Westminster Media Forum

The future of the live entertainment sector: innovation, competing for customers and supporting grassroots

Morning, Tuesday, 10th July 2018

Central London


This timely seminar will consider the future for the live entertainment sector in the UK, including innovation, audiences and supporting grassroots.

Following the Government’s announcement of plans to strengthen planning policy to include the Agent of Change principle in order to protect grassroots venues, and with the Mayor of London also backing the principle in the Draft New London Plan, delegates will discuss the shape of incoming legislation and consider wider licensing issues.

They will also assess priorities for addressing further challenges facing an increasingly complex and competitive sector, including access to finance, conditions on the live scene for emerging artists - such as the rise of the pay-to-play model - and the potential implications of Brexit, particularly around touring and accessing new markets, as well as look at key issues around ticketing following the recent introduction of new rules to combat ticket-touting.

Taking place following the launch of the Cities of Culture Enquiry, commissioned by the Arts Council England, which will assess current and future resource channels for culture, sessions will examine issues around widening the socio-economic value of live entertainment - including around access, affordability and tourism - and explore the increasing opportunities for innovation presented by tech, digital and new, immersive ways of experiencing live.

Guest of Honour

Sarah Fox

Head, Planning Policy, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

Guest of Honour

Sarah Fox

Head, Planning Policy, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government


Stuart Galbraith

Chief Executive Officer, Kilimanjaro Live

Elaine Bedell

Chief Executive, Southbank Centre

Tom Stickland

Theatres Adviser, Theatres Trust

Tom Fiddian

Innovation Lead, Creative Economy, Innovate UK

Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson

Chair, Culture, Tourism and Sport Board, Local Government Association

Dr Matt Brennan

AHRC Leadership Fellow, The University of Edinburgh

Paul Reed

General Manager, Association of Independent Festivals

Max Alexander

Chief Executive Officer, Secret Cinema

Dr Timothy Jung

Director, Creative AR & VR Hub, Manchester Metropolitan University

Councillor Huw Thomas

Leader, Cardiff Council

Helen Marriage

Chief Executive Officer and Artistic Director, Artichoke

Lyndsey Jackson

Director of Operations, Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society

Professor Marion Roberts

Professor of Urban Design, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, University of Westminster

Alan Miller

Chairman, Night Time Industries Association