If you’re a new band then you may start to hear the words ‘music conference’ quite a lot. SXSW and The Great Escape for many are an attractive prospect to play thanks to a ridiculous amount of hype from the media.
Before those, you should maybe focus on Scotland’s music conference – Wide Days. Launched in 2010, it’s Scotland’s only music-business convention and was named in 2014 as Best Networking Event at the Yearly Music Convention Awards and was runner up in the same category in 2015.
Co-directed by Olaf Furnis and Michael Lambert, Wide Days is by far one of the most underrated music networking events in the country. Having been to numerous panels that their parent company Born To Be Wide has hosted at places including Electric Circus, not-to-mention Wide Days itself, it provides a wealth of knowledge about the industry. This stems from a grass roots level right through to major labels. Information such as promotion, record labels, management, PR and more. It also gets down to the nitty gritty and gives you tips about how to build your career as an artist. Specialist panel guests attend the event and give valuable information.
The event also puts on live music showcases that has seen artists such as C Duncan, Kathryn Joseph and PAWS to name a few. You also have the chance to showcase by applying to play - www.widedays.com/apply-to-play
A few tips:
- Make sure your photo is definitely high res! Don’t send a Facebook photo or anything low res as it will be rejected!
- Make sure your biography gets to the point and is not too long-winded.
- Put the links in for 2 strong tracks, ones that you would perhaps use on a sampler to showcase your band/you.
- Make sure you can actually attend the event! There is no point applying if you can’t play it!
- Make sure you have contact information on your Facebook such as your bio and a contact email – these are things that will be looked at!
- If you are attending the event then take promos or your songs with contact info on them.
If you are not playing the event then I really recommend you attend and really make sure you take in as much information as possible. It is really easy to think “I know what I am doing, I don’t need any help”, that is all fine, but I have learnt things from these events that have opened up so many doors for me. This is from a blogger, PR, label and promoter perspective.
This is also about building relationships, you might meet your next drummer or someone to help you start promoting shows. You could even pick up a label. Make the most of it.
Wide Days takes place 22nd & 23rd April, tickets available here - www.widedays.com/tickets
Locations and maps here - www.widedays.com/event-map
Bands applications to showcase close 5pm, Friday 29th January