“Musicians’ Fees and Lack of Venues Highlighted at Music Alliance Ireland’s Second Public Meeting”: Meeting of new group took place as part of the Clonmel Junction Arts Festival.

“Musicians’ Fees and Lack of Venues Highlighted at Music Alliance Ireland’s Second Public Meeting”: Meeting of new group took place as part of the Clonmel Junction Arts Festival.

Published by The Journal of Music on 11 July 2022:

The lack of guidelines on rates for musicians and a lack of spaces for music were two of the issues highlighted at the second Music Alliance Ireland meeting, which took place as part of the Clonmel Junction Arts Festival on Sunday 10 July.

The meeting, which took place in the Junction Dome, a temporary performance space set up by the festival, was attended by local musicians and promoters. Speakers included Toner Quinn, Chairperson of Music Alliance Ireland, and Neva Elliott, Project Manager for the new group.

‘We have seen, in a short time, the effectiveness of joining together as a group in highlighting long-standing issues in the music sector,’ Quinn said. ‘We find that there is considerable overlap in the issues faced by musicians and music organisations, regardless of the genre or where they are based.’

At the meeting, the speakers set out the aims and objectives of Music Alliance Ireland and discussed the work undertaken so far. This was followed by an open discussion with those attending. 

Key issues
Local musicians and promoters highlighted how music venues had declined in Clonmel and that there were not enough spaces for performance or collaboration for emerging and established musicians. They also emphasised the need for widely accepted guidelines on rates for musicians, which would help not just musicians but also promoters.

Other matters discussed included young bands not having space for rehearsal, IMRO payments for live music, the VAT rate for band fees, and the need for more comprehensive coverage of music in the national media. There was also discussion on the opportunity to work together to achieve a space for collaborative use. 

MAI members and aims
Music Alliance Ireland was formed at the beginning of the pandemic to establish a collective voice for the music sector and has been involved in a number of advocacy campaigns since.

The current members are the Contemporary Music Centre, Crash Ensemble, Diatribe Records, Improvised Music Company, The Journal of Music, Kirkos Ensemble, Music Network and Trad Ireland/Traid Éireann. The group meets ten times a year and is open to new members. It will shortly be publishing details on how artists and organisations can join.

The group has developed six main aims, as follows:

1. To establish a network and voice for music organisations and musicians;
2. To advocate for support and policies for music at a national level;
3. To work for the establishment of a music hub (a space for rehearsal, collaboration, offices, equipment, recording, storage and performance) in Dublin and equivalent spaces in other centres around Ireland; 
4. To campaign for proper pay for musicians;
5. To further the provision for music from Ireland in Irish broadcasting and media; and
6. To support the development of the independent record label sector.

The group has already published a number of submissions advocating for the music sector, including submissions to the Arts Council’s music policy, the Future of Media Commission, RTÉ Lyric FM, the Dublin City Council Cultural Infrastructural Study, the Dublin City Development Plan, and the Basic Income for the Arts pilot.

The first public meeting took place at the National Concert Hall in April. There will be further public meetings in the autumn.

For further information and updates, sign up to the newsletter at https://musicallianceireland.ie.

For further details, and to sign up to the group’s newsletter, visit https://musicallianceireland.ie

 

Published by The Journal of Music on 11 July 2022

Image credit: The Journal of Music

Music Alliance Ireland at Clonmel Junction Arts Festival

Music Alliance Ireland at Clonmel Junction Arts Festival

Music Alliance Ireland at Clonmel Junction Arts Festival
 
Music Alliance Ireland will host a public meeting at Clonmel Junction Arts Festival on Sunday 10 July at 1pm in the Junction Dome.
 
Following a launch in Dublin in April, Music Alliance Ireland/Comhaontas Ceoil na hÉireann, will host its second meeting at the Clonmel Junction Arts Festival on 10 July.
 
At the meeting in Clonmel, which will take place in the Junction Dome at 1pm, Chairperson Toner Quinn and Project Manager Neva Elliott will speak about the aims of the Alliance and the work undertaken so far. This will be followed by an open discussion on current issues in the music sector in Ireland.
 
Commenting on the meeting, Quinn said:
Our launch meeting at the New Music Dublin festival in April was extremely useful in obtaining feedback from the music sector on the aims and objectives of Music Alliance Ireland. We’re delighted to have our second meeting at the Clonmel Junction Arts Festival and we look forward to hearing the views of more artists and those involved in the music sector and exploring how the Alliance can support the sector into the future. All are welcome.
 

Published by The Journal of Music: ‘There will always be challenges facing music and musicians in Ireland’: Music Alliance Ireland Holds First Public Meeting at National Concert Hall

Published by The Journal of Music: ‘There will always be challenges facing music and musicians in Ireland’: Music Alliance Ireland Holds First Public Meeting at National Concert Hall

 

Published by The Journal of Music on 6 May 2022:

 

‘There will always be challenges facing music and musicians in Ireland’: Music Alliance Ireland Holds First Public Meeting at National Concert Hall

Group plans to host regional meetings in the coming months.
 
 
 
 

 

A new group of national music organisations and companies, Music Alliance Ireland/Comhaontas Ceoil na hÉireann, held its first public meeting on 28 April as part of the New Music Dublin festival at the National Concert Hall.

The group was formed at the beginning of the pandemic to establish a collective voice for the music sector and has been involved in a number of advocacy campaigns since.

The current members are the Contemporary Music Centre, Crash Ensemble, Diatribe Records, Improvised Music Company, The Journal of Music, Kirkos Ensemble, Music Network and Trad Ireland/Traid Éireann. The group meets ten times a year and is open to new members.

The meeting was chaired by musician Nick Roth of Diatribe and project manager Neva Elliott, formerly CEO of Crash Ensemble. Commenting on the reasons for establishing the group, Roth said:

Music Alliance Ireland aspires to be a collective voice for music in Ireland. There will always be challenges facing music and musicians in Ireland. Most recently, we had the pandemic, but before that it was the threat to Lyric FM, and before that it was the difficulties facing the national orchestras. On top of that, we have the perennial issues of low pay for musicians and the difficulty they have in finding places to live in Ireland, the small size of our independent record label sector, the lack of rehearsal space in Dublin, and more. The only way we can address any of these issues for the long term is by joining together.

Music Alliance Ireland was initiated in the spring of 2020 by Elliott and Aoife Concannon of Improvised Music Company, in partnership with the Arts Office of Dublin City Council. The group has since developed six main aims, as follows:

1. To establish a national network and voice for music organisations and musicians in Ireland;
2. To advocate for support and policies for music at a national level;
3. To work for the establishment of a music hub (a space for rehearsal, collaboration, offices, equipment, recording, storage and performance) in Dublin and equivalent spaces in other centres around Ireland;
4. To campaign for proper pay for musicians;
5. To further the provision for music from Ireland in Irish broadcasting and media; and
6. To support the development of the Irish independent record label sector.

The group takes inspiration from the previous MAI – the Music Association of Ireland – which ran from the 1940s to the 2000s, and also had six aims, one of which was the establishment of the National Concert Hall. 

Elliott also spoke about her reasons for initiating the group:

I was previously CEO of Crash Ensemble, and what I wasn’t able to do as one person, and one organisation, was to effect change on the wider ecosystem we existed in. That frustration wasn’t just around making things better for Crash, but also for the artists around us, artists that were our community and coming to me to ask for help and advice. I could see there were opportunities we were missing out on as a sector, and at times we weren’t standing up strongly enough and asking for what we need, or pointing out when things weren’t right for us. I believe in doing things together, that together we can effect that change. 

The group has already published a number of submissions advocating for the music sector, including submissions to the Arts Council’s music policy, the Future of Media Commission, RTÉ Lyric FM, the Dublin City Council Cultural Infrastructural Study, the Dublin City Development Plan, and the Basic Income for the Arts pilot. 

Music Alliance Ireland will be hosting regional meetings in the coming months and will also be publishing details on joining for new members. 

Among those in attendance at the NCH were a number of representatives from member organisations, as well as Robert Read, CEO of the National Concert Hall; Michael Dervan, classical music critic of the Irish Times; Karina Lundstrom of Lundstrom Arts Management; composer Raymond Deane; Dermot O’Callaghan of Sing Ireland; Red Keane of Jazz Ireland; Keith Johnson and Breffni Banks of IMRO; Joe Csibi, General Manager of the RTÉ Concert Orchestra; Tadhg Kinsella of Dublin Modular; and Majella Hollywood of Chamber Choir Ireland.

For further details, and to sign up to the group’s newsletter, visit https://musicallianceireland.ie

Published by The Journal of Music on 6 May 2022

Image credit: Nick Roth and Neva Elliott speaking at the first Music Alliance Ireland meeting. (Photo: Improvised Music Company)

Music Alliance Ireland submission for the Arts Council’s new Music Policy.

Music Alliance Ireland submission for the Arts Council’s new Music Policy.

Context: From artscouncil.ie: “The Arts Council plans to produce a Music Policy and Strategy in 2022 to guide its decision-making in relation to music, and has begun a process of widespread consultation to inform its development..”

What you can do: Sign up to the Music Alliance Ireland mailing list, where we will give further updates.

Submission –

In the following submission, we address the questions as they appeared in the Music Policy survey.

Q9. What do you think are the Arts Council’s key strengths/areas of focus that it should continue and develop?

The Arts Council has a significant impact on music in Ireland and is benefiting many artists organisations. It is now the case that a very wide range of events and artists are receiving support from the Arts Council on some level and this contributes to a culturally vibrant country.

In addition, the range of music events and activities means that Ireland can be an artistically attractive place for artists to locate, and there is a huge return on that Arts Council investment: Irish and international artists make a profound contribution to the quality of our national and community life.

The Arts Council’s agile response during the pandemic was particularly notable and in no small way has ensured continuity through what has been an extremely challenging time for musicians and the music scene.

In particular, we feel that the flexibility of the Agility Award and the Capacity Building Awards sparked many new initiatives and should be continued post-pandemic.

Q10. What do you think are the Arts Council’s weaknesses/areas of focus that need to be improved?

A notable weakness is that there can be little feedback from the Arts Council on work that is produced with Arts Council funding. Nor is there any clear formal mechanism by which funded clients can show work to Council. Connected with this, the MAI believes that the Council should make much greater efforts to promote the work to the public that they have funded.

Regarding awards, for some music projects, short-term funding timescales are a hindrance to more ambitious work and advance planning, i.e. for projects that are more than a year or more away. Ambition needs time and planning. The current award timelines do not represent how long some music projects take to develop and there should be both annual and multi-annual deadlines for awards. Awards should also be broader and cover the lifespan of a project, from inception, development, delivery, distribution and documentation to promotion.

At the same time, for some awards, the reverse is the case: for the Arts Grant award, for example, applicants are asked to plan for future years when they do not yet have feedback on their current year or previous applications.

The MAI also believes that the turnaround for decisions on applications needs to be shorter, i.e. a maximum of two months. With regard to the application process, the AAR and BAAR system is neither intuitive nor user-friendly and we believe this system needs to be overhauled.

More broadly, we believe the Arts Council needs to have a strategic vision and plan for the Irish music sector, specifically with regards to developing the Irish music industry nationally and internationally. Nationally, This includes supporting a national music hub in Dublin, (and in regional centres) developing the neglected independent record label sector, ensuring artists are remunerated appropriately, and helping artists and organisations build an international career or international dimension to their work. Increased strategic links and strategic planning with Culture Ireland for international dissemination of music would benefit the sector.

Q11. What three specific initiatives would you like to see the Arts Council undertake as priorities in the coming years? *

The three initiatives that we would like to see are as follows:

  1. More substantial support for the independent Irish record sector, i.e. a specific record label and recording scheme and a strategic plan for the development of this essential part of the Irish music sector.
  2. Practical support the establishment of a national music hub in  Dublin, (and regionally)  in terms of funding support, advocacy and partnerships.
  3. To create a system whereby music organisations and events are developed in partnership with the Arts Council with clear strategic goals, rather than existing from year to year with little feedback.

Q12 – Arts Council music supports and  genre

With regard to Question 12 in the Arts Council Music Policy survey on the support of different genres, the MAI believes that clear definitions  of ‘commercial’ and ‘non-commercial’ are needed in order to address this question properly.

In general, however, we believe the emphasis in Arts Council Music Policy should be on artistic quality rather than genre and that it should be as inclusive as possible.

Note: Where we refer to ‘music’ in all of the above, we are also including traditional music, although we understand that in the Arts Council’s structure traditional music is formally a part of traditional arts. All of the issues mentioned above are equally relevant to traditional music as they are to jazz, classical, contemporary, opera, popular, hip hop, etc.

Our members would be happy to discuss further any of the points above

Image: Courtesy of Improvised Music Company. [Izumi Kimura (piano), Cora Venus Lunny (violin) at Jazz Connective. PHOTO Maarit Kytoharju]

Music Alliance Ireland  first public meeting and launch

Music Alliance Ireland first public meeting and launch

Music Alliance Ireland will have our first public meeting and launch at New Music Dublin, Ireland’s foremost contemporary music festival.

Date:    Thursday 28th April 2022

Time: 11.30 – 12.30   

Venue: The Iveagh Room (the room behind The Terrace restaurant), The National Concert Hall.

Free.    All welcome.

Future meetings will take place throughout Ireland, details will be published here as they are confirmed.

Follow us on social media and sign up for our mailing list to keep informed of what we are doing and developments in the music sector.

Twitter: @musicallianceir

Facebook: @musicallianceireland

Instagram: @musicallianceireland

 Image courtesy of Crash Ensemble. 

Submission to The Draft Dublin City Development Plan 2022-2028

Submission to The Draft Dublin City Development Plan 2022-2028

Context: Dublin City Council is invited responses to the The Draft Dublin City Development Plan (2022-2028) is a plan which sets out how the city will develop to meet the needs of all residents, workers and visitors. You can read Chapter 12 Culture here   https://www.dublincity.ie/residential/planning/strategic-planning/dublin-city-development-plan/development-plan-2022-2028/chapter-12-culture The Culture Chapter proposes policies and objectives under the following subheadings -Protecting and Enhancing Cultural Assets, Cultural Hubs and Quarters, Supporting Cultural Vibrancy, Supporting key Cultural Activities, Culture in the Community, Supporting Irish Language and Culture, Culture in the Public Domain.

Response: It is the last part of the process where public submissions might impact significantly on the final plan.
Update: 
What you can do: Sign up to the Music Alliance Ireland mailing list, where we will give further updates.

Submission: 

Submission to The Draft Dublin City Development Plan 2022-2028.

Feedback on Chapter 12 Culture, of The Draft Dublin City Development Plan 2022-2028: 

We are delighted to see the specific inclusion of music, music creation and the need for a dedicated hub space for music included in The Draft Dublin City Development Plan 2022-2028.

We make note of the specific sections below and add further comment to their inclusion:

PG: 432

… culture infrastructure is defined as:

“the buildings, structures and places/spaces where culture is either:

Experienced: places where culture is experienced, participated
in, showcased, exhibited or sold e.g. museums, galleries, theatres, cinemas, libraries, music venues, nightclubs and historical cultural sites.

or

Created: places of creative production where creative work is made by artists, performers, makers or manufacturers e.g. creative workspaces, performing arts rehearsal spaces, music recording studios”.

Comment: We ask that the specific artform requirements of music creators are taken into account in the creation of cultural infrastructure. 

PG: 432

CUO24

Toolkit Guide to Workspace

The Council will publish a “toolkit” for developers and other stakeholders giving a guide to the spatial requirements of artform specific workspaces to inform the design process and ensure viable arts and cultural spaces are provided.

We ask:

  • That the music community and specialists are consulted on the specific requirements of music creators in the creation of this developer toolkits.
  • That the toolkit include how to successfully integrate sound producing artforms within developments so that such artforms are not side lined when allocating space or deemed less favourable inhabitants.
  • That provision for the life cycle of a wide variety of music is provided for in the city –  workspace for its orchestras,  ensembles, choirs, quartets, music groups, record labels organisations and individual artists across a number of genres,  provision for broadcasts, recording, storage, work spaces, and  performance space for live music events. Live work and subsidised living spaces for its creatives and cultural workers.

PG: 450

CUO27

Artist Studios

To further develop and provide spaces for artist studios within the city and avail of opportunities for utilising underused buildings within communities for artistic and cultural purposes.

CUO28

Artist Live-work Space

To support the development of a feasibility model and pilot project for provision of artist live-work space during the lifetime of the Development Plan and to seek to provide a clear community benefit as part of the project.

Comment: We ask that all forms of creative practitioner, including music practitioners – musicians, composers, producers are included in the requirement for studio space.

PG: 450

Music

Music is one of most widely engaged forms of culture in the city.
The diversity and range of music – from full orchestras to solo singer songwriters and everything in-between; the creative range and diversity of this art form is vast. Alongside the diversity in type, is the need for diversity in space for musical artists to rehearse, record and perform. Retaining music as part of the cultural landscape of the city and the musical success experienced by many artists on a global scale cannot be sustained without maintaining a wide range and scale of venues
for artists to hone their abilities and grow as performers. It is critical for the city’s music scene that existing venues for performance within the city are protected; and the Council will support and encourage the development of a new music venue (400-1,000 scale) within the inner city to support and diversify the sector.

Many rehearsal spaces and recording spaces in the city are located in former industrial estates. As these areas regenerate, it is critical that these spaces are retained within communities. Provision of affordable spaces is important particularly to younger people, and the provision of such spaces as part of Council and other public projects will be encouraged. With increased living in apartments, there are less options and spaces for people to rehearse and/or play with others, making the provision of space even more important as this form of housing increases within the city. The Council is committed to supporting the development of music hub within the city as a flagship space that will provide a range of facilities and opportunities to all (see Objective COU3).

Comment: We welcome the separate section on music in the draft plan, the acknowledgment of its importance to the cultural life of Dublin city and clear inclusion of provision for the diverse and dedicated space to sustain it. The provision of a dedicated music hub space was a specific recommendation of Music Alliance Ireland in our submission to ‘Pre-Draft Public Consultation Strategic Issues Paper – Dublin City Development Plan 2022-2028’ and is one of our key goals for the development and support of the music sector in Dublin City.

We wholeheartedly support

  • “ the development of music hub within the city as a flagship space that will provide a range of facilities and opportunities to all.”
  • the “development of a new music venue (400-1,000 scale) within the inner city to support and diversify the sector”.
  • The retention of exiting rehearsal spaces, provision of affordable spaces, and the provision of such spaces as part of Council and other public projects will be encouraged.

We ask:

  • That the music community and specialists are consulted on the specific requirements of music creators in the creation of this developer toolkits.
  • That the toolkit will include how to successfully integrate sound producing artforms within developments so that such artforms are not side lined or deemed less favourable inhabitants. This is particularly important in light of DCC”s comment “ With increased living in apartments, there are less options and spaces for people to rehearse and/or play with others, making the provision of space even more important as this form of housing increases within the city. “
  • That provision for the life cycle of a wide variety of music is provided for in the city –  workspace for its orchestras,  ensembles, choirs, quartets, music groups, record labels organisations and individual artists across a number of genres,  provision for broadcasts, recording, storage, work spaces, and  performance space for live music events. Live work and subsidised living spaces for its creatives and cultural workers.

PG451

It is the Policy of Dublin City Council:

CU18

Music as a Key Cultural Asset

To support music as a key cultural asset of Dublin City and seek the retention and expansion of venues and facilities that allow for expression and experience of music in a wide variety of forms to enhance the cultural life of the city.

It is an Objective of Dublin City Council:

CUO29

Music Rehearsal Spaces

To seek opportunities to include facilities for music rehearsal spaces within communities to enable and encourage more people to engage with music, with a particular focus on young people.

CUO30

Industrial Estate Regeneration Areas

All large scale mixed use former industrial estate regeneration areas (over 10 ha) in the city shall include at least one studio/rehearsal space and/or venue.

CUO31

Music Venues

To encourage the development of new music venues that will provide opportunities for music artists to perform at a range of venue sizes.

Comment: We wholeheartedly support

  • Aim CU18 acknowledging Music as a Key Cultural Asset.
  • Objective CUO29 Music Rehearsal Spaces
  • Objective CUO30 Industrial Estate Regeneration – Areas All large scale mixed use former industrial estate regeneration areas (over 10 ha) in the city shall include at least one studio/rehearsal space and/or venue.
  • CUO31 Music Venues -To encourage the development of new music venues that will provide opportunities for music artists to perform at a range of venue sizes.

We ask: 

  • That while it is important to engage young people in music that the focus and priority is to create a sustainable environment for professional musicians and music practitioners, without which there will be no music sector to engage young people (See Objective CUO3).
  • That provision for the life cycle of a wide variety of music is provided for in the city –  workspace for its orchestras,  ensembles, choirs, quartets, music groups, record labels organisations and individual artists across a number of genres,  provision for broadcasts, recording, storage, work spaces, and  performance space for live music events. Live work and subsidised living spaces for its creatives and cultural workers.

PG453

CUO34

Noise Impacts

All applications for short or longer term residential proposals (including hotels) that seek permission adjacent to established late night uses such as nightclubs/music venues/public houses/comedy clubs, shall be required to demonstrate in their application, how, firstly through the use of good design and layout; and secondly, through increased sound insulation; they have ensured their development will not cause negative impacts on the adjoining uses in the future.

CUO35

Purpose Spaces for Evening and Night Time Activities

To encourage the opportunity presented by new larger developments within the city to provide high quality, designed for purpose spaces that can accommodate evening and night time activities, such as basement/roof level “black box” spaces that can be used for smaller scale performances/theatre/dance venues, and for flexibility in the design of larger spaces, such as conference spaces, to be adaptable for evening uses.

Comment: We wholeheartedly support the prioritisation of usage of existing cultural infrastructure over new residential proposals as suggested in objective CUO34 and for the opportunities outlined in CUO35.

We ask: That Objective CUO35 states music within “performances/theatre/dance” and that and purpose built space include the specifically requirements of music.

PG457

CUO40

Cultural and Artistic Space Audit

To aim to undertake during the life of the development plan, an audit and implementation plan for each Electoral Area of the Council to assess the current and future needs with regard to cultural and artistic spaces and to set a series of actions, policy tools and initiatives to address identified shortfalls.

CUO41

Buildings within Communities for Arts and Cultural Spaces

To seek to acquire buildings of merit within communities that can become important arts and cultural spaces; and give a new purpose to local buildings with heritage value and to promote the expansion of cultural uses within existing spaces, particularly within buildings in public ownership.

Comment: We welcome the Cultural and Artistic Space Audit (CU040). 

We ask:  That the Cultural and Artistic Space Audit (CU040) include auditing dedicated music venues, rehearsal, studio, recording, post production, music creative production space, and arts admin space for the music sector recording outside of multiuse cultural spaces and commercial music spaces.

We look forward that on the enactment of the  Dublin City Council plan 2022-2028, Dublin City Council will be able to boast achievements in supporting the city’s music sector including a Music Hub Space for the city. 

Submitted by Music Alliance Ireland / Comhaontas Ceoil na hÉireann  

 Image courtesy of Improvised Music Company.