There are many commercial music rehearsal spaces across the world offering excellent opportunities for musicians to perfect their informal music-making. They act as a critical meeting point between the amateur and professional activity, similar to sports centres. Music Rehearsal spaces are often unique in response to their users, location and the building they are housed in, developed over several years. They serve a relatively local population and are mostly located in urban areas. Artists will increasingly need access to high quality spaces as the monetary value of land and buildings grow.
A number of spaces work with record companies, promoters, publishers, music management companies, orchestras and opera companies. Sometimes a room hire is on a long-term let or sub-let. However, there is little information or coordinated effort to promote their use. Until now.
Bandspace was set up in 2006 in part in response to upholding high standards for professional music rehearsal spaces for all types and standards of musician. Bandspace provides a forum to raise awareness of the important role music rehearsal spaces play in supporting musicians. Our aim is to promote well-maintained, clean, attractive, accessible and safe music rehearsal spaces. We hope Bandspace provides a resource from which others can build. We will publish irregulars blogs routed in existing research, studies and reports that mention music rehearsals and their spaces.
The objectives of the Bandspace project is to improve access to information about rehearsal spaces by:
Building an infrastructure to support networking, information, advice & guidance
Providing an online representative body for the music rehearsal sector
Benchmarking the minimum physical & technical attributes of a physical music rehearsal space
Encourage spaces to do business online
Advising policy-makers, architects, acousticians, building planners, academics, researchers & those working in education
Identifying opportunities to improve access to informal music-making
Improving the knowledge of the significance of music rehearsal spaces
Drawing together research for music rehearsal spaces, including case studies
Communicating the challenges facing music rehearsal spaces
Advocating the use of spaces for learning and recreational purposes
Developing a methodology of quantifying those active in music-making & the music rehearsal economy
Making the link between informal music-making and music rehearsal spaces
Bandspace was founded by Trevor Mason in January 2006, he was the Project Evaluator for the £0.5m UK government's Pilot Music Rehearsal Spaces project working with UK Music, the Music Industries Association and Youth Music in 2012. The final report can be found here. The report concluded a network and more information about music rehearsal spaces would help to improve access and benchmark their offers to the benefit of musicians.
Trevor's research includes two good practice guides for music spaces in youth centres published by the UK Government's Department for Education and the Big Lottery Fund under its Myplace programme:
Trevor gained an MA degree in Arts Management from London's City University in 2006 where his thesis investigated The Economic Value of Informal music-making in London.
He has had articles published in the Zone and Sounding Board community music magazines making links between the prevalence of informal music-making and music rehearsal spaces. He was a contributor to the book Guerilla Guide to the Music Business.
Trevor started out as a music promoter in Kent in England, before becoming a music columnist for 12 years at the Kent Messenger Group newspapers. He worked as a Music Officer for Arts Council England and was the London region officer for the National Foundation for Youth Music. He developed a consultancy working for the London Roundhouse, A New Direction, English Folk Dance and Song Society, Hackney and Medway Councils, the Hip Hop Shakespeare Company, Pegasus Opera, Visiting Arts, RollingSound, Sound Connections and Point Blank. He was involved in the British Government's Culture department's consultation with the sector in 2021.
We've received many endorsements from spaces thanking us for supporting their work. Bandspace has been monitoring Facebook posts made by music rehearsal spaces from across the world since 3 July 2014. It is an effective and easy method to gather some intelligence about the sector. Social media is a vehicle by which music rehearsal spaces communicate with the wider world.
Who's it for?
The Bandpace website is aimed at owners, managers and workers at music rehearsal spaces. A collective voice will provide a mandate to approach government, the music industry and others to advocate for greater recognition.
Bandspace is a procurer and list of music rehearsal spaces, a tell-taler of tantalisingly covert music happenings all across the world - reviews, recommendations and advice of what we dig from our obsessive cratedigging. Come play with us and add your voice to this growing community.