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Wide Days announces programme for virtual 2020 event

The virtual Wide Days 2020 sees a full programme of panel discussions, networking events and showcases, and includes the traditional whisky tasting and Festival Takeover

By IQ on 06 Jul 2020

Wide Days announces virtual conference programme

The virtual Wide Days 2020 is taking place from 23 to 25 July

image © Jannica Honey

Edinburgh’s Wide Days convention has announced details for its upcoming virtual conference and showcase festival, which is taking place from 23 to 25 July.

Wide Days 2020, the event’s eleventh anniversary edition, was originally scheduled to take place from 23 to 25 April, later put on hold – along with the vast majority of industry conferences and live music events around the world – due to the coronavirus crisis.

The fully virtual event sees a full three-day programme of panel discussions, keynote interviews, live performances, sector meetings, social activities and networking events.

Supported by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland, the first two days of the event will feature conference sessions and showcases, with the weekend beginning with a virtual music tour, followed by the Wide Whisky Club and a Festival Takeover, featuring guest programming from Focus Wales and the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival.

Panel sessions will cover challenges arising from the pandemic, with topics including livestreaming, new forms of music export and the recovery of the industry. Speakers include Fly Events’ Tom Ketley, Active Events’ Lisa Whytock, the Association of Independent Music’s Gee Davy, Sound Diplomacy’s Shain Shapiro and veteran artist manager Keith Harris.

The Wide Days showcase will feature a selection of emerging Scottish talent: hip hop artists Billy Got Waves x Joell, DIY multi-instrumentalist Kapil Seshasayee, singer-songwriter Magpie Blue, post-punk duo Memes, electro-popsters One Nine and indie quartet Swim School.

“Wide Days 2020 will be an extremely important event for helping to take the sector forward, developing new talent and new ways of working”

The convention is delivered in partnership with a new digital event platform launched by Catalan company Meetmaps, allowing delegates to pre-book one-to-one meetings, hang out in themed social rooms, take part in international match-making sessions and participate in round tables hosted by event partners.

“Over the past three months we have hosted a series of online seminars and social evenings, as well as taking part in many other online events, and right across the music industry spectrum there is a strong desire to connect and learn,” says Wide Days founder, Olaf Furniss.

“At Wide Days we also want our guests to be entertained and have fun, so we will aim to translate everything we do in the physical space to the virtual environment – including the tour and whisky tasting.”

“Wide Days have done very important work over the past ten years in providing a forum for the music sector to discuss extremely difficult challenges as well as emerging opportunities,” says Scottish culture secretary Fiona Hyslop, who announced a £10 million support package for performing arts venues on Friday (3 July).

“It’s great to see that Wide Days will host a virtual conference for 2020 in response to the coronavirus crisis. This will be an extremely important event for helping to take the sector forward, developing new talent and new ways of working.”

The full programme is available here, with additional panels and speakers set to be announced in the run up to the event.

Delegate passes can be purchased here, for £30. Delegates also have the option to pay-forward a ticket as part of a bursary system designed to allow those hardest hit in the Scottish industry to apply for free accreditation. Organisers will match each donated ticket.


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