The only thing that’s seems certain after Monday’s open meeting to discuss the demise of NIMIC, the Northern Ireland Music Industry sector lead body, is that such a body no longer exists.
BBC Radio had a few interviews with folks from the meeting, which you can hear over on the 17/11/09 edition of BBC’s Evening Extra (interviews start at 1hr 12mins in). The interviewer summed it up nicely: “People seemed to be struggling to come up with ideas.”
Should a similar body be formed? For what purpose? Is it even necessary? Or are the various strands of any music industry simply better served by their own representative bodies (MMF, NIRSA etc.)?
My personal disappointment with the passing of NIMIC mainly stems from the (perhaps naïve) view that the presence of a unified voice for musicians & industry service providers was better than a fragmented group of various interests – and not only for the benefits of lobbying local government, but as a representative of co-operation and willingness to collaborate to the wider world.
I’d have to say that recent experience (not just the collapse of NIMIC) has changed that view to a large degree – indeed, the overall consensus is that a one-size-fits-all organization is doomed to fail, as NIMIC did. Indeed, according to what I can see as the currently prevalent idea, even the naming of a music industry body is premature. A music industry, in and of itself; either doesn’t, or to some people’s minds, shouldn’t exist at all here. I’m prepared to reluctantly accept those concepts.
So what’s next? Probably what faces most music industries in most cities – a wide range of organizations with various goals and an arrested knowledge of each others existence; advice giving and network sharing on a smaller scale between members of those organizations and occasional inter-organizational co-operation – lacking in a central point of contact for representation outside of that particular market or support for ideas and endeavor from within. What benefits or negative effects arise from this approach I’ll leave for others, and time itself, to extrapolate upon.
What do you think of the need, or lack thereof, for a central representative body for a music industry? What happens in your city by way of collaboration at an industry wide level and do you think you’d benefit from a single voice such as the one NIMIC has attempted to represent? An outside perspective is most appreciated here!