Faced with spending much more time at home than usual this year, creatives across the UK have responded to these difficult times in the best way they know how — finding new ways to express themselves. Across the country we’ve seen a rise in people recording music from their bedrooms, grabbing a mic to start a podcast, or dusting down their turntables to tune up their DJ skills.

To celebrate the output of these inspiring artists, Audio-Technica set out to identify the UK’s fastest-growing creative capitals during this “at-home” explosion of invention and imagination. So what sort of creativity is on the rise on your doorstep — and how can you get involved?

The UK’s “At-Home” Creator Capitals

Want to know more about our top UK “at-home” creator capitals? Here’s a celebration of the cities that have seen the most growth in four exciting creative fields, as well as a quick look at what makes them so special.


Bristol: The UK’s “At-Home” Creative & Podcasting Capital

Bristol is renowned as an artistic melting pot, as the home city of the elusive Banksy and one of the UK’s most beautiful theatres, the Bristol Old Vic. This vibrant city also birthed countless influential bands and musicians, from trip-hop trailblazers Massive Attack and Portishead to underground dance acts including drum ‘n’ bass icon Roni Size and dubstep pioneer Pinch.

With all that in mind, it makes sense that this striking city was the site of the UK’s biggest growth in “at-home” creativity in the months following lockdown. Bristol saw big spikes of interest in starting YouTube channels and recording music at home, but it was searches for ‘how to start a podcast’ where it really outstripped the rest of the UK’s creators.


Leicester: The UK’s YouTube Capital

When it came to finding a creative outlet online, it was Leicester that saw the biggest increase in people asking Google ‘how to start a YouTube channel’. The Midlands city’s budding creators may well have been inspired by the success of local vlogging sensation SuperSaf, whose tech-focused channel has chalked up an impressive 1.62 million subscribers. Who knows which of our aspiring vloggers will turn out to be Leicester’s next online sensation?


Aberdeen: The UK’s At-Home DJ Capital

Aberdeen is better known for its art and theatre scenes than its music, so perhaps it’s the Scottish connection that inspired creators to search for ‘learn to DJ online’ during lockdown. From the genre-hopping Hudson Mohawke to chart-topping superstar Calvin Harris, there are plenty of big names to aspire to. We’re looking forward to seeing Aberdeen’s emerging DJs blaze their own trail through the music scene in the near future


Salford & Aberdeen: The UK’s At-Home Music Recording Capitals

Salford has provided us with plenty of great musicians in the past, most notably members of Joy Division and New Order. It’s little wonder then that, faced with time on their hands, its creatives turned to the internet for tips by looking up ‘best home recording studio setups’. Aberdeen saw the joint highest increase in searches for at-home music recording (along with Salford), showing once again that the Scottish city has a huge appetite for putting its own stamp on the music world.


Want to Get Involved In “At-Home” Creativity?

If you’re looking for an outlet for your creative energies, we’ve put together some tips and advice that can help you set up your own home recording studio, start a podcast, learn to DJ or set up a YouTube channel.

  • Go with what you are most passionate about. This is the most basic tip you’ll hear, but also the most important one. When it comes to creativity, it’s always easier and often much more fulfilling to pursue something you really love.
  • If you decide to start a podcast or YouTube channel, make sure you pick the right format. Are you best suited to delivering a narrative, speaking to guests your listeners would be interested in, or presenting as a co-host with friends?
  • Getting the right equipment is absolutely essential, giving your creative output the polish it needs to stand out in a crowded field. That could mean editing software for your podcast or vlog, or specialist DJ turntables to master your mixing skills.
  • If your podcast or YouTube channel starts to grow successful, consider looking into additional revenue streams like Patreon, brand partnering or YouTube’s channel memberships, which mean viewers can support your channel through monthly payments.
  • To get a head start in your creative field, think about grabbing a ready-made Creator Pack. Our affordable selection of equipment has been hand-picked with quality in mind, coming equipped with a crisp ATR2500x-USB Microphone and immersive ATH-M20x Professional Monitor Headphones, as well as a desk boom arm and handy tripod stand.


Research and Methodology

To explore the full results and find out which cities saw the biggest growth in interest in the creative areas we evaluated, take a peek at the table below.

The data calculated for this research was collected between September 29 and October 16 2020, using the sources UK Cities and Google Ads Keyword Planner.

We compared the 30 largest cities in the UK by population and ranked them by the amount of online searches for key phrases relating to the growth in “at-home” creativity, comparing searches made between March and August 2019 with those made between March and August 2020.