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Wide Days announces 10th-anniversary conference details

The Edinburgh convention has expanded its programming for year ten, with new initiatives including a Festival Takeover and an artist exchange with events in Wales and NI

By IQ on 11 Mar 2019

Wide Days 2018

Wide Days 2018

image © Jannica Honey

Wide Days has announced more details of its tenth-anniversary convention, including the latest conference additions, a meeting of European showcase festivals, a music-themed walking tour, partnerships and details of its expanded live programme.

This year sees the Edinburgh event begin on the evening of Thursday 11 April with a coach tour guided by Wide Days founder Olaf Furniss, followed by a welcome gig hosted by Glasgow-based agency Antidote Booking and headlined by local act Man of Moon.

On Friday 12 April, the conference returns to the world’s oldest student union, Teviot Row House, with recently added Friday sessions including a critical look at what blockchain technology can deliver for the music industry, a lyric clinic hosted by Dr Dave Hook (in association with PRS for Music) and a session, Ask the Young Team, which offers industry delegates an opportunity to submit questions to a room full of music consumers.

“Wide Days’ conference has always placed an emphasis on introducing fresh ideas and taking a different approach to music-related subjects, as well as not being afraid to take a critical look at claims made about new technologies or platforms,” says Furniss. “From the first conference in 2010 we always felt that older delegates had something to learn from the next generation. Ask the Young Team is an opportunity for established industry delegates to get some invaluable insights.”

Delegates will also have the opportunity to meet representatives from festivals and showcase events across Europe, who will take part in a special summit exploring how to build closer ties with the Scottish music industry and the potential to develop artist exchanges.

“Wide Days’ conference has always placed an emphasis on introducing fresh ideas”

The Wide Days showcase, which runs on Friday, will feature seven of Scotland’s best emerging acts: Megan Airlie, Shears, VanIves, Eyes of Others, Chuchoter, Parliamo and Franky’s Evil Party. Previous participants include Kathryn Joseph, Be Charlotte, Fatherson, C Duncan and Honeyblood.

On Saturday morning, early risers will have the opportunity to join a music-based walking tour of Edinburgh’s Old Town (guided by Glasgow Music City Tours), followed by lunch, along with “surprise activities” and malt whisky tasting, at a mystery location. Vinyl junkies will then have the opportunity to visit some of Edinburgh’s record shops for Record Store Day, before dinner and the beginning of the Festival Takeover.

The new Festival Takeover initiative sees Electric Fields, Tenement Trail and Kelburn Garden Party each programming a stage, providing delegates and public alike with a flavour of three of Scotland’s leading music festivals. Additionally, in a first step to establishing closer ties with events across Europe, this year will see the first artist exchange with Focus Wales and Sound of Belfast.

Taking place in Edinburgh from 11 to 13 April, the event, known as ‘Scotland’s music convention’, will again be supported by PRS Foundation, PPL, Help Musicians Scotland, EmuBands, UHI, PRS For Music and the SMIA, with new partners including the Association of Independent Music (AIM), Ticketmaster UK, Antidote Booking and Edinburgh Napier University.

Jonathan West, marketing director for Ticketmaster Artist Services, says: “Year after year Scotland continues to produce incredible new artists, and the Wide Days showcase line-up has become essential listening for anyone wanting to tap into the nation’s next wave of talent. Teviot Row House and La Belle Angele are both great venues for new music so it goes without saying that everyone at Ticketmaster is absolutely stoked to be partnering with Wide Days to present this year’s live showcases.”

“Wide Days presents a great opportunity to hit an international audience here in Scotland”

Several discounts are available through partner organisations AIM, PPL and PRS, while Help Musicians Scotland will provide specially bursary places for emerging artists and industry professionals who would not otherwise be able attend due to financial barriers.

Vanessa Reed, CEO of PRS Foundation, comments: “Congratulations to Wide Days as they enter their tenth year in providing vital support and development opportunities for talented music creators in Scotland. We are proud to fund this award-winning showcasing event yet again as they expand and welcome new partners in 2019. The success stories we have seen at PRS Foundation are testament to the excellent work of the Wide Days team on a grassroots level – including Wide Days alumni Fatherson, who we are directly supporting to go to SXSW this year.

“I look forward to seeing the impact this support will have on the careers of the new showcasing artists.”

“We launched Antidote Booking with a strong international outlook; we have a wide variety of acts on the roster all of which are export ready,” adds Jamie Webster, co-founder of Antidote Booking. “Wide Days presents a great opportunity to hit an international audience here in Scotland. Our showcase presents three outstanding acts, Man of Moon, Tom McGuire and the Brassholes and Carla J. Easton, all of which have played high-profile shows at home and abroad already and have recently released new music.”

Robert Kilpatrick, general manager of SMIA (Scottish Music Industry Association, says: “Wide Days continues to provide an incredibly important and valuable opportunity for music practitioners at all levels to learn, network and discover fantastic new music. As the organisation tasked with representing and developing Scotland’s music industry, the SMIA is delighted to again support Wide Days as it enters its tenth year with its most expansive programme of activity to date.”


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