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

  • Builders, civil servants and doctors most likely to have unfilled musical aspirations
  • 46% say schools don’t provide enough information on careers in music
  • Paul McCartney voted most respected person in the music industry

New research reveals that one in five (20%) of the Newcastle public are frustrated rock or pop stars, and would give up their current profession for a career in the music industry.

The research was commissioned by O2 to launch 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, Bobby Gillespie, Roddy Woomble 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 in the music industry. The programme will launch when it visits Newcastle Academy 2 on Saturday May 3rd 11am-3pm.

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

Lack of Access

The main reason cited by Geordies who aspire to make it in the music business but have ultimately failed, is a lack of access to the right people (18%). However, that does not stop the Geordies 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 (74%) 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 (46%) of those people said schools did not provide enough information about careers in the music industry and that music classes were not interesting.

We Love You Yeah, Yeah, Yeah

Paul McCartney may be millions lighter following his divorce battle with Heather Mills but he still holds the hearts of music lovers in Tyneside, with nearly a quarter (22%) voting him the most respected person in the music industry. 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, coming in second place with 15% of the vote.

Nearly a quarter (23%) of Newcastle’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 10% of the vote and Led Zeppelin who were third with 7%.

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


A&R Man, Paul Scoular, Island Records

Publicist, Jonathan Wingate, Journalism/broadcast/TV Radio

The Manager, Grant Dickson, The View

Musician/Songwriter, Roddy Woomble, Idlewild

Plugger, Narrinder Bains, Warner Brothers

Promoter, Vince Power, Mean Fiddler founder

Promoter, Kelly Chappell, Live Nation

Producer, Ian Stewart, Blueprint Studios

Lawyer, Murray Buchanan, Stereophonics

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)

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