Why Sheffield Is The Next Big Thing For Music Entrepeneurs
The cities of Manchester, London, and Newcastle are amongst some of the UK’s best known for both being breeding grounds for some of the greatest bands Britain has produced and also being hubs for production and performance. They feature some of the oldest, most famous music halls and recording studios in the world. But the UK has more to offer, namely, smaller cities with thriving music industries that could expand to be as big, or bigger, than these well-known names. Amongst the likes of Liverpool and Nottingham, is Sheffield. Sheffield, nestled in the heart of the UK, has its share of famous names. The Human League, Arctic Monkeys, Pulp and Def Leppard aren’t a bad list to start with.
However, it’s the industry of production, hosting and innovation in music that seems to be blooming in Sheffield, concurrent to its rich background of producing popular bands. Here’s why Sheffield might be the answer to your ambitions as an entrepreneur.
It’s Equipped To Support You
Every start-up in the music industry carries a certain number of unique risks. They often employ numerous people for performance-based or technical work that features in performance and production. Therefore, issues like insurance, risk and accident cover are core needs for early-stage music start-ups, that rely on unpredictable cash flow. Running venues means welcoming hundreds of guests into single locations. In Sheffield, given the wealth of popular and older venues like the Foundry or Leadmill, they can put on incredible shows but are exposed to plenty of risks due to the number of employees and customers present. Personal injury claims are a common occurrence for these kinds of performance-based businesses as a result.
A claim like that is serious enough in itself, and a stain on the reputation of a business that relies on a clean one. However, claims for accidents at events can escalate into much larger situations, where victims may raise longer-term or more serious issues like PTSD compensation claims or treatment plans for life-changing physical circumstances. The costs of covering a lost claim and the length of the claim process in itself are something Sheffield’s music start-ups, and any UK start-ups, need a form of protection from.
In higher-risk industries like this, with an increased likelihood of accidents and injuries, start-ups in UK cities like Sheffield are well covered by a range of insurance and legal firms that provide advice and insight into where cover is needed and how to deal with the common sorts of claims that occur with live performance business, or technical and engineering work.
It’s Already Booming
Sheffield’s music start-up is bright and booming, but not overly competitive. Cities like London are saturated and often so bustling with other start-ups and a high barrier to entry in the music industry that the seed funding needed alone disqualifies many from even getting started. Sheffield’s music technology industry, alone, proves it’s a breeding ground for disruptive businesses that might not have deep pockets yet, but certainly have big ideas. Businesses like Musicstyling (a bespoke music producer to hotels worldwide), the crowdfunding platform Sponduly and the Facebook Live music channel Riffly are newcomers on the scene who are changing how people interact with music.
Equally, Sheffield boasts well-established music businesses like Access Lab, which remains the UK’s longest-running open-access digital media lab, 100% free to its users.
You’re entering a space full of innovators by settling in Sheffield which breeds collaboration and further advancements.
Location and Situation
Sheffield has won a lot of plaudits for its quality as a business location. These kinds of accolades are calculated by a lot of different factors because startups need a lot of support systems to thrive. Sheffield regularly ranks in the top 10 places to start a business, even as the best city, according to the Startup Cities Index 2022. Sheffield is well-connected by rail, road and air, it’s affordable for office space unlike many major cities and boasts a large musical audience, due to its many famous venues and history. The costs and rewards of choosing Sheffield contribute to its high ranking, despite being nowhere near the size of other UK cities.
If you’re an entrepreneur, with a deep interest in changing the UK’s music industry in some way, and looking for a place to call home for your venture, the cost of London rent or the accessibility of Newcastle might not be ideal. Sheffield is proving over again that it’s ready and waiting to receive your next, industry-shaping idea.