Wide Days to Host Summit of Industry Figures from Across the European Union
Scotland’s music convention Wide Days is set to host a mini-summit of industry figures from across the European Union in Edinburgh to strengthen and maintain ties across the Continent. Supported by Creative Scotland and the British Council, the meeting will be attended by representatives from showcase events, festivals and export offices from nine different countries, who will also be introduced to a range of venues and local artists, as well as participating in the conference.
Among the topics on the agenda is the possibility of Wide Days inviting European events to guest-curate a stage at future conventions, laying the foundation for artists exchanges and creative collaborations.
The delegates will join 50 speakers at this year’s event, which takes place from 11-13 April and is supported by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland’s Open Project Fund. These include Radio 1 DJs, technology experts, record company owners, music publishers and some of the most dynamic new managers.
“Since its launch in 2010 Wide Days has built strong ties across Europe and we want to make sure these are maintained and developed further,” says the convention’s founder, Olaf Furniss. “This year we are launching the Festival Takeover which will see three great Scottish summer events - Tenement Trail, Electric Fields and Kelburn Garden Party - each programme a stage. At the summit we will be discussing is the possibility of us hosting international festivals in the future.”
Delegates from Austria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, as well as Norway, will attend the event, which will also include a showcase of some of Scotland’s most exciting new acts, with free tickets available to the public. The visitors include representatives from the Dutch, German, Irish and Austrian music export offices, the French festival association PRODISS and a wide range of promoters.
Moreover, the Festival Takeover sees the launch of artist exchanges with Focus Wales and Sound of Belfast, which will feature performances by Kidsmoke and Northern Irish Music Prize winner Roe (fresh from supporting Snow Patrol on their arena tour). They share a bill with more than a dozen other acts including ALLIGATOR, Calva Louise, Cara Rose, Earth Wire, LUNIR, Main Ingredient, Rascalton and Callum Easter.
The addition of the summit has been welcomed by Alan Morrison, head of music at Creative Scotland.
“International showcasing is a two-way street. Scottish bands need to be out there breaking new markets and building up audiences abroad, but it’s equally important that the key players from foreign territories come here and witness our talent first-hand,” he says.
“The delegate presence in 2019 proves that Wide Days is a first point of destination for international agents and bookers who want to check out our dynamic and diverse music scene. Creative Scotland is proud to support an event that’s ultimately all about building bridges across borders and bringing musicians, fans and the industry together on an international scale.”
As well as a wealth of live music, the panel programme for Wide Days 2019 will see Keith Harris, Stevie Wonder’s manager, discussing modern management, while indie labels Ninja Tune, Sunday Best and Soma reveal how they evolved to survive.
In addition, Radio 1 DJs Phil Taggart and Abbie McCarthy will each take part in a session and Newcastle University researchers are set to unveil the findings of a new study into music tourism.
And in a first for a music business conference, members of the audience will provide the answers when Radio Scotland’s Vic Galloway leads a session entitled Ask The Young Team. Aided by live polling technology, key industry figures will be invited to ask an audience of music consumers about their preferences and spending habits.
The event will also feature the expert insights on AI and Blockchain technology, audience development and presentations from Bandcamp, Soundcloud, EmuBands PPL and charity partner Help Musicians Scotland.