Proposed place types: a discussion

Hi! I checked that we now have 9 different tickets suggesting new place types. I was thinking we could try to have some community discussion on whether they fit or not and add them (or not) all in one go :slight_smile:

Our current place types:

  • Studio
    A place designed for non-live production of music, typically a recording studio.
  • Venue
    A place that has live artistic performances as one of its primary functions, such as a concert hall.
  • Stadium
    A place whose main purpose is to host outdoor sport events, typically consisting of a pitch surrounded by a structure for spectators with no roof, or a roof which can be retracted.
  • Indoor arena
    A place consisting of a large enclosed area with a central event space surrounded by tiered seating for spectators, which can be used for indoor sports, concerts and other entertainment events.
  • Educational institution
    A school, university or other similar educational institution (especially, but not only, one where music is taught)
  • Park
    A (usually green) space kept available for recreation in an otherwise built and populated area.
  • Religious building
    A place that has worship or religious studies as its main function. Religious buildings often host concerts and serve as recording locations, especially for classical music.
  • Pressing plant
    A place (generally a factory) at which physical media are manufactured.
  • Other

Proposed place types:

How do you feel about these suggestions? Should they all be added? Should some of them just be left under “other”? I’m not sure how precise we want to be with our place types, and while I would have expected Hotel to just be under Other for example, we seem to have a surprising amount of hotels!


The primary issue is that “Venue” is always misused because it’s not named the same as Wikipedia’s “Music venue” despite sharing a common definition. Most of the proposed place types are proposed because they are currently incorrectly filed under “Venue”.


could we add Radio-Studio for where radio broadcasts come from? TV- Studio as well


I’m looking forward to all these types, except maybe casino/resort… not that I’m against it, of course, I just haven’t seen too many. mayhaps it should be a subtype of complex? since in theory events would take place at places within a casino/resort…

I’ll second the addition of radio studios, there’s already some in the database

edit, just found the tag, Tag “type=radio” - MusicBrainz

I have to agree with @yindesu about the use of Venue. If I look up venue at 28 Synonyms of VENUE | Merriam-Webster Thesaurus, from a US or Western point of view I would say stadium, indoor arena, park, and to some degree Educational institution’s are all venues. An Educational institution could be both a studio, venue, radio station (maybe other) depending on the performance. In the 70’s I use to go to live band performances at motels all the time.

In the 60’s we have coffeehouse’s, record stores, musical instrument shops, and others holding performances. I have a sandwich shop that has one/two person performances.

We also have “Field Recordings” like those done by the Library of Congress and Smithsonian Institution which go out to capture music and save its history. I have entered “places” like Doc Watson home where field recordings were done in his kitchen and living room.

I not sure what I am trying to get at, but I do not think just adding more “place types” is the way to go, maybe we need to rethink what we are trying to save.


And Studio C at KBCO…Search Results - MusicBrainz

KSAN, KFOG etc etc

I tend to agree. Too many makes choices overlap a lot. Do we need racetrack when we have stadium? It would mean a search for “concerts at stadiums” would loose a sub-set of places.

Hotel / Convention centre / Casino/Resort / Complex all seem to be the same overlapping type of place to me. Often one includes one or more of the other.

A TV or Radio Studio would again fragment maybe a little too far. And gets confusing with many larger stations. The BBC used to use many old theatres and cinemas. Same happened in France.


Originally we were meant to basically have “Venue” for a place mostly meant for people to go see music, and “Studio” for a place mostly meant for artists to record music. Having a few other place types (like educational institution which is needed for “studied at” but can also include venues and studios, or religious building which can often be used as a venue or a studio and is useful for stuff like “organist at”) seems useful to me, but I’d possibly argue stadium and arena should be subtypes of “Venue”.

Do we feel the “Venue” description is a bit too strict now and should be widened, with several other things put under it?

Most of these sound reasonable. I would expect a top-level grouping into three categories:

  • Places where artists perform music for a live audience (at least for the purposes we document)
    • This would be concert halls, clubs, festival states, etc., but also things like hotel bars or casinos where an artist might perform
    • This seems to be what people currently expect the “Venue” type to be?
  • “Production places”, where the artist will be performing/working but generally not for an audience
    • This would be recording studios, and potentially pressing plants
  • The obligatory “Other”, primarily for things that don’t cleanly fall into the earlier two categories (e.g. Vessel)

I would consider this the most important one out of the above intuitively, being highly specific about if a performance happened in a mall or a hotel seems less important for the music side of things than whether it happened in a high-brow classical concert hall or a highly genre-specific electronic music club.

I am not sure to understand this sentence.

It should be used only if the musicians performed and were recorded there.

Not where the tape was played back.

Those studios are already set as type Studio, do we really need sub-types?

I am glad to see we are getting some discussion on this topic, I hope we get a lot more. I think it is important to collect and document this information as best and accurately as MB can. My personal view of MB is that it should be the “go to” research tool for music related metadata. When and where some musical event happened is historical information that helps us to understand the evolution of music (and the artist).

“Place” is used for all things in the production of musical content, but its not just for the recording it is also for the event that may or may not have been recorded. I would hope we have primary categories/types and subtypes to chose from along with “credited as” for accuracy/fidelity.

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@jesus2099, The reason why I proposed Radio Studio is that I read the definition of Studio:

A place designed for non-live production of music, typically a recording studio

I have a number of CDs in MB where the music was recorded and broadcast live in a radio studio in a specific named room (Studio C). The definition of studio above specifically says “non-live” and therefore I should not use it to document the radio station studio that it was broadcast live from.

Looking at the existing and proposed definitions, like studio, others are also overly restrictive in their definition:

  • Indoor arena and Stadium seem to differ on if there is a fixed roof. Why does it matter?
  • Racetrack (STYLE-582 ) excludes athletic grounds, dog racing tracks etc. Again, why does it matter?
  • Educational institution is very broad and how are concerts at the institution’s Stadium, Indoor arena or Park etc documented?

I now think that we should not add radio-studio and tv-studio until we review the existing definitions. I agree with @dashv:

It will be a lot of work to ensure that the place types are used correctly and consistently, we should understand why we need to distinguish between the different types.


no, but the definition of Studio needs revision in my opinion. See other posts.

It may be “designed for”, but doesn’t mean it can’t hold a live performance too. Especially go back to old TV and it was all “live in the studio”. And it is very common for radio stations to have live band performances. I don’t think the guideline was stopping that being set. If it is, then the guideline needs a tweak. (I’m a Pink Floyd nut and know how many of their live performances are linked to TV and Radio studios)

There is a “live” flag to attach to a recording to denote if it was live. It should not be assumed from a place as to how the recording was made. A Educational establishment will have a recording studio, and it will have a performance stage. Just tick “live” on the relevant recordings.

I am all for looser definitions. Music can’t always be put in a fixed box. A loose definition of a place seems more logical to me.

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yes, the guidelines need revision. They are unnecessarily specific in my view.

Guidelines are just to guide. They are not locked down rules.

To be useful, they need to convey the guidance and they don’t need to be so prescriptive e.g. Racetracks:

Occasionally music-related events occur on racetrack grounds. These can be either horse racing grounds or automobile speedways

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I’ve just treated a racecourse as either a stadium or a park.

A quick search and there are currently just over a dozen of them. And inconsistently labelled: Search Results - MusicBrainz

I’d just set them all as stadiums if it was me. Makes them easier to find then too.

Just noticed a funny example on there: The Racecourse - MusicBrainz

“The Racecourse” is a park, owned by a University, used as a cricket pitch and sports ground (stadium), and the annual race is a rowing regatta. Some places just don’t want to fit in a neat category. :rofl:

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I’m still at what are we trying to document

Exactly, it’s like churches, cathedrals temples, mosques, which are designed for brainwashing, or stadiums which are designed for sports.
But they can also be places for nice music concerts. :wink: