Music Matters



Neil Dodd discusses a new movement which aims to aid the progression and development of the city’s home-grown music scene


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Music Matters is an ongoing community discussion about the future of live music in our city. Bridging the gap between community, industry and council, the main aim of Music Matters is to bring cohesion and networking to an already vibrant and passionate community.

After moving back to the city after 5 years in working as a Production Manager in London, organiser of Music Matters Neil Dodd (former sound engineer at The White Rabbit) saw the decline of many small – medium sized local venues as a catalyst for a discussion and hopefully, change.

“I think that for many years, Plymouth has had the potential to become one of the leading cities for live music in the UK. We have a community of 280,000 people within Plymouth city alone to entertain. Add to this a huge and growing student population plus Plymouth’s geographical location in the centre of Devon and Cornwall, the potential is huge, absolutely huge.”

The first discussion on the 26th April (kindly hosted at The Plymouth School of Creative Arts), centred around three points.
• The venue closures and how we can prevent them happening.
• The council and the community.
• Promotion of the city’s venues as a whole to a wider audience.

Several leading members of the live music community were in attendance. Venue owners, promoters, & musicians were joined by industry professionals from Deep Blue Sound, City College and Plymouth City Council. With a real emphasis on a positive outlook and unity within the live music scene, the discussion had many positive outcomes.

Images courtesy of Greenbeanz Photography

Images courtesy of Greenbeanz Photography

“Since the discussion I have had nothing but positive feedback. Many people felt this is something the community has needed for a long time. A sense of cohesion and unity, moving forward as one to benefit everybody in the long run. I have been in touch with local councillors and press to discuss the issues expressed by those who attended and I have visited more music industry professionals who could not attend the initial discussion, to hear what they have to say.”

Music Matters intends to capitalise on the momentum already gained. A further discussion is planned for the end of May, construction of a new city wide promotional website is underway and ideas for a new 1000 capacity venue in the city are being explored.

“Most importantly I am hoping to set up a committee of live music industry professionals for these discussions to feed into. The committee would then be able to act on behalf of the community with it’s best interests, future and sustainability at its absolute heart.”

With over 70 people attending the initial meeting and further 450 having added themselves to the Music Matters Facebook group in a matter of days, Music Matters seems to have had its desired affect. The work however, continues.

“Music Matters is a discussion on the FUTURE of live music in our city. Progression and improvement are the key ideas. We already have some amazing work being done within the city, now its about how we can really push that forward and see what’s possible.”