G e n e r a t o r

The M e t a project brings together music makers and workers across the British Isles!  


by Dave Cross

Generator's META project brings together music workers in two ways :-

These are -

  a music information resource, compiled from a number of sources and made widely available, and
  a a forum for music workers to have a voice that is heard by policymakers,

both of these being aimed at workers in music in the UK - particularly those who are not represented by other bodies and agencies.

  The information resource is developed as a natural extension of Generator's data collection work over a decade. The information is gathered from numerous partner organisations and in turn, is made available through each organsaition's own website. Additionally, that information is als accessible from this website at www.metamusic.org.uk

The documents, data and search tools in the information resource are offered to other arts and music organisations to include in their own web-sites by a relatively seamless integration of these service into the "look and feel" of those partner organisations' own web sites.

Also, the content of the resource (the actual information) can be tailored to the needs of each partner's users or client group. Whilst initially, the information offered is mainly aimed at workers with popular musics, a novel element of the META project will allow the content to be specified by the needs of each partner's users. This flexibility will apply to any kind of information relating to the performing arts that can be digitised.

This novel software accumulates the content of the information resource automatically.
Knowing how many people are all struggling to keep their own databases up to date, and doing this thankless task in isolation - META offers a central database updating service. This should ease the traditional problems of keeping information up to date, not just the names and addresses but also old internet links that don't connect, known as "web rot". Simplified, we ask partners to share their information with us - we attempt to update it, and give it back, along with other relevant entries from other partners working in the same field. This way, each partner organisation gets back more than they give.

It will only be necessary for the technical operators to "steer" this automatic process towards the sort of information that our particular partners' users are expected to benefit from. Then the databases will be scanned and checked for new and changed content, automatically.
In fact, to help ensure that the underlying principles of the system truly serve the needs of workers in differing artforms, the software is being designed by workers in music and in drama.

This is an ambitious programme of development, aimed at providing a unified source of up-to-date information and advice for the UK arts communities - automatically.

Generator is developing this system with the support of the Arts Council of England.
The advisory group includes a number of workers in UK music plus representatives from the DCMS and the MU
For further information about the development and uses of this resource, please contact Dave Cross at
dave@generator.org.uk .

  The forum is a very adaptable opportunity for music workers to meet, to share information, to meet others and to discuss some of the threats and opportunities they face. There are already several meetings each year where workers in music argue their corner or share their news. However the views of many workers do not reach the ears of policymakers.
Generator arranges many of these meetings in centres across the UK, but is also very pleased to be invited to contribute a session as part of another event, (such as a conference or convention) or simply to attend the offices of a partner organsaition or local authority who wish to discuss music work in their sector or their region.
META conferences or meetings will take place at events where underrepresented voices can be listened to and reported back to those who shape the policies that affect us all. These may be financial, political, social or cultural opinions but META will try to make sure that these voices are heard. After all, that's what we've been asked to do !

The first conference was at MODAL in Sheffield in 2001. Click here to read what was said.

In 2002 META tours the regions with a series of "regional receptions".
These will discuss issues that affect grass roots music workers with a view to developing those issues that we can take to policy makers.


How to support the grass roots.

How to support small venues, labels and the local band scene.
Where can funding come from ?

What is the role of radio ?

Arts Funding changes

Sources of advice, training and information.



META 2003 Dates

28th July 2003
London :
Musicians Union, Clapham Rd 2pm

29th July 2003
Oxford :
Zodiac 2pm

13th Aug 2003
Norwich :
Arts Centre 2pm

14th Aug 2003
Coventry :
Elmbank Centre 2pm

27th Aug 2003
Leicester :
De Montford - Gateway 2pm

28th Aug 2003
Liverpool :
LIPA 2pm

4th September 2003
Plymouth :
B-Bar, Barbican Theatre 2pm

3rd September 2003
Brighton :
Scream Studios, Melbourne St. 2pm

10th Sept 2003
Leeds :
Town Hall 2pm

11th Sept 2003
Newcastle :
Hyena 2pm

30th Oct-1st Nov 2003
Glasgow :
MusicWorks - Radison Hotel

to be confirmed 2003
North Kent :
venue to be advised

META conference
The first META conference was in
February 2001 at MODAL in Sheffield
Sunday 25th Feb 2001

Topics :
How to support the grass roots.
How to support small venues, labels and the local band scene.
Where can funding come from ?
What is the role of radio ?
Arts Funding changes

make the Meta conference work for you !

The 2004 season is still being prepared.
Watch this site for more conference news.

For further information contact Dave Cross on 0191 224 0088


Return to META home page

We hope to hear you soon!