Update on Implementation of Music Network’s Strategic Plan 2014-17

17 June 2015

April 2015 marked the completion of year one of our Strategic Plan 2014 - 2017, which supports our mission to make high quality live music available and accessible to people throughout Ireland, regardless of their location or circumstance, while supporting the career development of musicians.

Below is a snapshot of our progress in three key areas:

  1. Audience Development
  2. Musician Development
  3. Partnership Development

Audience Development

Objective: To consolidate Music Network’s 4 performance programmes into a single audience-focused, artistically-driven, touring programme

  • 9 tours, comprising between 6 and 12 dates, delivered (in addition to special events for Culture Night and year end, and a series of 14 Artist Roster and Young Musicwide concerts as these programmes transitioned into touring)
  • 109 concerts presented in total
  • 10% increase in audiences achieved, rising to an average of 115 attendees per concert.

Objective: In partnership with The Ark, A Cultural Centre for Children, to create a new programming strand: live music experiences for child and family audiences

  • Fundraising target achieved (€73 k secured) and A Most Peculiar Wintry Thing successfully commissioned, produced and toured - comprising 14 performances regionally and 24 in The Ark -  achieving 92% venue capacity fill and reaching an audience of 5,394.

Objective: To develop a programme of bespoke audience development/outreach activity in conjunction with Music Network’s Touring Programme

  • 27 events delivered (involving 742 participants), exceeding our target number of events by 69%. The number of beneficiaries also rose by 94% on prior year (382 in 2013/14).

Objective: Adding value to our investment in Music Generation, to create linkage projects between Music Network’s touring programme, active Music Education Partnerships (MEPs), and partner promoters in their areas

  • 13 projects delivered in the period, exceeding our target by 63%
  • 66% of funded Music Education Partnerships engaged with in the period.

Musician Development

Objective: Provision of professional performance opportunities (in Ireland and internationally) and associated outreach/audience development initiatives as appropriate

  • 6% increase in the number of concerts presented in the period
  • An average per concert audience increase of 10%.

Objective: Promotion of the work of contemporary Irish composers

  • Inclusion of contemporary Irish works in 91% of relevant touring programmes (exceeding our target of 80%)
  • 2 new commissions achieved - A Most Peculiar Wintry Thing, and a Conor Linehan commission for Joanna MacGregor's solo piano tour, March 2015.

Objective: Provison of supports for emerging musicians, within the Music Network Touring Programme

  • Inclusion of tours by emerging Irish artists within our touring programme, with tour-related artist supports provided and marketing tools developed
  • 7-date Belgian tour brokered on behalf of We Banjo 3
  • Tour featuring The Aoife Doyle Band, which includes a number of Northern Irish dates, co-promoted with Moving on Music
  • Other supports provided, including a residency at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, stage craft training, mentoring in song writing, support for CD production and a photo/video shoot for promotional purposes.

Objective: To pilot and establish a Musician/curator Residency Programme

  • Triskel Christchurch, Cork, confirmed as pilot partner for this musician-led concert series, which will enable creative collaborations, commissioning of new work, special performances with international guest musicians and integrated Learning & Participation activity with local communities.

Partnership Development

Objective: To deepen engagement with key promoters, working together to raise standards of concert promotion and foster greater audience focus, leading to increased audiences

  • New Partner Promoter Agreement produced, and adopted by all promoters
  • 46% of partner promoters active in the period met/visited (17 of 37); an additional 8 meetings/visits took place in relation to promoters we intend to work with in the period April' 15/March '16
  • 10% growth in audience figures achieved, in partnership with promoters.

Objective: To work with and through our subsidiary company Music Generation on:
     i. full implementation of the National Music Education Programme
     ii. An integrated strategy for joined-up local music development

  • Music Network board representation on the Committee for Non-Mainstream Department  of Education and Skills Funded Music Education
  • 66% of MEPs funded by Music Generation have engaged with our Touring Programme in the period 

Objective: To strengthen existing strategic partnerships, and initiate new partnerships in pursuit of our goals

  • Extension of our partnership with Moving on Music in co-promoting tours, hence maximising access for audiences, ensuring value for money, and increasing work opportunities for musicians
  • Working with Culture Ireland and other partners to ensure that new, curated touring product provides maximum value for investment & extended performance opportunities for musicians involved through international tours/concert series
  • New Partnership formed with the Irish Cultural Centre, Paris, to extend our performance networks; additionally, 9 international performances brokered by Music Network in the period.

It has been a busy and productive year here at Music Network and we are encouraged that the Strategic Plan is showing such positive results. Following review and recalibration where required, we will continue to implement the plan and develop new initiatives in support of our goals. None of this would be possible without the ongoing support of our funders, sponsors and partners, to whom we are very thankful. We are particularly grateful to our principal funder the Arts Council.