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Sheffield positioned as UK’s leading ‘Music City’


Sensoria Festival Photo: Dan Sumption

Sheffield has the potential to be the UK’s leading Music City, according to a new report commissioned by the University of Sheffield.

A report titled “Music: A snapshot of Sheffield’s music sector”, was compiled by Sheffield’s Sensoria Festival, based on Sheffield’s famous musical heritage. The report has outlined how Sheffield is a leading Music City with 788 organisations active in the music sector, 465 active bands, 70 rehearsal rooms and innovation across all music genres – including electronic, folk, free noise and rock.

The report audits data from across South Yorkshire, as well as incorporating in-depth interviews with key leaders from across Sheffield’s music scene.

BridgeLaunching the report, Professor Vanessa Toulmin, Director of City & Cultural Engagement at the University of Sheffield, said: “Sheffield is a city of makers; its creativity is reflected in the input from both universities, the range of festivals in the city and its spirit of independence.

This report begins to ask how we can bring current talent from under the radar and enable growth in a time of harsh economic realities, establish our talent on a world stage and pave the way for the next generation of musicians.”

The term ‘Music Cities’ was first coined by Music Canada. The international organisation researched cities across the world and identified a basic framework of elements that apply to Music Cities – based on the quality of artists, spaces, engaged audiences and music-related businesses.

Music Canada is currently visiting Sheffield as part of this year’s Sensoria Festival, which will launch the new Sheffield-based report.

Jo Wingate, Director of Sensoria, The UK’s Festival of Music, Film & Digital, said: “We know that Sheffield has a rich music history and an outstanding music scene – that’s why Sensoria gets better each and every year. This report gives us the full music industry snapshot for the first time and shows how Sheffield is well-positioned to be the UK’s leading Music City.”

The report is the first of a trio commissioned by the University of Sheffield focusing on the city’s potential growth areas. Two upcoming reports will explore the economic impact of Sheffield’s art and beer sectors.

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