Business News Education & Events Top Stories

Festival and label innovators added to Great Escape convention programme

By | Published on Thursday 1 March 2012

The Great Escape

As March, well, marches into our lives, The Great Escape – Europe’s leading festival for new music and the UK’s premiere music business conference – is getting ever closer. Meaning it’s probably time we revealed a little more about this year’s CMU-programmed TGE convention – so here we go.

First up, festivals. In 2006, Bestival founder Rob da Bank interviewed one of the true veterans of the British festival community, Glastonbury’s Michael Eavis, at The Great Escape convention in Brighton. This May, both festival chiefs will return to the TGE stage six years on, to discuss how the festival world has developed since 2006.

But this time around other innovators from the British festival community will be invited to join them. After his ‘in conversation’ with Michael, Rob will join three other inspiring young promoters to discuss the UK festival market, and the challenges and opportunities facing those people pushing the boundaries in large scale music events in 2012.

During the ‘Great Festival Conversation’, these leading festival chiefs will discuss the ins and outs of their work, how to create and maintain a distinct personality for music events, and how to balance creative ambitions with commercial and logistical realities. Plus they’ll be time for picking favourite moments and dream line-ups. With so much festival talent on one stage at one time, this will be a must-see event.

But there’s more! Second up, record labels, and also confirmed today is a great panel featuring the founders of four of CMU’s very favourite independent record companies. Focusing on the ins and outs of setting up and running a label, this session is aimed at budding entrepreneurs, artists considering self-releasing tracks, or anyone who has ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes at smaller music companies. Offering insights will be Alex Fitzpatrick from Holy Roar, Ollie Jacob from Memphis Industries, Matthew Young from Song, By Toad and Robert Luis from Brighton-based Tru Thoughts.

The festival and label focused sessions follow on from the previously reported panels putting the spotlight on music radio, with a discussion on the role of online radio services and podcasting in discovering and championing new talent, a fun debate asking ‘what would you do with Radio 1?’, and Jon Hillcock in conversation with new music champion John Kennedy, as Xfm celebrates 20 years on air in London.

And that’s just the start of it! Look out for fortnightly updates on the convention programme here in the CMU Daily between now and May, with more panels, keynotes and in conversations to be announced. And don’t forget, in addition to all this, TGE is a place to do business, and there will be even more networking opportunities at this year’s convention, both formal and informal, plus the usual mix of parties for catching up with friends and colleagues old and new.

And then there’s the music. Maximo Park and the awesome Africa Express Sound System are already confirmed for the Great Escape’s Dome Show programme this year, while Dry The River, Spector, Mystery Jets, Nils Frahm, Friends, Django Django, Rolo Tomassi, Willy Mason, Booka Shade, Alabama Shakes, Natty, Lianne La Havas, EMA, Forest Swords, Madeon, Errors, Foy Vance, Micachu & The Shapes, Maxxi Soundsystem, We Have Band and Loney Dear are just the tip of the iceberg of this year’s eclectic and extensive Great Escape festival programme. This interactive poster has the full line up.

A delegates pass gets you into the entire convention plus priority access into festival shows (subject to capacity), and one of those will cost you just £120 if you buy it right now. Meanwhile, rooms are also still available in the official convention hotel – but they are selling out fast. So, what are you waiting for, get to and get in there.