When a Place is no longer a Place

I know this has come up before, but it desperately needs to be addressed.
For those uninitiated, there are a handful of Places (e.g. https://musicbrainz.org/place/c9b32fff-ff1b-432e-bb0c-092b1c7a1f13 and https://musicbrainz.org/place/78b8441d-430b-41df-acca-3ffbd1fd9545) scattered across MB that no longer function as music venues, with some having been remodeled into something else. A certain faction of editors seem dead-set on retaining the current building name and information even if that building is no longer used for concerts. I personally oppose this, as there is no need for us to retain such information: as a music database, we only deal in what is relevant to music. (There’s also the issue of lack of support for reopening dates, but that’s mostly a separate matter.)
What say you all? If a Place is no longer used as a Place, is there even any reason to keep up-to-date information on it?


Is there a concept of an Historical Place? Meaning - at the time a recording or concert occurred, the referenced place did exist. In that sense I very much believe that a place should be maintained if it was EVER a place. To support that use case properly, then it should have a means to represent when the place existed (when built/purposed, when destroyed/repurposed).

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Of course the place should be kept in MusicBrainz. The main name for the place should be the one most relevant to MusicBrainz though and that doesn’t have to be the current name. But I see no problem with adding an alias for a place’s current name. After all, concerts are often held in churches.


You two are missing the point. I never said the Place should not be kept, I only said that any incarnations past usage for music should not be listed. In the examples I provided above, the first was remodeled into a megachurch and the second was completely gutted and converted into additional space for the attached convention center. Neither appears to be used for concerts any longer.

I know you meant the place should be kept. But that part of the reply was for @dukeja.

If someone wants the current name of the place recorded somewhere, that’s fine for me. As long as it is not used as the main name of the place. That should be either its latest name when it still had a use relevant to MusicBrainz, or the most culturally significant name it had during that period.

If the building was completely demolished and something entirely different was built in its place, then I think it has ended.


Two points:

  1. How would we handle this if it were an artist? Normally I believe we use current names as the main name do we not?
  2. I really dislike the way this ends up being stored. When the “Compaq Center” was remodeled into a megachurch, it didn’t cease to exist, it just changed its name, but it seems that the style suggested would mark the end date when the name (and function) changed.

Looking into it a little more, Lakewood Church in particular continues to be used as a venue so it should clearly remain as a venue under the new name. I will add at the one live album I’ve found recorded there, just so it is “relevant to Musicbrainz”

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It’s only used for church functions. That YouTube video you posted in edit #40246593 shows a song being performed, but it appears to just be music played as part of a larger church service. If we were to count performances like that as Events, we’d have to add every church on the planet and all the services they hold.

  1. No we wouldn’t; the vast majority of churches don’t have services consisting of or containing live musical performances. Even those that do, very few are recorded; and of those even fewer are released publicly.
  2. I don’t think it’s right to discriminate between religious and non-religious music: If they release it (even just on Youtube but also on iTunes and CD) then it belongs on Musicbrainz.
  3. Even if it were not musical, Musicbrainz has plenty of spokenword releases and I think even a few recordings of sermons listed in it.

I never challenged that much. If a sermon is made available somehow in fixed form (not just via a one-time live broadcast) I don’t oppose it being added to MB.

I have attended a church only extremely rarely, perhaps a score of times in my life if that. Not all of them have had any music at all. Some have had the congregation singing along with someone leading a hymn, that’s about it. Certainly no professional musicians on a stage like that youtube video appears to portray.

“every church and all services” is definitely a major stretch beyond that.

An actual livestream no, but if the stream is kept on as a video on e.g. youtube long afterwards, I would consider it to be a release, just like a live DVD or whatever would be when a concert was originally broadcast on TV. (as with Live Aid for example)


MusicBrainz is also for events that are not recorded. I personally wouldn’t see an issue with well documented sermons to be added as Events. Most (if not all) sermons I’ve been to have had live music too (MB:Events are also not just for “professional” musicians’ performances), both of the congregation singing (usually accompanied by an organ and/or church choir) or just a church choir (plus possibly organ).


“music played as part of a larger church service” <-- still music

but I digress, we’re wheering of course here. The topic here is "if a place is no longer a place"
and if a venue, (or church, or concerthalll, or more probably a pub/bar) was demolished to make way for a house/parking-lot/hyperspace bypass,
then we can start talking of "no longer here in the relevancy of musicbrainz"
but then I’d say it’s the same as places which ceases to be * this​​* or * that* named place (and becomes another or is moved)
we have historical places renamed and moved already in the database. myself added a venue that had burned down long before I moved here or were even born. It was still a venue that existed, and it should still be in musicbrainz
but perhaps not updating it with new names past it’s non-music function? I wouldn’t at all, that isn’t relevant or accurate. music wasn’t played at “smouldering heap of rubble” or “megasupermarket parking-lot” it was played at "old stage in the park and "Joe’s bar and venue"
And if the parking-lot get someone making a concert here, it becomes a new place in musicbrainz.
I think this is pretty clear and follows current practice of many editors already, no?



MusicBrainz Places are not buildings, though. If a venue (run by person A, called “The Foo Bar”, offering jazz music) closes down and person B takes over the rooms, calls it “The Dance Pub” and offers electronic music, it’s no longer the same place. (Obviously, there are less clear-cut changes.)


If in doubt: create a new artist, and link them via „also performs as“, I guess.

I think this is also the escape route out of this Place pickle: end the old one, create a new one on the same geographical location. A suitable relation to link them („succeeds“ and „preceeds“ or „succeeded by“) is still lacking, though.

(Edited to add:)
I’d only do this for places that are arguably still relevant (like the Lakewood Church Centre). Places that became an office building I would just end. I’m totally with @chirlu, we’re not Openstreetmap, and an „ended“ Place does not mean the building is no more. Maybe the end date should be renamed to „ceased function“ or something.


I agree with a lot of your points here,
maybe we could have place-credits? :​D that would solve the problem with “was renamed” but is still the same thing"
and then new ones can be ones where it’s a conceptually different thing or is moved physically.
together with the (honestly needed) AR’s you mentioned

I also liked the idea of renaming “ended” quite a lot :​)

And I hope it will continue to be lacking, because it is completely redundant. There may be a need for a “moved” relationship, however, connecting two places in different locations that are essentially the same place.

See STYLE-401 and STYLE-554.

Wouldn’t this issue be partially fixed by labels getting, together with most entities, the same Artist Credits system so that we could link a place credited as thisthatname?

I think it’s in the list of things to do.


I’ve wondered about this. It doesn’t seem totally feasible because more often than not, when a label changes its name it’s due to a merger or other change of hands.

I so very agree with this (I know I know, the “like” button whatsit for this, but I wanted to say it too)
I’ve been saying “label credits” for years :​P
as for “changes to label names” and there reasons for it, that’s not what I am thinking of, I’m thinking of the situations where the actual release just says “Some Label” but the label’s name is “Some Label A/S prod. blup” (or visaversa.)


So if Rev. Billy guts a mall building (which has been used as a venue occasionally), and puts a church in it (also used as a venue), which later falls into disuse until Joe Blow builds his new „House of the Hammond Organ“ (where appropriate concerts happen) in there … you’d rather not link all those Places? Or use the same Place for all of these?