Ahead of the very first Bido Lito! Student Society meeting on 7th February, Co-Chairs of the society Daisy Scott and Sophie Shields each give their individual take on what makes Liverpool’s student population so crucial to the city’s music scene – and try to unravel the bad reputation given to students in the city.
Students. Can they be the scapegoat to all problems? With 55,000+ in Liverpool it is hard to see how they can be dragging down the city. It seems that many can’t look past the eyesore flatpack student accommodation popping up around the city – that’s all that students can do for a city, right?
There has been frank discussion about what students bring to the city. Controversy often leads to people questioning the extent of property development, and to the underlying question; how many more students can live in Liverpool?
Liverpool is a music-orientated city, and without a growing student population would the music scene thrive as much as it does? And would the music scene be as dominant as it is currently?
It isn’t worth the debate; Liverpool has, and always will have, an impressive music scene. That is obvious. But what you can debate is whether or not Liverpool’s music scene would have flourished as much as it does if so many students didn’t move to Liverpool.
As a migrating student, Liverpool has become home. And I couldn’t have wished for a better city to give that name. But it is hard to see why the blame is often pushed onto students. The scapegoating of students will not benefit anyone.
Coming from Essex, where there is a limited music scene, the move to Liverpool was a shock to the system. Everywhere around the city is full of fresh new music talent, and to my surprise is fully supported by everyone in the city.
So, what does this have to do with students, and what impact do they have on the music industry? You only have to look at how many bands come together at university, and how many claim that their influence comes from where they studied. This should be something that is encouraged.
Along with the influx of student properties, there has also been the build-up of independent music venues and bars that thrive on the student population. Without that there would be a piece missing from the city. The likes of Heebie Jeebies, 24 Kitchen Street and Constellations are all embedded in the student scene with events purely targeted at the student population. And this will continue to grow with the increasing power of students, who can help to better protect these venues by packing them out. Both go hand-in-hand.
So, before you begin to blame students for the eyesores popping up around the city, perhaps think a bit deeper and contemplate how the city has benefitted from the influx of the student population. The towering flatpack accommodations can be an inconvenience. But students are not.
Daisy Scott / @chain_scott
I was born, raised and educated in Liverpool and I am so proud to always be able to call this city my home. Over the years living and studying here, I have witnessed the city evolve into one of the most thriving musical hubs in the country, if not, the world.
Liverpool has always been a city famous for its musical roots – mainly due to this little band called The Beatles; if anyone hasn’t heard of them I would definitely look them up. However, recently, so many new and up-and-coming artists have started to emerge from the musical fold, with an immense amount of talent to boot.
One of the main reasons for so much new music in the city is due to the large and diverse student population. Students from all over the world are choosing Liverpool as their home away from home and in my humble opinion, what better city to reside in than one bursting at the seams with so much music and culture.
There are so many opportunities in Liverpool to explore a range of musical avenues. Whether it’s in an old converted warehouse, the back of a pizza bar or the upstairs of a tea shop, there is always someone, somewhere looking to share music, arts and culture with the rest of the world.
However, there is a problem. Students are being unfairly blamed for the property development in the city and the closing of certain music venues. It is true that student accommodation has increased in the last few years, but surely we can turn this around and view it as a good thing. It means there is a high demand for students wanting to come to Liverpool. Without students coming into the city, it would not be the cultural hub it is known as today.
Students bring new and exciting ideas to the city, they bring diversity and new cultures and they bring opportunity. They, or rather, we have been wrongly tarnished with a bad reputation, written off as the snowflake generation and consequently silenced. What people are forgetting though is that music isn’t about being quiet; music is about being heard and being able to exercise the power of speech through song. Music is ultimately about getting people to listen, change and create attitudes and start important conversations.
We want the Bido Lito! Student Society to be one of those places where we can give students the chance to have a voice, show that we have every right to be involved in those conversations and listen to some pretty good music along the way.
The first Bido Lito! Student Society meeting takes place at The Merchant on 7th February. Head here to find out more and register to attend