Brighton has ranked as the best city in the UK for electronic music.
London dominates every category of music in the country. Want to see a huge touring artist? London. Want to see the edge of what’s new in indie? London? Hottest nightclubs? London. Or so we thought…
We wanted to test this theory, and so we dived into our data to compare different genres of music and their events in cities across the nation to the population of said cities and some of our results surprised us.
When it came to Electronic music, London came in at a lowly 26th overall with only 0.5 electronic events per 1000 people, whereas Brighton dominated the list with a staggering 3.2 average – almost 1 whole event above 2nd place, Llandudno at 2.4. In other words, Brighton has nearly seven times more electronic music events per 1000 people than London.
Following behind Brighton and Llandudno is Manchester, the biggest city in the top five with an average amount of events per 1000 people at 2.3, with Penrith and Newcastle bringing up the rear. Behind them came Bristol, Glasgow, Norwich and Leeds, each ranking between 1 and 1.3 events per 1000 people.
Brighton has steadily cultivated a reputation for some of the most innovative arts and music in the UK, with many of the country’s best and brightest in their field flocking to the southern city to join a thriving, creative metropolis.
For this reason, electronic music has consistently been popular in Brighton, with venues throughout the city such as The Arch, Patterns and Brighton Centre regularly hosting specialist events. However, in 2016, Brighton’s reputation for electronic music was enhanced with the launch of Boundary Brighton, its own flagship festival dedicated to the genre.
Taking the best of Brighton’s creative energy, lust for life and generosity of spirit, Boundary Brighton is a festival with three stages of music, a vintage fair, delicious local food and other unexpected treats, all nestled between the crest of the Downs and the City with the sea below.
Some of the biggest drivers of Brighton’s music scene have been the youth and those helping to develop their skills like local charity AudioActive, led by Brighton Native Rory Graham AKA Rag’n’Bone Man and famed for fuelling the fire from which Rizzle Kicks emerged. We had the chance to sit down with CEO Adam Joolia to discuss Brighton’s incredible music scene and the work AudioActive are doing to keep it that way.
Why do you think Brighton is the leading city for Electronic Music?
“Brighton has always been evolving, it has so many quality venues competing, there was always new venues popping up. I used to live in Nottingham and there was only enough active events to support one quality venue. Brighton is obviously much more engaged in electronic music, which I guess goes down to its culture, for example Audio active has 4 nights a week for young musicians to perform.“
What attracts creatives there, and how is that creativity exercised?
“Opportunity, funding and investment. Brighton and greater Brighton has some of the best base camps producing some serious young talent. North Brook is one of these hidden gems which has created an unbelievable platform for young talent and has recently had a 10 mil investment. There is also obviously a creative vibe in the air which naturally attracts creatives with a friendly and approachable atmosphere, unlike London.“
What do you see for the future of electronic music in the city?
“I only see it improving, as a collective the city is starting to collaborate, things like Brighton music office plays a big part, who aim to be the central hub for all things music in the city Things like the Brighton music conference which is an electronic music based is only going to grow and is a great showcase platform for Brighton. Finally with all these things going on the council will be more aware of the what the sector faces and can look to improve those areas that are in need.”
Can you tell us a little bit about what AudioActive does and why music is at the heart of it?
“AudioActive is a ground-breaking music organisation, working with young people at the meeting point of technology and contemporary urban culture. The Charity is doing some incredible things using music for social change, disrupting main stream education mixing music and education together. We’re training up young offenders who haven’t had the best time in education who are talented artists/musicians to run workshops for younger teenagers and then they become part of our paid workforce.“
“For me the most powerful thing for AudioActive is building bridges with social and talent, you could come to us with a social issue or problem and look to do a program with us and finds something that drives you and identify a talent. Then we have artist development programs, sometimes we work with kids for 8-9 years and their needs of support change from social to artistic and that’s what we try and provide at audio active, every bit of their journey.“