Every activity has its inputs, which come at a cost. These include the direct costs of the goods and services, which enable it, and the costs of consumption that might otherwise have been spent on alternative activities (for example, the cost of the time an individual spends performing the activity, or the otherwise fallow infrastructure they demand for its performance).

From the investment of these current and opportunity costs, we create the activity; in this instance, the live music making ecosystem. This, in turn, may alter (for better or worse) one or all of the four states of human capital in the individuals and society participating in it.

Physical capital refers here to the saleable assets created by the activity. Human capital refers to, among other things, a person’s health, psychological well-being, knowledge and skills; whereas, social capital is an individual’s extant levels of happiness, trust, and engagement with others. Symbolic capital recognises the extent to which the activity and its artefacts inspire an individual, or gives them something to aspire to.


Capital of any kind, however, is a latent attribute. As such, it does not so much defeat measurement; it is just that its measurement is highly arbitrary and, for economic purposes, somewhat pointless. It is only when the potential of capital is expressed that it has utility, or value. Tangible and measurable expressions of capital include changes to an individual’s health, productivity and well-being; and, changes to commercial and civic net worth (through enlarged (or diminished) profits and/or avoided (or added) costs).

This report therefore uses:

  • financial analysis to scope the activity and estimate, among other things, total turnover
  • revealed preference and travel cost methodologies to arrive at estimates of direct and opportunity costs
  • economic impact analysis to estimate productivity and commercial outcomes
  • qualitative analysis to describe the ‘capital’ outcomes of live music activity and their relationship to inputs and outputs, and
  • contingent valuation to describe the perceived use and non-use values of the collective enterprises.