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The Great Escape announces keynote speakers for 2024

The Great Escape has confirmed Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker as one of the keynote speakers of the newly revamped conference.

The UK music industry event returns to Brighton from Wednesday 15 May to Saturday 18 May, with the Council of Music Makers (CMM), The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA), BBC Introducing and Youth Music each set to curate a day of the programme.

On the Saturday of the conference, Cocker will present Biophobia, a special climate-themed talk about getting to grips with nature. The session will be presented by EarthPercent, the charity founded by Brian Eno to help the music industry support the most impactful organisations addressing the climate emergency.

Giving the conference’s opening keynote conversation on Wednesday 15 May, Darcus Beese OBE will reflect on his career as the UK’s first black record company CEO and one of the greatest A&Rs of his generation, having signed and nurtured artists like Amy Winehouse, U2 and Florence and the Machine. This conversation will come soon after the publication of his upcoming memoir ‘Rebel With A Cause’.

“Without a doubt, this is set to be an unmissable event for the UK industry”

On Thursday, Tom Gray (chair of the Ivors Academy and Labour Party PPC for Brighton Pavilion) and YolanDa Brown (OBE DL, musician, broadcaster and chair of the BPI) will deliver another keynote speech, discussing what the industry needs to do to protect music copyright and culture on a legislative level.

They join two previously announced keynote speakers: Lauren Mayberry (lead singer of CHVRCHES) and Sacha Lord (chair of the NTIA, co-creator of Parklife Festival and the Warehouse Project and Night Time Economy Adviser for Greater Manchester).

Also announced today, the Association of Independent Music joins as the conference’s newest industry collaborator, hosting three sessions centred on the independent music sector on the beach on Wednesday 15th May.

Rory Bett, CEO, MAMA Festivals, says: “From cultural icons to industry legends, our revamped conference has truly been supercharged with the calibre of these keynote speakers. Without a doubt, this is set to be an unmissable event for the UK industry.”


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