New Format Hailed a Success

Thanks to everyone who attended Wide Days last week - thanks to you we enjoyed a 15% rise in delegate registrations on 2014, up from 170 to 201. 

This year’s event placed a greater emphasis on industry analysis and networking opportunities, as well as moving from a midweek slot to Friday and Saturday. The changes, which also included hosting most panels/presentations on the first day and relocating to the Pleasance from Teviot Row House, were well received - 61.5% of surveyed delegates who had previously attended, expressed a preference for the new approach [34.5% were neutral, 4% negative].
Following the talks and showcases on Friday, the second day incorporated a coach tour conducted by organiser Olaf Furniss, a BBQ, an interview with classical cellist/technologist Peter Gregson and low-exertion sports.
“Last year we won the Yearly Music Convention Award for Best Networking Event at The Great Escape, so we decided to build on this component,” explains Furniss. “By hosting the panels and presentations on the first day, we were able to offer a cheap ticket for the Friday, while also providing a fantastic Pro package for those keen to do business in an unconventional environment.”
Among the most anticipated sessions was How Much Is The Music? which placed a monetary value on the cost of a creating and releasing a track, and was hosted in partnership with collection society PPL.
It featured three presentations, providing respective breakdowns of what a major record company, an independent label and a self-releasing artist would spend, with the latter factoring in the number of in-kind hours multiplied by minimum wage.
The speakers first calculated the cost of making the album, before dividing it by the number of tracks. Self-releasing artist Lorraine McCauley's total came to £2,674, while Fat Cat Records founder, Alex Knight, arrived at £6,783 and music industry accountant Lester Dales cited a figure of £53,000.
Meanwhile, the delegate survey, completed by almost a third of attendees, found that average monthly music spend was: 43% [£10-£20], 37.1%  [£20-£40] and 16.1% [£40-£60].
In keeping with this year’s stronger focus on analysis, other panels explored how musicians and those in the business will generate income in the future, the development of music festivals and a look at what form a Scottish music export office might take.
The latter included Creative Scotland director of strategy, Philip Deverell andSound Diplomacy managing director, Shain Shapiro.
Wide Days 2015 continued to develop its policy of providing a diverse range of speakers, and in turn a broader insight from panelists, by inviting more women and younger industry professionals than any other comparable UK convention. The majority of delegates were under 40, suggesting that event has a strong appeal to the next generation of industry practitioner and artists: 35% [18-24], 25% [25-30], 20.5% [31-40], 17.5% [over 40] and 2% [under 18].
Moreover, the Wide Days showcase programme was typically diverse, ranging from electronic artist Fiona Soe Paing to stoner rock band Tijuana Bibles. Other acts included Ded Rabbit, Kathryn Joseph, Catholic Action and C Duncan, while young Fife act Lidh, played a secret show for speakers. 
In addition to existing partnerships with PPL, the Musicians’ Union, Edinburgh College, Perth College, EmuBands and the Scottish Music Industry Association, this year’s event also saw the participation of the British Phonographic Industry, for the first time. 

michael lambert