Although UK Music – the trade body of trade bodies – in theory represents the interests of the whole music business, where those interests are allied, it does not actually represent the live music sector. Until now that is, because as of today Paul Latham of Live Nation UK is on the UK Music board.
There are no less than eight trade bodies representing different parts of the live sector, and there’s a prize for anyone who can name all of them. Go on, have a go. No? Well, you’ve got the Agents Association, Association Of Festival Organisers, Association Of Independent Festivals, Concert Promoters Association, National Arenas Association, Production Services Association, we:Live and the International Live Music Conference. What do you mean you thought that last one was an event and not a trade body?
Anyway, it was unrealistic that all eight of those trade bodies could affiliate with UK Music, partly because Feargal’s board table just isn’t big enough, and partly because none of them would ever want to pay to fully join the uber-trade-organisation, this being the famously tight live sector (only joking live sector. Now, who wants to buy me dinner at The Great Escape this week?).
However, all eight have formed their own little sub-committee called the UK Live Music Group, which will meet every six weeks, and which will in turn have a seat around the UK Music table. That’s right, the live sector has formed a trade body of trade bodies in order to join the trade body of trade bodies. God I love the music business.
Confirming all this, UK Music big cheese man Feargal Sharkey told CMU: “This is a fantastic development for UK Music. The coming together of the UK Live Music Group is hugely significant in itself – establishing a unique and powerful voice for the sector. Having their input at board level will be a huge asset for this organisation and we hit the ground running next week, with the publication of some groundbreaking research on music tourism”.
Latham added: “I think it is long overdue that live music was represented within a wider sphere and UK Music is the most appropriate forum. Too many times decisions are made at a parochial level that have far-reaching consequences for our industry. Through the voice that is UK Music we would hope to become a force for pro-active change”.
The affiliation of the live music sector with UK Music now is perfect timing – it means Feargal can referee the upcoming fist fight between the music publishing sector and the live industry regards what royalties promoters should pay to PRS.