Sheffield positioned as one of the UK's leading 'Music Cities'

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

Music: A snapshot of Sheffield's music sector (PDF, 2.8MB), was compiled and written by Sheffield's Sensoria Festival. Building on Sheffield's famous musical heritage, the report outlines 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.

"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.

Professor Vanessa Toulmin 

Director of City & Cultural Engagement

"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."

Music: A snapshot of Sheffield’s music sector makes recommendations for the future growth of Sheffield's music industry including:

  • More availability of mid-sized music venues
  • Collaborative campaigns to promote all aspects of Sheffield’s music scene
  • More support for the production sector – increasing the industry's economic impact

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.

A global reputation

Sheffield is a research university with a global reputation for excellence. We're a member of the Russell Group: one of the 24 leading UK universities for research and teaching.