Music conference draws top figures to the North East

A huge music business conference featuring some of the biggest names in the industry is to held at Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead next month

Chief executive of music development agency Generator, Jim Mawdsley
Chief executive of music development agency Generator, Jim Mawdsley

A huge music business conference featuring some of the biggest names in the industry is to held at Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead next month.

On November 7, over 300 people working in music around the UK will visit the venue to listen to and take in part in discussions with 34 high profile guests and speakers.

The Music Futures Conference, organised by Newcastle-based music development agency Generator, is now in its third year, having been previously been held at Newcastle’s Live Theatre until its popularity meant a larger venue was needed.

This year’s event will include a keynote speech from chief executive of UK Music, Jo Dipple, legendary manager Keith Armstrong in conversation with Tony Wadsworth, and a debate on the upturn of independent music labels.

The conference, which runs from 11am and 6pm, will also feature discussions on the likes of radio plugging, social media and ‘syncing’ with television.

Sunderland band Field Music will likewise be chatting to the Guardian’s Eamonn Forde and two Beyond Digital panels will be looking at recent technological innovations.

Chief executive of Generator, Jim Mawdsley, said: “During the last few years, the conference has mainly been targeted towards a North East audience.

“This year we’ve widened the net and increased our focus on people coming from outside the region.

“We decided with this conference to identify people who are looking towards the future and what’s round the corner as the industry can change at such a fast pace.”

Well-known for being the director of Newcastle’s Evolution festival, Mawdsley has operated as an independent music promoter in the North East since the mid-80s.

Generator was set up in 1991 to remedy the disconnection between the North East’s music scene and that of London.

Its responsive business support programme is now widely recognised as an industry leader and through its latest project, Building the Business of Music, it assisted 173 new SMEs and brought 52 new businesses to the region.

“Generator has worked really hard to ensure the resources it’s been presented with are being spent in the right way,” Mawdsley said.

He added that there was an enormous amount of talent within the North East’s music industry, as well as a sense of “community” that meant people in the business, as well as funders and partners, were happy to work together.

For more information on the conference see http://www.musicfutures.info

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