O2 Undiscovered research finds that a fifth of Mancunians would quit their job tomorrow to enter the music industry

  • Manchester’s builders, civil servants and doctors are most likely to have unfulfilled musical aspirations
  • 43% say schools don’t provide enough information on careers in music
  • Simon Cowell voted most respected person in the music industry

New research has revealed that one in five (20%) of the Manchester public are frustrated rock or pop stars, and would give up their current profession for a career in the music industry and follow in the footsteps of Ian Curtis or Liam Gallagher.

The research was commissioned by O2 Undiscovered – www.o2undiscovered.co.uk – a grass roots music programme aimed at opening up careers in the music industry to people across the UK. Throughout May, music legends such as Dave Stewart, Danny McNamara, Guy Garvey and Ian Brown will be coming together to support the O2 Undiscovered Regional Workshops, offering guidance from agents, publicists and managers on how to make it into the music industry. The programme will visit Manchester Academy 2 on Saturday May 17th 11am-3pm.

According to the research, Manchester’s builders were the largest group of frustrated musicians and moguls, with 18% harbouring a desire to make it into the music business. These were followed by civil servants (10%) and doctors (10%).

Lack of Access

The main reason cited by Mancunians who aspired to make it in the music business but ultimately failed, is a lack of access to the right people (21%). However, despite not having access to their own Tony Wilson this does not stop the Mancunians trying, with 43% who strive to enter the music industry spending between one and five years trying to make it and 12% spending more than five years.

School’s Out

The research also revealed that there is a lack of support from schools and parents for today’s budding musicians, as nearly three quarters (79%) of the people surveyed said that they never felt encouraged by school or their parents to pursue a career in the music industry. Nearly half (43%) of those people said schools did not provide enough information about careers in the music industry and that music classes were not interesting.

Not so nasty after all…

Despite inflicting Robson and Jerome and Zig and Zag upon the nation’s eardrums, music’s Mr Nasty, Simon Cowell is still held in high regard, with nearly one in five (18%) voting him the most respected person in the music industry. Paul McCartney may be millions lighter in his bank account following his divorce battle with Heather Mills but he still holds the hearts of music lovers in Manchester, coming in second place with 18% of the vote.

Nearly a fifth (18%) of Manchester’s wannabes also said that the band they would most like to be in is The Beatles, beating the Rolling Stones into second place with 12% of the vote and Led Zeppelin who were third with 10%.

For further information on the O2 Undiscovered Regional Workshops and to register to attend the Manchester workshop please visit www.O2Undiscovered.co.uk.



A&R Man, Nick Godwyn, 19 Management

The Agent/Publicist, Paul Carey, Client: David Bowie/The Who/Shirley Bassey

The Manager, Karen Boardman, Crisis Management

Radio DJ, Natalie Eve Williams, BBC Manchester

Radio DJ, Michelle Hussey, BBC Manchester

The Musician/Songwriter, Danny McNamara, Singer/Songwriter Embrace

Gig Promoter, Alex McCann, Designer Magazine

The Producer, Tim Thomas, Blue Print Studios

The Lawyer, Andrew Booth, Client: Ian Brown

Research was conducted in April 2008 interviewing 1,000 people.

About O2

O2 is a leading provider of mobile and broadband services to consumers and businesses in the UK. These services include voice, text, media messaging, games, music and video, as well as always on data connections via GPRS, 3G and WLAN. Every month, O2’s 18.4 million customers send well over a billion text messages. O2 UK is part of Telefónica O2 Europe which comprises mobile network operators in the UK, Ireland and Slovakia along with integrated fixed / mobile businesses in Germany and the Czech Republic. Telefónica O2 Europe also owns 50% of the Tesco Mobile and Tchibo Mobilfunk joint venture businesses in the UK and Germany respectively as well as having 100% ownership of Be, a leading UK fixed broadband provider

O2 was ranked as 6th best place to work in the Best Companies to Work for 2008 List and has been awarded a three-star accreditation denoting an ’extraordinary’ company.

(For b-roll footage of O2, please visit www.thenewshub.co.uk)

Journalists can contact the Virgin Media O2 press office on:
press@virginmediao2.co.uk 01753 565656
Virgin Media
press enquiries
press enquiries