POPLIVE – Staging popular music: sustainable live music ecologies for artists, music venues and cities

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.

Research team

Erik Hitters, PhD

Pauwke Berkers, PhD

Prof.dr. Susanne Janssen

Arno v/d Hoeven, PhD


Hogeschool Rotterdam
Paul Rutten, PhD
Martijn Mulder

Funded by nwo-logo