Journal of World Popular Music <p>This journal<em> </em>publishes research and scholarship on international popular musics, also known as World Music, Global Pop, World Beat or, more recently, World Music 2.0, providing a forum to explore the manifestations and impacts of post-globalizing trends, processes, and dynamics surrounding these musics today. It adopts an open-minded perspective, including in its scope any local popularized musics of the world, commercially available music of non-Western origin, musics of ethnic minorities, and contemporary fusions or collaborations with local ‘traditional’ or ‘roots’ musics with Western pop and rock musics.<a href=""> Learn more.</a></p> Equinox Publishing Ltd. en-US Journal of World Popular Music 2052-4900 <p>© Equinox Publishing Ltd.</p> <p>For information regarding our Open Access policy, <a title="Open access policy." href="Full%20details of our conditions related to copyright can be found by clicking here.">click here</a>.</p> Introduction Paul Carr Copyright (c) 2022 Equinox Publishing Ltd. 2022-06-22 2022-06-22 9 1-2 5–30 5–30 10.1558/jwpm.23347 Birmingham and the (International) Business of Live Music in Times of COVID-19 <p>This article discusses the context of, and presents findings from, a project examining the live music sector in Birmingham, UK. This research is set against the backdrop of the broader socio-political impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and links it to national and global contexts. We explore the live music ecology of Birmingham and highlight the interdependencies between the various musical and non-musical stakeholders in the context of the pandemic—including the venues where live music takes place—examining how these stakeholders are responding to the crisis as it unfolds. In doing so, this article asks how an urban geographical area tied into national and international mechanisms of culture, commerce and policy can work to sustain its musical ecology in the face of the uncertainty of a post-COVID-19 era, and underlines the interconnectedness of live music ecologies and wider economies.</p> Adam Behr Craig Hamilton Patrycja Rozbicka Copyright (c) 2022 Equinox Publishing Ltd. 2022-06-22 2022-06-22 9 1-2 31–48 31–48 10.1558/jwpm.23348 Playing Out <p>Drawing on the findings of practitioner group consultations (n=49) and an online survey of music makers (n=37), this article illustrates the devastating impact of 18 months without full-capacity live events on the financial, musical and social wellbeing of the Liverpool City Region’s (LCR) music sector. The analysis shows how uncertainties concerning a return to normal operations, access to funding support, working within socially distanced limitations, and dealing with changing regulations have underlined the live music workers’ experience of the pandemic as well as how a sense of uncertainty persists despite a return to full-capacity events in July 2021. The findings show that digital alternatives partially helped alleviate lockdown’s detrimental effects but, overall, the sector viewed live-streaming as a “stop-gap” incomparable to the conventional concert experience. The research concludes by observing that, despite the numerous practical and economic adaptations and online advances that ensured the sector’s survival, the return to “business as usual” also means a return to pre-pandemic industry economics, which often function to the detriment of the musicians on whom the regional live sector’s operational and financial recovery depend.</p> Mathew Flynn Richard Anderson Copyright (c) 2022 Equinox Publishing Ltd. 2022-06-22 2022-06-22 9 1-2 49–76 49–76 10.1558/jwpm.23349 Tourism-Dependent Local Music Ecosystems under COVID-19 <p>This article aims to examine the changing atmosphere of Lisbon’s fado live music scene during the COVID-19 crisis. In particular, it focuses on the effects of the lockdown measures and other public health restrictions on the casas de fado, a distinctive type of local institution where music, tourism and the quest for experiences of authenticity intersect. Drawing on in-person and remote interviews with venue owners, local association representatives, musicians and patrons, as well as on content analysis of local media sources and participant observation, this article argues that the pandemic has revealed the fragility of a local music ecosystem overly dependent on foreign tourism and institutional support for its survival. Moreover, it discusses how the changes brought about by the pandemic has impacted fado practice itself.</p> Iñigo Sánchez-Fuarros Maria Teresa Lacerda Copyright (c) 2022 Equinox Publishing Ltd. 2022-06-22 2022-06-22 9 1-2 77–98 77–98 10.1558/jwpm.23350 New Normal or Old Problems? “Hibernation” and Planning for Music Careers in the Victorian Music Industries during COVID-19 <p>Compared to many nations in the global metropole, Australia experienced low per capita cases of the novel coronavirus during 2020. However, despite the nation’s geographical isolation, its dependence on international travel did result in a number of infections in early 2020, prompting federal and state governments to impose travel restrictions, social distancing orders, and eventually some state-wide lockdowns. The strategy to help affected businesses and workers was a combination of income support, tax relief and economic incentives to spur on spending as businesses were able to again operate—an approach that became known as “hibernation”. This article examines music workers’ expectations for their future, and the future of the music industries, post-“hibernation”. Through surveying and interviewing workers and business owners from across the Victorian music industries during a period of lockdown, it is explored how workers position themselves in relation to the idea that the sector could return to “normal” post-COVID, and these responses are situated within creative work research. Without common spaces of socialization and common economic objectives, workers within the hibernated music industries have demonstrated individualized approaches to their career planning, fragmented by the breakdown of daily rituals and routines. Some workers are orienting themselves to a future where the sector re-opens mostly unchanged, while others believe that the industry will be fundamentally different post-COVID. Workers’ activities in lockdown are shaped by these beliefs, with many exiting or preparing for an exit from music work, while those who anticipate staying undertake extensive labour to ensure the viability of their careers. The article concludes by considering what this might mean for the future of live music events in Victoria.</p> Fabian Cannizzo Catherine Strong Copyright (c) 2022 Equinox Publishing Ltd. 2022-06-22 2022-06-22 9 1-2 99–116 99–116 10.1558/jwpm.23351 To Be Announced <p>The COVID-19 pandemic and the associated closures of live music venues have confronted operators in Germany with fundamental uncertainty about the prospects of their venues. In the summer of 2020, both public and political debates revolved around the question of whether operators might have to close or could remain open during the crisis, with the overarching viewpoint being that closures were the most sensible option. Using data from the German live music survey (n = 686) and linear regression modelling, this article analyses the factors influencing the expected duration until insolvency. We show that the continuous financial support provided by the state extended the expected time to insolvency, as did the number of actors and initiatives using venues on a regular basis. On the other hand, operators with market venues, venues for lease and venues in big cities had more pessimistic expectations. The results demonstrate the safeguarding function of state support and diverse live music networks in times of crisis and bear important implications for the promotion of resilient live music ecologies.</p> Johannes Krause Jan Üblacker Katharina Huseljić Niklas Blömeke Heiko Rühl Copyright (c) 2022 Equinox Publishing Ltd. 2022-06-22 2022-06-22 9 1-2 117 143 10.1558/jwpm.23352 The Impact of COVID-19 on the Welsh Music Industries <p>This article reflects upon an extensive report written by Paul Carr for the Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee (CWLCC), a body that recommends policy to Welsh Government and holds it to account. After initially providing a brief historical account of the ways in which the UK and more specifically the Welsh Government responded to the pandemic in terms of generic and targeted support, in addition to how private sector bodies “filled the gaps”, the article discusses how the report’s recommendations resonated with both the CWLCC Turn Up the Volume report and the official Welsh Government response, providing an account of how three distinct narratives (the reports from Carr, the CWLCC and Welsh Government) have been able to improve the prospects of live music stakeholders in Wales.</p> Paul Carr Copyright (c) 2022 Equinox Publishing Ltd. 2022-06-22 2022-06-22 9 1-2 144–169 144–169 10.1558/jwpm.23353 The “First Ones to Close and Last Ones to Re-Open” <p>During the initial phase of the pandemic in the spring of 2020, music venues and clubs were the first to close—and often the last to re-open. Based on knowledge about music venues and club culture from the pre-COVID-19 era and data collected among club owners, clubbers, venue associations and cultural policy in Germany, this article encompasses a variety of perspectives regarding the situation of live music venues and clubs during the pandemic. Firstly, it analyses, from a German perspective, the club-related developments of the COVID-19 crisis from the first lockdown in March 2020 to the spring of 2021. Secondly, it considers the effect of “loss” among audiences and, thirdly, the discourse about cultural policy and emergency funds for music clubs and live music culture in Germany.</p> Robin Kuchar Maxine Frey Julia Gooß Tim Mertens Copyright (c) 2022 Equinox Publishing Ltd. 2022-06-22 2022-06-22 9 1-2 170–196 170–196 10.1558/jwpm.23354 COVID-19 and British Jazz Musicians <p>Jazz is a genre that relies heavily on live performance. It is therefore understandable that the COVID-19 related lockdown greatly affected jazz musicians. In this article, I reflect on London-based jazz musicians’ stories by using the idea of “liminal state”, as conceptualized by Arnold van Gennep (1960) and Victor Turner (1982), examining how they described the lockdown, in particular the financial and emotional impacts it had on them. Between spring 2020 and spring 2021, ten structured theme interviews with jazz musicians were conducted. The article commences by overviewing the data gathered and the ethical procedures adopted, after which I examine the overall emotional and psychological effects that COVID-19 had on jazz musicians who participate in live music. After reflecting on the support that the musicians have received during the pandemic, the article proceeds to outline the new skills that the musicians learned during lockdown.</p> Elina Hytönen-Ng Copyright (c) 2022 Equinox Publishing Ltd. 2022-06-22 2022-06-22 9 1-2 197–216 197–216 10.1558/jwpm.23355 Ethnographic Explorations of the Impacts of COVID-19 on Sociality and Spatiality in a Swiss Live Music Venue <p>The globally experienced suspension of cultural life brought about by the COVID-19 crisis has been duly acknowledged and discussed in a growing number of publications, reports and online seminars, most often in terms of the impact of COVID-19 on the music/culture industry. Despite the worsening pandemic situation in Switzerland and elsewhere during the autumn of 2020, I happened to be conducting field research in the city of St. Gallen (in north-eastern Switzerland) where the authorities opted for a “liberal” handling of the health crisis. As a result, the city’s live music venue “Palace”, where I was doing my fieldwork observations, remained open to the public as late as mid-December 2020, albeit with shortened opening hours and with a dancing ban. This allowed me to gain first-hand fieldwork experience during the pandemic’s significant constraints on social behaviour. The present article accordingly addresses the ethical dilemmas that I encountered when operating in this “grey zone” of field research, while also documenting the challenges and adjustments that the Palace venue had to undergo during pandemic times from the perspectives of producers, musicians and audiences alike. The article specifically focuses on understanding and analysing changes in the experience of the Palace’s sociality and spatiality under social distancing rules. Ultimately, this work provides a different angle on the existing body of music-cultural research, which largely focuses on the cancellations and transformations of music events into virtual gatherings.</p> Jelena Gligorijević Copyright (c) 2022 Equinox Publishing Ltd. 2022-06-22 2022-06-22 9 1-2 217–245 217–245 10.1558/jwpm.23356 The Impact of COVID-19 on Virtual Guitar Communities <p>Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the music industry was already experiencing uncertainty as musicians experimented with new modes of dissemination and monetization following developments in telecommunications. The arrival of the internet instigated varying, sometimes contradictory, cultural concerns including dispersion, dissipation, preservation, development, homogenization and heterogeneity. Guitar players have traditionally formed local networks and communities in geo-located domains. However, in the twenty-first century, community domains also include virtual spaces. An immersive netnographic study investigated activities in online guitar communities from the perspective of UNESCO’s Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage. Data were analysed using the protocols of Inductive Thematic Analysis generating seven codes, regarding the impact of COVID-19 on virtual guitar communities. Without doubt, the pandemic has had serious negative effects on individual musicians’ and live venues’ income streams. However, it does seem to have acted as a catalyst for fresh vigour within online communities seeking new ways to connect. With more artists sharing and interacting, the result could be a richer environment in the future. However, without a strong recognition of cultural responsibility this richness may result in a homogenous melting pot. Alternatively, it may also bring to light cultural expressions previously suppressed.</p> Daniel A Lee Copyright (c) 2022 Equinox Publishing Ltd. 2022-06-22 2022-06-22 9 1-2 246–268 246–268 10.1558/jwpm.23357