United Kingdom

  • capital city: London
  • population: 64,500,000
  • area: 242,495 sq. km.
  • languages spoken: English
  • annual record sales: $1,334,600,000 (USD 2014)
  • rank: 3rd largest worldwide
  • currency: Pound £ (GBP)
  • Beer and pubs contribute £22bn to UK GDP and generate £13bn in tax revenue

The UK music sector is booming, with 17% growth between 2013 and 2014. UK artists like Coldplay, Adele, Sam Smith, Ed Sheeran, and One Direction are celebrated the world over. And even at home, close to 9.5 million people traveling to music events in 2014. UK Music.org

Who’s who in the UK music market

T in the Park-Scotland

British Recorded Music Industry Limited

BPI is the British recorded music industry’s trade association. We champion the interests of our membership which includes more than 300 independent music companies and the UK’s major record companies.

Riverside Building, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, London SE1 7JA
P: +44 (0)20 7803 1300
E: general@bpi.co.uk
Chief Executive: Geoff Taylor
Director of Public Affairs: Ian Moss


Association of Independent Music

AIM is a non-profit trade body established in 1999 by UK independent record labels to represent the independent record sector, which constitutes approximately 25% of the UK market.

Lamb House, Church Street, Chiswick, London W4 2PD
P: +44 (0)20 8994 5599
E: info@musicindie.com


Musicians Union     www.musiciansunion.org.uk
The MU represents over 30,000 musicians. We work for you by negotiating with all the major employers in the industry, as well as offering services, benefits and advice tailored to your needs at every stage of your career.

British Academy of Songwriters, Composers & Authors    www.basca.org.uk
BASCA is a professional organisation based in London, UK, representing songwriters, composers and lyricists.

Music Publishers Association     www.mpaonline.org.uk
The MPA exists to promote the interests of music publishers and the writers signed to them, and to represent these interests to government, industry, media and the public.

PRS for Music Limited    www.prsformusic.com
PRS is a UK copyright collection society and performance rights organisation undertaking collective rights management for musical works.

Music Producers Guild     www.mpg.org.uk
MPG was conceived and is supported by producers and engineers who are passionate about all aspects of making and recording music. It is a not-for-profit company and is run by volunteers from the membership.

Music Managers Forum     www.themmf.net
The MMF is the leading representative body for UK based music artist managers. At present its membership stands at over 400 managers, representing in total over 1,000 artists.

Music Industries Association     www.mia.org.uk
The MIA is a UK trade association representing the interests of all UK businesses selling musical instruments and associated products.

Association of Professional Recording Services     www.aprs.co.uk
APRS members include music and post-production recording studios, mastering and replication houses, manufacturers and suppliers of professional audio equipment, as well as audio freelancers, consultants and students.



UK Music

UK Music is a campaigning and lobbying group, which represents every part of the recorded and live music industry, from artists, musicians, songwriters and composers, to major and independent record labels, managers, music publishers, studio producers and collecting societies.

4th Floor, 49 Whitehall, London SW1A 2BX
P: +44 (0)20 3713 8444
E: info@ukmusic.org
Director of Communications: James Murtagh-Hopkins



High Commission of Canada in the United Kingdom

Canada House, Trafalgar Square, London SW1Y 5BJ
E: ldn.publicaffairs@international.gc.ca
P: +44(0) 207 004 6000
High Commissioner for Canada: Gordon Campbell
Trade Commissioner Assistant: Carol Gould
E: ldn-td@international.gc.ca

Touring in the United Kingdom

Great Escape Festival

The UK music sector is alive and rocking. Exports of British music are growing at an impressive rate – and imports of music, both live and recorded, from countries such as Canada are strong as well.

If you want to perform in the UK, you must obtain a Tier 5 Certificate of Sponsorship work permit for each performer and crew-member:

  • You will need a registered UK sponsor to make the application – typically your UK agent or tour promoter
  • Permits are required for paid and unpaid performances. They can be used for multiple entries for a 3 month period.
  • Cost: 21 Pounds per person, plus sponsor fees.
  • Time: Applications can be made starting 3 months before date of entry with a 4 week lead time recommended

Canadian performers will be subject to a 20% withholding tax on performance revenues.

For more detailed information on work permits and tax issues, please download UK Work Permits for Musicians Overview.

The United Kingdom is made up of four different regions. For more information on each region, please see the Regions in the United Kingdom descriptions below.

The UK’s annual festivals are numerous and varied. For more information please see the UK’s major festivals tab below.

Green Man Festival-Wales

Creative Industries: UK to the World     www.thecreativeindustries.co.uk/industries/music
We are a partnership of government and industry working together to bring great creative stories from the UK to the world. This website is designed to provide an international trade audience with a single overview and destination guide to the UK’s unique creative landscape.

British Council       music.britishcouncil.org
The British Council was founded to create a friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and the wider world. We call this work cultural relations. The British Council Music team works with the organisation’s global network of arts managers and partners to create high-impact arts projects involving professional artists and organisations from the UK.

The Festival Calendar       www.thefestivalcalendar.co.uk
We are proud to give you the web’s definitive guide for UK Summer Music Festivals.

UK Music Magazines
New Musical Express    www.nme.com

Kerrang!    www.kerrang.com

Q (magazine)    www.qthemusic.com

Key Regions in the United Kingdom

England population 53,012,456

Major urban centres: Greater London 9,787,426 – Greater Manchester 2,553,379 – Birmingham and West Midlands 2,440,986 – West Yorkshire 1,777,934

Key Venues/Clubs: Bar & Co www.barandcompany.com London, The Barfly www.thebarflylondon.com London, Brixton Academy www.academymusicgroup.com/o2academybrixton London, Luna Lounge www.lunalounge.info London, Bush Hall www.bushhallmusic.co.uk London, The Underworld www.theunderworldcamden.co.uk London, 100 Club www.the100club.co.uk London, The Night & Day Café www.nightnday.org Manchester, Deaf Institute www.thedeafinstitute.co.uk Manchester, www.o2ritzmanchester.co.uk Manchester, The Roadhouse www.theroadhouselive.co.uk Manchester

Key Radio: BBC Radio 1 98.8 FM (Rock, Alternative), BBC Radio 2 89.1 FM (Easy), BBC Radio 3 91.3 FM (Classical), BBC Radio 4 93.5 FM (Talk), 95.8 Capital FM, Heart 96-107 FM, Kiss 100, RadioX 105-98, Virgin Radio 105.8, Key 103 FM Manchester

Universities: University of London www.london.ac.uk, University of Manchester www.manchester.ac.uk, University of Nottingham www.nottingham.ac.uk, Sheffield Hallam University www.shu.ac.uk, University of Birmingham www.birmingham.ac.uk, Manchester Metropolitan University www.mmu.ac.uk, University of Leeds www.leeds.ac.uk, University College London www.ucl.ac.uk, King’s College London www.kcl.ac.uk, Northumbria University www.northumbria.ac.uk, University of the West of England www.uwe.ac.uk, University of Plymouth www.plymouth.ac.uk, Nottingham Trent University www.ntu.ac.uk, University of Sheffield www.sheffield.ac.uk, University of Central Lancashire www.uclan.ac.uk

Scotland population 5,313,700

Scotland is part of the United Kingdom and covers the northern third of the island of Great Britain. It shares a border with England to the south, and is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean. Its major cities are the capital Edinburgh (464,990) and Glasgow (591,620)

Key venues/clubs ABC www.academymusicgroup.com/o2abcglasgow Glasgow, Academy www.o2academyglasgow.co.uk Glasgow, Barrowland Ballroom www.glasgow-barrowland.com/ballroom.htm Glasgow, Òran Mór www.oran-mor.co.uk Glasgow,The Glad Café www.thegladcafe.co.uk Glasgow, King Tuts Wah Wah Hut www.kingtuts.co.uk Glasgow, Nice N Sleazy www.nicensleazy.com Glasgow, The SSE Hydro www.thessehydro.com Glasgow, The Sub Club www.subclub.co.uk Glasgow,

Bannerman’s www.bannermanslive.co.uk Edinburgh, The Cabaret Voltaire www.thecabaretvoltaire.com Edinburgh, Electric Circus www.theelectriccircus.biz Edinburgh, Sneaky Pete’s www.sneakypetes.co.uk Edinburgh, The Brunton www.thebrunton.co.uk Edinburgh, The Caves www.thecavesedinburgh.com Edinburgh, The Liquid Room www.liquidroom.com Edinburgh, The Queen’s Hall www.thequeenshall.net Edinburgh, The Voodoo Rooms www.thevoodoorooms.com Edinburgh, Usher Hall www.usherhall.co.uk

Key Radio Stations: Capital South Wales 103.2 FM, Heart Wales 105–107 FM

Colleges and Universities: Glasgow Caledonian University www.gcu.ac.uk, Glasgow Kelvin College www.glasgowkelvin.ac.uk, Glasgow School of Art www.gsa.ac.uk, University of Glasgow www.gla.ac.uk, University of Strathclyde www.strath.ac.uk, Edinburgh College of Art www.eca.ed.ac.uk, University of Edinburgh www.ed.ac.uk

Wales population 3,060,000

Wales is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain, bordered by England to its east, the Irish Sea to its north and west, and the Bristol Channel to its south. Cardiff (346,100) is its capital city.

Key venues/clubs: Cardiff Motorpoint Arena www.livenation.co.uk/venue/3915/cardiff-international-arena-tickets, Cardiff University Student Union www.cardiffstudents.com, St David’s Hall www.stdavidshallcardiff.co.uk, Tramshed www.tramshedcardiff.com, The Globe www.globecardiffmusic.com, The Glee Club www.glee.co.uk/cardiff

Key radio: RadioX www.radiox.de, Hit Radio FFM 91.8 FM, Antenne Frankfurt 95.1 FM, You FM 90.4

Colleges and Universities: Cardiff University www.cardiff.ac.uk, Cardiff Metropolitan University www.cardiffmet.ac.uk, Royal Welsh College of Music www.rwcmd.ac.uk, University of South Wales www.southwales.ac.uk, University of Wales www.wales.ac.uk

Northern Ireland population 1,811,000

Northern Ireland is a part of the United Kingdom, sharing a border to the south and west with the Republic of Ireland. Its capital city is Belfast.

Key venues/clubs: McHugh’s Bar www.mchughsbar.com, SSE Arena www.ssearenabelfast.com, The Belfast Empire Music Hall www.thebelfastempire.com, The Limelight www.limelightbelfast.com, Ulster Hall www.ulsterhall.co.uk, Voodoo www.voodoobelfast.com

Key Radio Stations: FM 96.7 CityBeat, FM 97.4 Cool FM, FM 96.4 Downtown Radio, FM 97.2 Coleraine

Colleges and Universities: Belfast Metropolitan College, www.belfastmet.ac.uk, Queen’s University Belfast www.qub.ac.uk, Ulster University- Belfast www.ulster.ac.uk/ulster-life/campuses/belfast

UK’s major festivals

The Great Escape

TGE is a ‘new music’ festival that showcases emerging artists from all over the world. Over 400 up and coming bands play in 35 Brighton venues, accessible on one wristband. It’s the first place to discover your new favorite band and see them in an intimate setting before they go on to headline major festival stages.

We run a convention alongside the gigs featuring insightful panels, topical debates, keynote speeches and networking opportunities in abundance. Thousands of delegates from across the world attend to find new talent, form new business partnerships, expand existing networks and seek new opportunities.

Festival alumni include: Martha Wainwright, You Say Party We Say Die, Dan Mangan, Adele, Bon Iver, Gang Of Four, Mumford & Sons, Kasabian, Broken Social Scene, Sufjan Stevens, Ed Sheeran, Alabama Shakes, Foxes, Grimes, Iggy Azalea, Chvrches, and Tom Odell.

Liverpool Sound City

Liverpool Sound City is an unrivalled 2-day festival of incredible live music and arts, capturing the city of Liverpool and reinforcing it as the cultural core of the UK. Since its inception in 2008, Liverpool Sound City has grown into one of the most important and well-respected cultural events in the UK.

Held each year on the Mersey river docks, Liverpool Sound City was named 2015 Best Metropolitan Festival at the UK Festival Awards and Conference.

Festival alumni include: Gil Scott-Heron, Chilly Gonzales, Delphic, Ed Sheeran, Dexys Midnight Runners, Albert Hammond Jr, The Walkmen, Sheepdogs, Kodaline, Action Bronson, The Flaming Lips, and Belle and Sebastian.

Glastonbury Festival

The Glastonbury Festival started in 1970 the day after Jimi Hendrix died and ran for 2 days. It is now THE music festival of the summer, the largest greenfield music and performing arts festival in the world and a template for all the festivals that have come after it.

The Glastonbury Festival aims to encourage and stimulate youth culture from around the world in all its forms, including pop music, dance music, jazz, folk music, fringe theatre, drama, mime, circus, cinema, poetry and all the creative forms of art and design, including painting, sculpture and textile art.

Glastonbury is now attended by around 175,000 people with more than 2,200 performances on over 100 stages.

Isle of Wight Festival

The festival began in 1968, culminating in a 5-day event that included Jimi Hendrix, The Who, The Doors, Joni Mitchell, Supertramp, Leonard Cohen, Joan Baez, Chicago, and Procol Harum who played to over 600,000 people.

Re-launched in 2002, the Isle of Wight Festival continues that legacy on a small, isolated island that is only 2 hours from London.

Recent festival alumni include: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Kings of Leon, The Specials, Bon Jovi, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, Foo Fighters, Iggy & The Stooges, Tom Jones, Jay-Z, and Paul McCartney.

T in the Park

T in the Park, named after the brewing company Tennents was established in 1994 and is now held at Strathallan Castle, in Perthshire. Originally a two-day event, the festival became a three-day event in 2007. It now attracts up to 85,000 people each day, along with 70,000 campers.

Recent festival alumni include: Sam Smith, Avicii, Noel Gallagher, Stereophonics, Alabama Shakes, Mark Ronson, The Proclaimers, St Vincent, Arctic Monkeys, Pharrell Williams, Rihanna, Mumford and Sons, Coldplay, Foo Fighters, and Beyoncé.

Green Man Festival

Green Man is an independent music and arts festival held annually in the Brecon Beacons, Wales. Now in its 14th year, it has evolved into a 20,000 capacity 4 day event, showcasing predominantly live music (alternative, indie, rock, folk, dance and Americana) as well as literature, film, comedy, theatre and poetry.

Renowned for its non-corporate, ethical approach, it has won several awards including ‘Best Medium Sized Festival – 2010′ and ‘Grass Roots Festival – 2012’ In 2015, Green Man won Best Festival at the Live Music Business Awards.

Festival alumni include: Donovan, Spiritualized, Pentangle, Andrew Bird, The Flaming Lips, Mumford & Sons, Feist, Van Morrison, Mercury Rev, The Waterboys, St Vincent, Television, and Sun Ra Arkestra.


Belsonic is an outdoor music festival which has taken place in August in Belfast, Northern Ireland since 2008. Held in the intimate surroundings of Custom House Square, in the city’s historic Cathedral Quarter the seven-day festival features music from around the world.

Recent performers include: Florence and the Machine, The Specials, Tiësto, Noel Gallagher, Tom Jones, Nine Inch Nails, Kodaline, Chic Feat. Nile Rodgers, Queens of the Stone Age, and Image Dragons.

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