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The Arts Council England funded consortium Sound Circuit ran from 2002 to 2008 (Ed McKeon, Chair; Julia Haferkorn, Project Manager). It was a network of music promoters and producers set up to develop new tools and to carry out research for building audiences for contemporary music. Through supported tours, the group also aimed to create stronger partnerships between promoters, venues and producers to reach wider audiences and to ensure a high quality of presentation.
Sound Circuit's work focused on developing industry-standard working practices and benchmark data for audience development, and on establishing good practice for touring work by building partnerships between promoters and producers.
Sound Circuit’s priorities were:
- Data analysis using sales records from all members, to establish statistical benchmarks for contemporary music audiences nationwide, and for each venue / promoter on the Circuit;
- Tour-based questionnaire research, to gain comparative qualitative data on issues such as audience motivation and factors underlying people's attitude to risk;
- Producing tours and exploring the use of network marketing in a co-ordinated way;
- Action research projects, to focus on narrow objectives (student audiences, family audiences, audience ambassadors, crossover audiences etc.) that address local issues, providing a series of case studies at both large and small scale;
- Exploring the possibility of acting as a touring network and agency for tours of new music, receiving proposals of projects to visit / tour the UK and to disseminate these to interested venues and promoters;
- Sharing information with other promoters, producers, agencies and companies concerned with contemporary music, and providing a forum to meet and exchange ideas.
Sound Circuit also presented symposia, in 2004 and 2005 at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival and in 2008 at Southbank Centre, London.
To download the Sound Circuit report Mapping Contemporary Music Activity in Great Britain written by Julia Haferkorn please click here.