In Conversation we had two of the festival’s Dome Show headliners, with Xfm’s John Kennedy chatting to Everything Everything and CMU’s Chris Cooke talking to Billy Bragg. Plus there was a focus on the art of video making including veteran directors Andy Soup and Kevin Godley and rising stars Emile Rafael and Jamie Muir, while the likes of Seymour Stein, Korda Marshall and Jack Shankly debated the art of A&R.
On the panels side, we had a focus on data and discovery, looking at how digital music services are seeking to help their users navigate the vast catalogues of content now online, and at how music companies can utilise the analytics online channels are constantly gathering. Insights came from the likes of Omnifone, Songdrop, Beggars, The 405, Deezer, This Is My Jam, The Music Machine, Rdio, Richseam, AEI Media, Juice 107.2, Shazam and VEVO.
Our second focus was on music marketing, with sessions looking at how to build profile and secure media coverage for artists in new territories, on the marketing tools provided by digital music services, and on the marketing challenges posed by the new music business. International insights came from the likes of Original Matters, Smash UK, Filter, OFF Festival, Comes With Fries, U Know Me Records and The MuseBox, while Fan Factory’s Dana Al Salem, The Blue Team’s James Barton, Band2Market’s Matt Dixon and artist manager Tom Quillfeldt discussing the future of music marketing.
Keynote events included the official launch of the Momentum Music Fund, Arts Council England’s first ever artist-centric development fund for popular music, introduced to TGE delegates by ACE CEO Alan Davey. Following major developments in music retail, Chris Cooke spoke to the boss of the Rough Trade record stores, Stephen Godfroy, about how his company has succeeded where others have failed. Plus Charles Caldas from Merlin unvieled new research about digital music trends, and artist managers like Brian Message, Garry Blackburn and Jamie Osman discussed the alternative approaches they were taking with their artists through innovative deals with the likes of Kobalt, Cooking Vinyl and BMG.
Other panels looked at the original commission side of sync, where music blogs fit in, recent developments in direct to fan, and how artist funding initiatives work in various countries around the world. John Robb’s Pop Question Time returned, with artists Billy Bragg and Damian Harris debating with Kerry McCarthy MP and The Pirate Party’s Loz Kaye, while more revelations were shared via the TGE institution that is Heroes & Villains.
And finally, the now annual DIY strand featured insights from the likes of Chris T-T, Laura Kidd, Mishkin Fitzgerald, Tom Williams, Jake Shillingford, Korda Marshall, Billy Bragg and legal experts Adam Brown and Damien Yare, while the TGE networking programme expanded once again with more sessions than any previous year.