ADD2140 Flagship music campaign (London Music Month)

Type of decision: 
Assistant Director's decision
Date signed: 
31 July 2017
Decision by: 
Jackie Mcnerney, Acting Head of Culture

Executive summary

This decision seeks approval to deliver a flagship music campaign (working title London Music Month) to ensure London can enhance its global reputation as world leading city for music.


The campaign will showcase the diversity of London’s talent with a focus on young people, grassroots music venues, London’s rich but often overlooked music heritage, as well as championing London internationally as a music tourism destination.


That the Acting Head of Culture approves:

1. Expenditure of up to £50,000 to develop a campaign to raise the profile of London’s music offer at home and around the world.

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

1.1 The music industry is valued at £4.1billion in the UK. The majority of organisations that make up the music industry are based in London. However, unlike the fashion, film and games sectors, London’s music scene isn’t celebrated through an annual event of festival.

1.2 The challenges at grassroots level are threatening to undermine London’s place as a global capital of music. Over the last decade, London saw the closure of a third of these venues. Despite numbers stabilising, many are still at risk from closure due to increases in rents and business rates. 14,000 emerging artist performances take place annually in the capital’s grassroots music venues. An increase in venue closures would see a reduction in vital R&D opportunities for artists and the industry.

1.3 London continues to produce top selling international artists, such as Adele, who rely on London’s grassroots scene to build their reputation. The threat to grassroots venues means London could face a significant decline in new talent and lose its place as a global centre for the emergence of globally successful artists. This would further threaten London’s standing as global leader in the industry.

1.4 With cities like New York, Austin, Berlin and Melbourne positioning themselves as ‘Music Cities’, London must re-assert its position as the global music capital. With the uncertainty around Brexit and obtaining visas, there is a risk to touring musicians seeing London as an attractive destination. This could also affect home grown artists’ ability to showcase London on the world stage.

1.5 London’s diverse music offer is a key driver of domestic and international tourism. Music tourism alone contributes nearly £1 billion every year to the capital’s economy, making the capital a desirable place for businesses and students to locate. Losing London’s position as a global music hub will have an impact on music tourism. Other world cities are trying to position themselves and replace London as the world leader for music, musical heritage and as leading music tourism destination.
1.6 London currently holds annual festivals or celebrations of many of its other cultural or creative industries, including the London Film Festival, London Fashion Week, Design Festival and most recently Games Festival. These events attract media interest, leading to increased sales and engagement by Londoners. London will develop a flagship music campaign for the first time in the capital to bring the same benefits to the music industry.

1.7 With 2018 being a fallow year for Glastonbury Festival, London has an opportunity to leverage additional exposure and attention for its music scene through delivery of this campaign. The BBC is planning a large-scale event over the second May bank holiday, which could launch the campaign.

1.8 Research and development has been undertaken into the viability of a campaign to support and celebrate London’s rich music scene. The next phase is to:

• Set up a delivery board.
• Secure partnerships and sponsorship.
• Confirm key content and agree themes.
• Develop a marketing and communications campaign.

Objectives and expected outcomes

2.1 The main outcomes for this project will include the following:

• Showcase the diversity of London talent with a special focus on young people.
• Support grassroots music venues to increase audiences and carry out joint promotional activity.
• Spotlight on London’s rich but often overlooked music heritage.
• Champion London as a music tourism destination to international markets.
• Re-position London as the global music capital.
• Increase Londoners’ attendance at and participation in music.

2.2 In order to deliver the flagship music campaign, GLA officers will seek to appoint a consultant to be managed by GLA Culture & Creative Industries team officers, in order to achieve the following objectives:

• Establish a programme delivery group involving key industry partners and organisations from the GLA family including London & Partners and TfL.
• The development of a campaign concept, programme, delivery channels, budget, resource plan and timeline.
• Secure commercial partners, media partners and delivery partners for the campaign.
• Secure funding to put in place the core project management team.
• Schedule campaign launch event(s).

2.3 The appointed consultant will also be expected to achieve the following outcomes as part of their contract:

• A flagship music campaign is developed and ready to launch by Autumn 2017.
• Key partners and funding/sponsorship are committed and ready to launch the campaign by Autumn 2017.
• Evidence that the proposition can be delivered within the proposed timescale and budget.

Equality comments

3.1 The events delivered will be accessible to all Londoners and consideration to accessibility will be given at the planning stage.

3.2 The campaign will aim to involve a varied range of performers and participants from a diverse range of communities represented in London. The campaign will aim to showcase the best of London’s grassroots talent, creating opportunities and will provide a platform for London musicians.

Other considerations

4.1 The programme activities detailed link to key Mayoral priorities including:

• Continuing to support new and existing major cultural festivals.
• Build on London’s vital tourist industry by promoting the city’s cultural riches to Londoners, the rest of Britain and the world.
• Promote access to culture for all Londoners.
• Champion London’s vibrant night-time economy.
• Support the London is Open campaign.

Financial comments

5.1 Approval is being sought for the expenditure of £50,000 to develop a flagship music campaign. This will be used to appoint a consultant to cultivate this project and promote London as a leading capital city for music. 

5.2 The proposed expenditure will be funded from the Culture and Creative Industries unit and subsequently managed within the same unit

Activity table



Appoint consultant

July 2017

Form delivery board

Summer 2017

Sponsor/partner deck created and approached

Summer 2017

Sponsor/partner involvement committed

Autumn 2017

Campaign plan presented for approval

Autumn 2017

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