Threats to the talent pipeline: examining the post-pandemic third-tier cultural city

    Activity: Invited talk or paper presentationInvited talk (e.g. Keynote or guest speaker)


    Primary cities, such as London, Paris, and New York, are global entities; urban environments that are linked via size, influence, branding, and impact, and with intense connectivity and mobility in common (Brabazon 2015). These global cities are ‘de-nationalised’ centres networked to other global cities and in some ways separate from national imaginings (Sassen 2014). Although global cities are natural hubs for the creative industries (absorbing attention, finance, and wider socio-economic benefits) it is in the second-tier cities that national creative industries’ identities become more clearly expressed. In the UK, second-tier cities such as Manchester, Liverpool, Brighton, Bristol, Birmingham, Leeds, and Cardiff have all become self-defined and imaged in varying ways as music hubs; as ‘music cities.’ This has been achieved, in part, through the adoption of cultural regeneration and city imaging projects based around the distinctive qualities of their music heritage and hallmark events, or through the production, support, and marketing of young ‘scenes.’

    In this presentation we focus on the under-investigated third-tier of cities, which we characterise as ‘platform’, ‘springboard’ or ‘Cinderella’ cities. These cities (and towns) are considered to be part of the talent pipeline for the music industries, but are typified by a one-way flow of creative and business talent to the primary and secondary cities in their countries, making them problematic in terms of their sustainability. We argue that this is increasingly the case as second-tier cities have developed as regional hubs. Drawing on a number of research studies conducted by the authors, we explore the city of Southampton in order to develop a deeper understanding of the placement of, and issues facing, a ‘third-tier’ city in the talent pipeline of the UK.
    Period31 Aug 20222 Sept 2022
    Event titleIASPM UK & Ireland 2022 - Challenge and Change in Popular Music
    Event typeConference
    LocationLiverpool, United KingdomShow on map
    Degree of RecognitionInternational