Project on pop music receives NWO grant

Optreden tijdens Music Talks (Foto: Tessa Smit)
Optreden tijdens Music Talks (Foto: Tessa Smit)

One out of seven ''Creative Industries: SMART Culture" grants, made available by NWO, has been granted to a research project from ESHCC's departments Media & Communication and Arts & Culture Studies. The researchers who are responsible for the project are all members of the Erasmus Research Centre for Media, Communication and Culture (ERMeCC). The title of the project is: "POPLIVE - Staging popular music: sustainable live music ecologies for artists, music venues and cities". The project leader is Dr. Erik Hitters, who will be working together with Dr. Pauwke Berkers, Dr. Arno van der Hoeven, Prof. dr. Susanne Janssen, Dr. Paul Rutten (Hogeschool Rotterdam) and Drs. Martijn Mulder (Hogeschool Rotterdam). Parties that the researchers are collaborating with include Vereniging Nederlandse Poppodia & Festivals (VNPF), MOJO Concerts, RASL, Creating 010. 

The project

The popular music industry is slowly changing its focus from recorded music to live music revenues. Also, musicians increasingly depend on live concerts to earn a living. These developments have consequences for live music ecologies, i.e. the live music sector as a network of different social actors like musicians, promotors, bookers and policy makers as well as materialities like venues, festivals and urban settings. First, for musicians in a precarious labour market, a performance based business model requires an extended and changing skill-set. Second, fixed pop venues experience increasing competition from new and often temporary stages, like festivals and popup locations. Third, live music industries are increasingly expected by local governments to have economic and sociocultural benefits. In short, sustaining popular music as a viable creative industry requires strong local music ecologies that add economic, cultural and social value for various stakeholders.

In the POPLIVE project we will research how local live music ecologies can contribute to value creation in the careers of pop musicians, the position of music venues and festivals, and the local (urban) society in general.