Conference Crazy U.K.
At least five U.K. music business conferences will take place in October, with three new ones announced in the last couple of weeks.
The most recent to announce dates is the European debut of Musexpo, which has been staged in California for the last three years and describes itself as “the United Nations of Music & Media.” It will be at London’s Cumberland Hotel Oct. 27-29.
Speakers already announced include U.K. concert promoter Harvey Goldsmith CBE, Aussie promoter Michael Chugg, German promoter Ossy Hoppe and Sire Records chairman Seymour Stein.
Jonathan Shalit, founder and MD of Shalit Global Entertainment & Management, will speak at a managers forum alongside well-known independent U.K. filmmaker Adam Tudhope, who also manages Keane.
Other managers scheduled to appear include Bruce Flohr (Dave Matthews Band), Doug Mark (Motley Crue and The Game) and Iain Watt (Mika).
The evening showcase gigs, which are being organized in The Borderline and The Metro in London, will feature “buzz artists” including the U.K.’s hotly tipped thecocknbullkid and The King Blues.
Tackling one of Musexpo’s key underlying themes of breaking talent will be some of the world’s most influential radio executives, including Clive Dickens (Absolute), George Ergatoudis (BBC Radio 1), Nic Harcourt (KCRW Los Angeles), Richard Kingsmill (Triple J Network, Australia), Gene Sandbloom (KROQ Los Angeles) and Jeff Smith (BBC Radio 2).
The U.K. Festival Awards, which are to take place at Indigo2 – part of London’s O2 Arena – Oct. 30, has also added a conference during the day.
“The awards have been going three years, and – while we have the festival community together in one place – we decided to offer it more by staging a conference,” virtualfestivals.com founder Steve Jenner told Pollstar. “I know other conferences have festival panels, but this is a conference that’s specifically aimed at festivals and will be able to discuss matters in greater depth.”
The event, which is scheduled at the Gibson Guitar Showroom in Rathbone Place, London, will include a discussion on greener festivals put together by London lawyer Ben Challis, who runs greenerfestivals.com.
Radio One DJ and Bestival founder Rob Da Bank, who earlier this year co-founded the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) with Cream chief James Barton, has been quick to throw the new organisation’s weight behind the new conference by having it organise the afternoon sessions.
The panelists appearing at the Virtual Festivals conference include Live Nation U.K. promoter Andy Copping, who organises the company’s Download Festival; Exit co-founder Bojan Boskovic; Linnea Svensson from Norway’s Oya Festival, and Rob Da Bank.
Last year the Virtual awards included a “Best European Festival” category for the first time, which Serbia’s Exit Festival won. This year it will be expanded to coincide with the launch of the new virtualfestivalseurope.com Web site.
The third of the new events is Un-convention, which is at Saint Trinity Church, Salford. It is aimed at the indie sector and attendance costs only £18 for three days, including entrance to the showcase gigs in the evening.
It runs Oct. 5-7 and will be split into four panel areas – label, live, exposure and innovation.
Un-convention looks to be providing some grassroots competition to In The City, which is also in Manchester on the same three days.
It will be at The Midland Hotel and has already announced that culture secretary Andrew Burnham MP and legendary former Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham will be among the keynote speakers. Showcases will be in several Manchester venues, all within walking distance of the conference.
The Summit, which is run by Live UK magazine and is in its second year, will be at the Radisson SAS Portman Hotel Oct. 9-10.
Several of the panelists have already been named and they include The Agency Group chief Neil Warnock, Paul Boswell (Free Trade Agency), Dave Chumbley (Primary Talent International) Stuart Galbraith (Kilimanjaro Live), Ticketmaster MD Chris Edmonds, viagogo chief exec Eric Baker, Mean Fiddler/MAMA Group promotions director Jon Mcildowie, and Daryl Robinson from Academy Music Group.