Escape To The Future

Former EMI chairman and chief exec Tony Wadsworth’s keynote speech at The Great Escape will look at what the future holds for the British record business.

Wadsworth – who is chairman of the British Phonographic Industries – may also give delegates some insight into what it was like to work at EMI. His former company has been effectively repossessed by the bank and may soon be on sale for less than half of what private equity firm Terran Firma paid for it

He stepped down in January 2008, about four months after the Terra Firma deal was inked.

His view of what the future holds for the UK recording business will likely draw heavily on a series of conversations he’s subsequently had with many of the senior players across the UK music industry, both within and outside of record companies.

“The debate about what the future might hold for the record industry has been raging for over a decade now, ever since the opportunities and threats of the Internet first became apparent,” Wadsworth explained.

“But now, as new business patterns start to emerge, I believe we are able to make more considered and constructive observations about where our industry is heading, and about what record companies are doing to secure their long-term survival.”

After his keynote he’ll join Cooking Vinyl Group chairman Martin Goldschmidt and BMG Chrysalis A&R director Alan Pell to discuss what the music company of the future might look like, although that may be subject to change as Pell reportedly left the company a week ago. Artist manager Catherine Haridy completes the panel.

The Great Escape is at the Brighton Dome and various other venues in the town May 12-14. Acts playing evening showcases include Example, Katy B, The Vaccines, Frank Turner, The View, Guillemots and Anna Calvi.