Manchester Metropolitan University's Research Repository

Local music policies within a global music industry: cultural quarters in Manchester and Sheffield

Brown, Adam, O'Connor, Justin and Cohen, Sara (2000) Local music policies within a global music industry: cultural quarters in Manchester and Sheffield. Geoforum, 31 (4). pp. 437-451. ISSN 0016-7185

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This paper will explore the relationship between the local and the global in the music industry through the lens of place-based cultural policies. The first part of the paper will outline current debates around the complex interaction of the local and the global in culture in general and the popular music industry in particular. Alongside the continuous expansion of globalisation has been a reassertion of 'place', of 'locality'. Whilst this has been investigated to some extent at the level of local music scenes it has never been fully addressed in terms of music industry policy as part of an economic development strategy. Yet it is here that the particular values of 'place' are asserted in the face of some 'global' music industry with a view to developing (or at least retaining some of the benefits of ) a local music industry. Whilst situating itself within these debates about the relationship of local and global musical production and consumption, the paper explores the different strategies of two northern English cities and their attempts to promote culture, and music, within each cities 'cultural quarter': Sheffield's Cultural Industries Quarter and Manchester's Northern Quarter. The paper analyses the role and appropriateness of local authority policy intervention, the importance of 'soft' networks within local music scenes and the different ways in which authorities in each example have tried to overcome dichotomies of art and industry, cultural and economy.

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