SEARCH DATE RANGE

SEARCH TERM OR WORD

UK Music Industry’s First, Comprehensive Study of Freelancers in the Live Sector Reveals Both Optimism and Concerns

60% of Freelancers ‘Optimistic’ about the Next 12 Months but Changes Still Needed



LIVE (Live music Industry Venues & Entertainment), which represents 16 live music industry organisations has launched a comprehensive survey of freelance professionals working in the UK live music sector.

Produced in partnership with Handle Freelance Solutions, THE BACK LOUNGE and UK LIVE Event Freelancers Forum, ‘Powered by Freelancers - The Live Music Edition 2024’ is the first in-depth analysis of its kind and was commissioned to help understand and identify the changes required to improve the experience of the freelancers who are crucial to the success of the live music industry.

1,281 live music freelancers contributed to this survey with 87% of respondents stating that “freelance work provides my primary income.”

The UK’s live music industry generated £5.2 billion in 2022 and the summer of 2023 showcased a post-pandemic resurgence for much of the sector, despite challenges remaining for grassroots music. This report identifies a core positivity but with key concerns and suggestions for improvement and demonstrates how the live music industry can become an even more attractive, inclusive, and safe space to work for all.

One of the key findings was that 73% of respondents agreed that live music is a great industry for freelancers to work in, with over 60% feeling ‘optimistic’ about the next 12 months. However, the report also highlights areas where changes are required to improve the experience of freelancers, which include financial security, better pay, flexibility and work-life balance; factors that are becoming increasingly important to those working in live music.

Around recruitment and securing work, 59% of respondents agreed that enough freelance jobs were available, but 56% said that they found it difficult to access or secure those roles. This also raised issues among younger people and non-male respondents with some expressing less optimism about job security and more difficulty finding work. Throughout the report, varying factors around age and gender point towards an imbalance that demonstrates the need to nurture opportunity and diversity to ensure that the industry attracts a wide range of new talent and is a secure and positive place to work.

The cancellation of work by event organisers at short notice also emerged as a key concern for many of those taking part in the survey. With less than half of respondents (49%) having signed contracts in the last 12 months before agreeing roles, a similar percentage have experienced cancellation of work in the same period with 48% having jobs cancelled with less than one week’s notice.

Darren Woolnough, Managing Director at Handle Freelance Solutions said, “The research mirrors the conversations that we have daily. It highlights a significant concern where late payments and a lack of formal contracts can often be normalised within the freelance community. Instead of pointing fingers, our commitment is to provide the guidance and solutions to help companies understand how they can deliver an exceptional freelancer experience and this research is invaluable to helping us do exactly that.”

Suzi Green, Founder of THE BACK LOUNGE said, “Thanks to everyone who took the time to fill in the survey, we now have an invaluable temperature check of where we as an industry, powered predominantly by freelancers, are at, right now. Hopefully it will spark conversations, provoke reactions, and ultimately help influence positive change in some of the areas where change is much needed.

Paul Jones, Director of Ethix Management, the Event Production & Management Specialists said, "Having worked on this since July last year when the idea came to life, I feel both privileged and very proud to be part of an amazing team who have given their all to dive deep into the freelance world and then see the remarkable responses. Taking this survey data forward to help professional freelancers in the live sector become better supported is now one of the priorities. Having previewed to audiences, we have seen some very positive reactions and hope they become a main topic of conversation on improving an industry that so many are incredibly passionate about.” 
Jon Collins CEO of LIVE said, “Freelancers are crucial to the success of the live music
ecosystem and our industry relies on them to deliver unforgettable experiences for fans. That is why LIVE was delighted to partner with Handle Freelance Solutions, THE BACK LOUNGE and UK LIVE Event Freelancers Forum to produce this ground breaking report, the first of its kind, and in doing so deliver invaluable insight into the freelance experience. Much in the report is great to see, not least the resoundingly positive response from people when asked if ours is a great industry to be in. Of course, reports like this will always highlight opportunities for improvement and we will be taking all of these learnings and funnelling them into the work of our LIVE Workforce group, where industry experts alongside ED&I and workforce specialists work towards objectives that positively impact the current and future workforce of our industry.”

14 Jun 2024 | Press release

Superfan App Stationhead Opens Up New All-Access Tier to Help Artists Identify and Reward the Biggest Music Fans

  Fans want to feel special and to connect to each other and their favorite artists. Artists want an enjoyable, low-lift way to interact with their fans, something that feels like a hang, not a forced marketing initiative. Both sides have...more

14 Jun 2024 | Press release

hmv’s Vinyl Week is back with exclusive releases from George Michael, Bob Marley, Jeff Wayne, Suede, Simple Minds and Fleetwood Mac

  Limited edition exclusive vinyl will be available in hmv stores on “Exclusives Day” on 15th June, with Morcheeba, The Specials, Minecraft, Justin Timberlake, Meatloaf and S Club 7 among the featured acts Each record in this year’s collection is pressed onto a...more

14 Jun 2024 | Press release

Concord Music Publishing ANZ Inks Publishing Agreement with John Butler

Concord Music Publishing ANZ today announce a new global publishing agreement with treasured Australian songwriter John Butler. A household name in Australia for over two decades, the worldwide deal (excluding Japan), covers Butler’s full catalogue including hits ‘Better Than,’ ‘Zebra,’ and...more

13 Jun 2024 | Press release

The LIVE Awards 2024 - Save the Date

Skiddle Announced as Headline Sponsor The annual LIVE Awards will return on Wednesday 11th December and will once again take place at Troxy, the iconic Art Deco venue in East London, which will accommodate over 600 guests from across the live music...more

13 Jun 2024 | Press release

Musical AI Tames the Chaos and Ushers in a Sustainable Generative AI Future

  Thanks to groundbreaking technology, this newly launched rights management platform allows attribution and metered licensing of copyrighted works for AI training and generation. Musical AI (formerly Somms.ai) is unveiling its new rights management platform for AI, serving as a secure go-between...more

13 Jun 2024 | Press release

Meta and Merlin Renew Key Partnership, Highlighting the Importance of Independent Music Across Instagram, Facebook and Messenger

Meta and Merlin, the independent’s digital music licensing partner, are excited to announce the renewal of their strategic partnership, underscoring Meta’s recognition of the value and importance of the world’s leading independent labels and distributors. This renewal reinforces the pivotal...more

13 Jun 2024 | Press release

Music.AI builds on Masterchannel and Cyanite partnerships in step towards single source audio ecosystem

Music.AI announces RoEx as third partner integrated into its AI platform Music.AI, the leading B2B AI-powered music and audio platform, has announced a partnership with RoEx, the AI multitrack mixing service for musicians, producers, and content creators. The news represents the latest...more

13 Jun 2024 | Press release

Cakewalk Software Now Exclusively Available Through BandLab Membership

  Cakewalk, a historic and pioneering name in digital audio workstations (DAWs), is excited to announce that Cakewalk Next and Cakewalk Sonar have exited public beta and are available worldwide exclusively through BandLab Membership. This marks a significant milestone for Cakewalk,...more

13 Jun 2024 | Press release

BEYOND THE MUSIC announce first details of groundbreaking music industry conference and share first wave lineup announcement

UNIQUE GLOBAL CO-OPERATIVE MUSIC FORUM & NEW MUSIC FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES FIRST DETAILS OF GROUNDBREAKING MUSIC INDUSTRY CONFERENCEINTRODUCING THE BRAND NEW ‘FUTURE OF MUSIC VILLAGE’ SHOWCASING THE VERY BEST OF MUSIC INNOVATION AND VISIONARIES IN THE TECH INDUSTRYANNOUNCE SUPPORT OF THE...more

13 Jun 2024 | Press release

First official selection of showcase artists for WOMEX 24 revealed

WOMEX 24, Manchester 23-27th October   Manchester Music City, the host partner for this year’s WOMEX (Worldwide Music Expo), has today (13 June 2024) revealed the first batch of official showcase artists for the 30th edition. The 20 artists announced come from 25 different countries,...more

13 Jun 2024 | Press release

TCAT launches mobile app to combat music piracy

‘To Catch A Thief’ Piracy is a $13 Billion-a-Year Problem Ground-Breaking Software Will Allow Artists To Check Who Is Pirating Their Music   TCAT, the music industry’s anti-piracy software developer, has launched a new App that will allow artists to see where their music is being illegally used...more

13 Jun 2024 | Press release

FUGA partners with Record Makers; continues expansion in France & Belgium

FUGA also enters into a partnership with Potion Records, the label founded by Belgian producer and DJ, The MagicianRecord Makers and Potion Records join FUGA’s existing roster in the region, including Bendo Music, VIPMUSIK Records, Jaiye, Soundbirth and Underground Tekno Downtown-owned,...more

13 Jun 2024 | Press release

The Circuit Group Launches Label Services Division with Key Hires, Appoints Chief Strategy Officer

The Circuit Group, the new enterprise led by some of the most respected artist managers in the world to build business opportunities around artists’ intellectual property, today announced several new hires made up of music industry experts.  The Circuit Group is...more

12 Jun 2024 | Press release

The Production Music Awards 2024 opens for entries, celebrates 10 years of championing human-made music

  The prestigious event celebrates the finest production music industry libraries and Composers from around the world. Now open for entries, categories span genres across Composition and Sync.   The Production Music Awards—celebrating exceptional production music libraries and Composers—today announces its 2024 call for...more

12 Jun 2024 | Press release

NTIA Collaborates with KUVO Powered by DJ Monitor to Enhance Music Insights for UK Venues and Increase the Accuracy of Royalty Payments for Creators

AlphaTheta Corporation today announces its brand, KUVO Powered by DJ Monitor, partners with the NTIA. The initiative aims to support electronic music creators and offer music insights to venues across the UK to enhance their businesses. It creates a ground-breaking...more

12 Jun 2024 | Press release

Concord Music Publishing sign electronic duo Mount Kimbie to new global agreement

  Concord Music Publishing today announce the signing of Mount Kimbie – the pioneering English electronic music duo of Dom Maker and Kai Campos – to a new worldwide publishing agreement.  The new deal covers all works going forward including acclaimed new...more

12 Jun 2024 | Press release

Managing Expectations: Workforce Edition

New MMF report recommends targeted cross-sector support to ensure music management companies can develop their future workforce The third edition in the MMF’s Managing Expectations series reveals a mixed picture for UK music managers with survey respondents outlining inherent challenges to...more

12 Jun 2024 | Press release

2Point9 Records Slams “Arrogant” Ministry of Sound Recordings in Copyright Infringement Lawsuit

UK Independent Issues High Court Proceedings against Major Label  2Point9 Records, the London based independent label founded by Billy Grant and Rob Stuart in 2000, has issued court proceedings against Ministry of Sound Recordings, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Music...more

12 Jun 2024 | Press release

Kits Earn: Kits.AI invites vocalists to create an AI Voice model and unlock new revenue

Kits.AI enabled artists to monetize their voice and likeness while allowing fans to create commercially viable music using their favorite artists' voices–setting the gold standard for the rest of the music industry. Since its founding in July 2023, the company...more

12 Jun 2024 | Press release

DawBell announces Kate Etteridge as Managing Director

With Promotions for Laura Sinclair, James Windle and Holly Appleton  Etteridge becomes Managing Director from Head of Music and Entertainment Three other promotions to Heads of Entertainment, Music and Operations named as DawBell announces restructure among senior team   Award winning music and popular...more

12 Jun 2024 | Press release

Universal Music India announces strategic leadership appointments

Sanujeet Bhujabal appointed Managing Director, Universal Music India and South Asia  Viral Jani appointed Chief Revenue Officer, Universal Music India and South Asia    Universal Music India (UMI), a division of Universal Music Group (UMG), the world-leader in music-based entertainment today announced the...more

12 Jun 2024 | Press release

PRS Foundation’s UK and Republic of Ireland co-commissioning and touring initiative, Beyond Borders, opens for applications

  Deadline to submit applications is 29th July 2024 at 6pm Grant support of up to £15,000 is available for projects PRS Foundation, the UK’s leading charitable funder of new music and talent development announces today that its UK and Republic of Ireland...more

12 Jun 2024 | Press release

BMC the UK's leading electronic music conference sets dates for 2025

BMC, the UK's leading electronic music conference and networking event sets dates for its 12th edition from 28th to 30th May 2025. A hub for the next generation of talent in electronic music, the award winning event brings together Industry-leading professionals with a packed...more

12 Jun 2024 | Press release

UK Music Video Awards calls for submissions as the premier global celebration of music videos returns

  The search begins for this year’s most creative and innovative work in music videos and music visual projects as the UK Music Video Awards launches its call for submissions from today, June 12th 2024. The leading global celebration of excellence in...more

11 Jun 2024 | Press release

Tunecore's independent artists have earned more than $4 billion

The leading global self-releasing artist development platform surpasses latest milestone of $4 billion earned by artists since the company was founded in 2006     TuneCore, the leading development partner for self-releasing artists—owned by Believe, one of the world's leading digital music companies—has...more

11 Jun 2024 | Press release

'Strangers' singer-songwriter-producer, Kenya Grace, signs with PPL for international royalties collection

  UK music licensing company PPL has announced the signing of BRITs nominated artist Kenya Grace for the collection of international neighbouring rights royalties. She joins a host of artists who signed with PPL recently for international collections including Central Cee,...more

11 Jun 2024 | Press release

Music Venue Trust announce, ‘A Manifesto For Grassroots Music’ ahead of General Election

POLITICAL REPRESENTATIVES FROM ALL PARTIES URGED TO “SEIZE THE MOMENT” Music Venue Trust (MVT), the charity which represents hundreds of Grassroots Music Venues (GMVs), has called upon politicians from all parties to “seize the moment” ahead of the forthcoming UK General...more

11 Jun 2024 | Press release

Downtown Music Appoints Molly Neuman as President of CD Baby

Industry Veteran to Lead Downtown Music's Direct-to-Creator Businesses CD Baby and Soundrop Downtown Music is pleased to announce the appointment of Molly Neuman as President of its Direct-to-Creator division, CD Baby. The move, which follows the alignment of the company’s operating...more

11 Jun 2024 | Press release

Industry veteran Ronnie Gurr joins Naked – the world’s 1st eco-friendly record club

NAKED S.A.R.L. (NAKED Société à Responsabilité Limitée), the French parent company of NAKED Record Club, today announces the appointment of Ronnie Gurr as a Non-Executive Director. Music industry veteran Gurr, who begins work with immediate effect, will advise on artist and label...more

11 Jun 2024 | Press release

Please Give your Isle of Wight Festival Stories at Experience 25!

  Dr Patrick Glen from Leeds University will be visiting Experience 25 to gather your stories from the 1968 to 1970 Festivals! Experience 25 celebrates the earlier Festivals and the new Isle of Wight Festival from 2002 onwards – 25 this...more

14 Jun 2024

  • Mainstream culture is dissolving, and with it the nature of “pop music”. (see Opinion)

  • 14 issues in music that don't get enough attention (see Opinion)

13 Jun 2024

  • How low will Spotify’s royalty payments go? (ses Analysis)

12 Jun 2024

  • European artists generated €1.5bn of Spotify payouts in 2023 (see Reports)

  • MMF report reveals earnings breakdown for artist managers (see Reports)

11 Jun 2024

  • Report released on the notion of artist success in the modern music industry (see Reports)

10 Jun 2024

  • How 'Swiftonomics' is impacting the music industry (see Analysis)

07 Jun 2024

  • TV channels once championed music. Why have they given up so completely? (see Comment)

  • Rising streaming subscription prices are likely to lead to a rebundling of services (see Comment)

06 Jun 2024

  • What role does geography play in people’s relationship to music? (see Analysis)

  • The state of the attention economy: why don’t fan-first platforms work? (see Analysis)

05 Jun 2024

  • Why isn’t the government helping artists tour the US? (see Features)

04 Jun 2024

  • Hipgnosis Songs Fund turned out to be worth more than a lot of people thought (see Analysis)

03 Jun 2024

  • Songs as cultural moments (and why TikTok trends are so appealing) (see Comment)

  • Daniel Ek clarifies his "cost of creating content being close to zero" comment (see Digital)

  • Can Taylor Swift make a difference for struggling musicians and new artists? (see Features)