Webster. 2013. The History of Live Music in Britain 1950-1967: From the Dance Hall to the 100 Club. Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing.
The social history of music in Britain since 1950 has long been the subject of nostalgic articles in newspapers and magazines, nostalgic programmes on radio and television and collective memories on music websites, but to date there has been no proper scholarly study. The three volumes of The History of Live Music in Britain address this gap, and do so from the unique perspective of the music promoter: the key theme is the changing nature of the live music industry. The books are focused upon popular music but cover all musical genres and the authors offer new insights into a variety of issues, including changes in musical fashions and tastes; the impact of developing technologies; the balance of power between live and recorded music businesses; the role of the state as regulator and promoter; the effects of demographic and other social changes on music culture; and the continuing importance of do-it-yourself enthusiasts. Drawing on archival research, a wide range of academic and non-academic secondary sources, participant observation and industry interviews, the books are likely to become landmark works within Popular Music Studies and broader cultural history.
Emma’s chapters are the three snapshots of Glasgow, Bristol and Sheffield in 1962.