Crisis as a Catalyst for Change - COVID19, Spatiality and the UK Live Music Industry


Since the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, live music spaces – and the practices which produce them as economically viable – have found themselves in crisis. In spite of a UK government announcement on the 25th of July 2020 which allocated £2.25 million to support 150 music venues across the country, the processes of allocation, the conditions under which this emergency funding is allocated, and capacity to secure medium-to-long- term sustainability of the live music industry in the UK, remains unclear. In this paper, we present a Lefebvrian analysis of live music, highlighting the complex ways in which space is produced and consumed within a live music environment. By extending this framing to consider Lefebvre’s conceptualisation of dominated and appropriated space, we argue that the economic viability of live music stems from its spatiality, and that ongoing responses to the crisis require greater sensitivity to the spatial practices of music production and consumption.

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