Record Number of Delegates at Wide Days 2018
More than 340 (up from 250 in 2017) music industry delegates from across Europe attended the Wide Days convention in Edinburgh on 20-21 April, for a series of panels, presentations and showcases featuring a selection of Scotland’s most exciting new acts.
Taking place in Teviot Row House, the world’s oldest student union, the conference hosted on Friday included talks on new music label models based on streaming services, improving disabled access to music events, what other genres can learn from the metal scene and looked at how to increase the number of female acts on festival bills.
Moreover, the charity Help Musicians Scotland hosted a session looking at staying healthy on tour and a specially commissioned report unveiled how secondary ticketing is being tackled in different countries around world. This year’s keynote interviews featured 2 Tone pioneer, Rhoda Dakar and to coincide with Record Store Day on 21 April, Kim Bayley (ceo of the Entertainment Retailers Association).
Wide Days, which is supported by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland’s Open Project Fund, featured a gender balanced speaker line up, making it the first in the UK conference to achieve this two years in a row (it is also the first event in Scotland to join the Keychange initiative). This year also saw Help Musicians Scotland return as a leading partner, offering fifty bursaries for emerging artists and industry talent.
“This year saw Wide Days further establish its niche as an international convention which offers a diverse panel programme, a hand-picked showcase line up and a relaxed networking programme,” says founder Olaf Furniss, adding that in a survey completed by a third of delegates, more than 95% responded they were likely, or very likely, to recommend Wide Days.
The conference also saw PRS Foundation and Creative Scotland launch the Momentum Fund providing musicians with between £5000-£15,000 towards taking the next step in their career.
In the evening, seven emerging acts took part in a sold-out showcase, with 800 free tickets snapped up by members of the public who joined the industry attendees for a diverse range of artists. These included jazz act Graham Costello’s STRATA, singer/songwriter Zoe Graham, punk band Rascalton, indie popster LUCIA, grunge band CRYSTAL and electronic wizard Wuh Oh. The event has previously featured Scottish Album of the Year Award winner, Kathryn Joseph, Mercury Music Prize nominee C Duncan, Honeyblood and recent Sony Music signing, Be Charlotte.
Day two of Wide Days, which focused on networking activities included a sold-out guided tour, the interview with Kim Bayley and a whisky tasting, with guests going on to take part in a range of Record Store Day events.
Check out photos of the event here.