The latest industry news to your inbox.

I'd like to hear about marketing opportunities


I accept IQ Magazine's Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy


Focus Wales unveils 2023 keynote speaker

Gerald Simpson, aka A Guy Called Gerald, will appear in conversation at Wales' biggest music industry event from 4-6 May

By James Hanley on 06 Apr 2023

Gerald Simpson

Wales’ biggest music industry event Focus Wales has announced artist and producer Gerald Simpson, aka A Guy Called Gerald, as keynote speaker for its 2023 edition.

The festival will see over 400 music industry professionals, and 250+ acts descend upon Wrexham for three days of panels, keynote talks, and industry advice from 4-6 May.

Simpson will appear in conversation with BBC Radio Wales’ Aleighcia Scott to discuss his career in music, from growing up in Manchester, being a founding member of electronic group 808 State, and producing records for over 25 years.

Other conference panels include The Future of the European Festival Market, chaired by AAA, Equality and Class Parity in Music, The Use of Music on Screen, hosted by PRS for Music, and Creator to Fan: How are artists reaching audiences with their recorded music in 2023 and how has this changed?, presented by PPL. Power Up Wales will also be hosting a Black music action group roundtable, while additional presenter partners include MMF UK, British Council, Noise Unit PR and Gwyl Cymru.

Focus Wales is supported by Arts Council of Wales, PRS Foundation, and Welsh Government

Speakers and delegates participating include Cindy Castillo (Mad Cool Festival, Spain), Jean-Louis Brossard (Trans Musicales, France), Dev Sherlock (SXSW), Andrea von Foerster (Firestarter Music, USA), Emma Zillmann (Live Nation), Cecilia Soojeong Yi (DMZ Peace Train Festival, South Korea), Joy Warmann (Secretly Group), John Kennedy (Radio X), Ralf Niemczyk (Rolling Stone, Germany), Weining Hung (LUCfest, Taiwan), Chris Barrett (AAA) and Lauren Down (End of The Road Festival).

International showcases will be hosted by BreakOut West (Canada), M for Montreal (Canada), WHY Portugal, Ear Up Music Hong Kong, Catalan Arts, Fira B! (Spain), Music Nova Scotia, Liechtenstein Music Export and The Spanish Wave.

Artists playing Focus Wales 2023 include Billy Nomates, Squid, The Coral, Dream Wife, The Joy Formidable, Jeffrey Lewis & The Voltage, Adwaith, Alaskalaska | Neue Grafik Ensemble, Opus Kink and A Guy Called Gerald, among many others.

Focus Wales is supported by Arts Council of Wales, PRS Foundation, and Welsh Government. Full three-day wristbands for admission to all Focus Wales events are available now.


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.