Conference Season Update

The UK conference calendar needs to be continually updated to include all the new gatherings, apart from keeping track of such regulars as the Live UK Summit, In The City and the indie-driven Un-Convention.

All three fall within a couple of weeks of each other, with the UK Summit (London Oct. 6-7) sandwiched between Manchester’s Un-Convention (Oct. 1-3) and In The City (Oct. 13-15).

Un-Convention, which is in its third year, is in Salford, a few miles across Manchester from where In The City has found a new base within four hotels close to Piccadilly railway station. Previously the event was at The Midland Hotel.

Both Manchester gatherings feature showcase evenings and In The City has already announced it will have 200 acts spread across 20 of the city’s live music venues.

Un-Convention, which appears so dedicated to the grass roots of the industry that it tries to set seeds, has indie champions Billy Bragg and Jarvis Cocker, plus Bill Drummond, Roisin Murphy, Martin Atkins, Jon McClure, Brian Travers, Kevin Cummins and Don Letts doing what’s being described as “unusual and interesting things” in some of “the most unexplored places in Salford.”

It also has a special show from British Sea Power at St. Phillips Church Oct. 3.

The other “un-conventional” venues include Salford Lads Club, Sacred Trinity Church, the Islington Mill and Salford Central Station.
Un-Convention’s panel subjects include “the politicisation of music” and “music as a tool for social change.” It also has a panel on “building a sustainable career in music.”

The organisers readily admit it’s “not about the business of music” but creating a non-profit, grassroots community that sees the opportunity for changes in the way music is being produced, consumed and sustained.