• Mayor of Greater Manchester announces final line-up of new Greater Manchester Music Commission including English Folk Expo Chief Executive, Tom Besford
  • Their first meeting will be held in January, and commissioners will meet four times a year
  • Greater Manchester Music Commission to build on success of United We Stream and Town of Culture, awarded to Bury for 2020-21

MUSICIANS, artists and industry leaders from across Greater Manchester have been chosen to lead a new body championing music and arts throughout the city-region.

Together they will form the inaugural line-up of the Greater Manchester Music Commission, launched today (Monday 20 December) by the Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA).

The 25 people and two organisations appointed to the Commission include artists, managers, broadcasters, venue owners, festival founders, and record labels. The Commission will meet four times a year, with the first meeting taking place in January 2022, and will report to the GMCA. Commissioners have been chosen following an application process, and the gender-balanced panel has representation from throughout the city region across a diverse range of musical genres.

The group has representation from across Greater Manchester and will link with existing groups from across the city-region, including the Manchester Music Cities group and the Salford Music Creative Cluster.

The role of the Commission will be to:

  • Identify opportunities to develop talent and audiences within the Greater Manchester music ecology, as well as its prominence, reputation, and success both nationally and internationally
  • Identify areas requiring intervention
  • Prioritise these opportunities and challenges within the local context
  • Develop specific actions, interventions, and programmes to present to GMCA
  • Provide oversight of StreamGM, the not-for-profit ethical streaming service designed to provide a global platform for Greater Manchester talent
  • Investigate ways to promote music from Greater Manchester around the world, including investigation of the feasibility of a major music industry event in Greater Manchester

The Greater Manchester Music Commission was originally the recommendation of a joint review carried out by UK Music and the GMCA, and was one of the commitments made by the Mayor in his 2021 manifesto.

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said: “I am so proud to be announcing today the members of our first ever Greater Manchester Music Commission. We had a fantastic response to the call that went out earlier this year, and the commissioners we’ve appointed represent all aspects of the vibrant, diverse, and exciting music scene across our 10 boroughs.

“Manchester has always been the beating heart of UK music. Our history is full of pioneers who did things differently, and who were often imitated but never bettered – but we’ve never been content to stand still and revel in the glories of the past. The job of the commissioners will be to represent the Greater Manchester music scene as it is now, championing creators and communities at every level. They will look at new ways of promoting music and developing new talent, and work with us to turn those ideas into action. I can’t wait to see how they tackle the task, and I will be following and supporting them every step of the way.”

The Greater Manchester Music Commission builds on some of the high-profile successes of arts and cultural initiatives in recent years. The application stage was launched in Bury, Greater Manchester’s first ever Town of Culture, on the eve of the Burrs Live and Head for the Hills festivals in the borough.

Cllr Martyn Cox, Greater Manchester’s Lead for Culture, said: “The commissioners we’ve appointed today represent some of the best that our city-region’s burgeoning music scene has to offer. The artists, promoters, educators and industry leaders on the Greater Manchester Music Commission will play a vital role in helping the sector to thrive, and in celebrating the ways in which music enriches our lives and our communities.

“Today’s announcement is also a tribute to the legacy of David Greenhalgh, who did so much to champion our vibrant culture scene right across Greater Manchester. This Commission absolutely embodies that spirit, and we look forward to the ideas and energy they will bring to the table.”

The full list of members appointed to the Greater Manchester Music Commission is as follows:

Bob RileyManchester Camerata
Carolyn BaxendaleGM Music Hub
Chris HawkinsBBC 6 Music
Damian MorganBIMM / Mango Management
Dave BrownEven the Stars
Dave MoutreyHOME
David ButcherThe Halle
Debra KingBrighter Sound
Jane BeeseManchester International Festival
Jay TaylorNight & Day / Music Venue Trust
Jeff ThompsonUnConvention
Jenna GMusician
Karen BoardmanCrisis Management
Karen GabayTV producer & radio/podcast host
Kate LowesBrighter Sound
Kirsty FaircloughSchool of Digital Arts / Manchester Jazz Festival
Mark LippmanScruff of the Neck
Michael AdexNQ Group
Oli WilsonBeyond The Music
Ottilia ÖrdögBeat Bazaar
Rebecca SwarrayDJ
Rivca BurnsSounds from the other City
Santana GueroutBand on the Wall
Sour Grapes RecordsSour Grapes Records
Tom BesfordEnglish Folk Expo
Victoria RobinsonThe Met
Voltalab StudiosVoltalab Studios

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