The UK City With The Most Artists Revealed

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Discover the UK city with the highest density of artists, the capital of drum and bass, and the only UK city where bands outnumber DJs.

In a new study, using PIRATE.COM booking data, we've determined the density of artists in cities across the UK and Ireland. The study also explores the balance between live artists and DJs in various UK and Irish cities, and offers insight into their most popular music genres.

By examining the number of bands, DJs and recording artists relative to the overall population, Bristol has been identified as the UK city with the highest concentration of music artists. Joining Bristol in the top five cities with a significant artist population are: Norwich, Brighton and Hove, Nottingham and Liverpool.

By contrast, Bradford was found to have the lowest density of music artists among the cities analysed. Interestingly, London, despite its famous music scene, also ranked in the bottom five, likely due to the higher cost of living in the capital. This discrepancy highlights the unexpected concentration of music artists across different regions of the country.

Rebecca Mason-Evans runs Pirate Residency, a talent initiative fostering the careers of artists using Pirate’s studios:

“Analysing the distribution of artists across the UK underscores the importance of supportive environments for nurturing talent outside of traditional music centres. That’s what Pirate is for.”

The study also showcases a growing interest in electronic music and DJ culture across the UK. Comparing the usage of DJ studios to band rehearsal studios in 17 major cities in the UK and Ireland, we found that DJs outnumber live artists in most cities, including UK music capitals like London, Manchester and Birmingham. The exception is Edinburgh, where bands outnumber DJs.

Ross Gordon, Pirate’s Edinburgh Site Manager reflects on the talent coming from Pirate’s Edinburgh site:

“It’s a privilege to support the growth of so many amazing musicians and DJs coming through Pirate Edinburgh. We're proud to be part of a music scene that excels in so many diverse genres and styles.”

Dublin, the only non-UK city in the study, also had more live artists than DJs, albeit by a smaller margin than Edinburgh.

Using data from applications to the latest round of Pirate Residency, the study also shines a light on the most popular genres in different regions. Rock and indie music emerged as the most popular genres in Scotland, Ireland and Wales, while drum and bass took the lead in the South West and East of England. House and techno dominated most regions, including Yorkshire and the Humber, the West Midlands, the South East, the North West, the East Midlands and London.

Cities With The Highest Density Of Artists In The UK & Ireland

1. Bristol (1.301%)

2. Norwich (1.026%)

3. Brighton & Hove (0.897%)

4. Nottingham (0.800%)

5. Liverpool (0.737%)

6. Leicester (0.686%)

7. Cardiff (0.611%)

8. Leeds (0.605%)

9. Glasgow (0.600%)

10. Dublin (0.532%)

11. Birmingham (0.515%)

12. Plymouth (0.418%)

13. London (0.417%)

14. Edinburgh (0.366%)

15. Sheffield (0.336%)

16. Manchester (0.238%)

17. Bradford (0.225%)

This study was conducted by PIRATE.COM, a network of 24-hour Recording, Rehearsal, DJ, Podcast and Dance studios spread across New York, London, Berlin, Los Angeles and beyond. For this report, Pirate looked at studio booking data from 17 cities across the UK and Ireland: Bristol, Norwich, Brighton and Hove, Nottingham, Liverpool, Leicester, Cardiff, Leeds, Glasgow, Dublin, Birmingham, London, Plymouth, Edinburgh, Sheffield, Manchester and Bradford.






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