Live Music Archive collects more than 250,000 concert recordings from 1959-2023

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Online live music collection Live Music Archive has rolled over more than 250,000 concert recordings, all available to listen to for free.

First launched in 2002, Live Music Archive collects lossless recordings of gigs and live performances spanning a plethora of genres, and now hosts more than a quarter of a million recordings.

The collection dates back to 1959, including three of the collection’s earliest recordings come from US musician and founding member of the Grateful Dead, Phil Lesh.

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Founder of the Internet Archive, Brewster Kahle, called the collection “a huge victory for the open web” and a “fantastically popular” archive with fans (via Internet Archive Blogs).

“Fans have helped build it. Bands have supported it. And the Internet Archive has continued to scale it to be able to meet the demand,” he explained.

In its 20 years, Live Music Archive has collected live music recordings with the help of fans and volunteers, at a pace of uploading “nearly 30 items a day”, they claim. The whole collection takes up more than 250 terabytes on Internet Archive servers.

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“It shouldn’t cost to give something away,” Kahle explained. “We wanted to make it possible for people to make things permanently available without having to sell their souls to a platform that is going to exploit it for advertising. That just seemed like the world that should exist, and we thought we could play a role.”

The free-to-access site also offers lossless and MP3-encoded audio recordings, with permission granted by more than 8,000 artists over the years. In 20 years, users from around the world have listened to Live Music Archive’s audio recordings more than 600 million times.

Check out Live Music Archive’s full collection here.

Gemma Ross is Mixmag’s Assistant Editor, follow her on Twitter

Written by: Tim Hopkins

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