Wide Days announces virtual conference, networking and music programme

Wide Days announces virtual conference, networking and music programme

Swim School

Online edition of Scotland's music convention will include over 50 speakers and live performances by emerging acts including Swim School and Kapil Seshasayee

Wide Days has announced details of its virtual event taking place from 23–25 July. The online programme for Scotland's music convention, which is supported by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland, will include panels, interviews, live performances, sector meetings, social activities and a range of networking opportunities.

The physical Wide Days event, which was due to be held in April in Edinburgh, has been thoughtfully adapted into this virtual event, with originally scheduled panels and presentations now covering challenges arising from the pandemic. New sessions have also been added and will explore how the music industry is responding to the crisis, highlight novel approaches and look at steps being taken to survive.

The first two days (Thu and Fri) will feature the conference and showcases, while the final day (Sat) will include a virtual music tour, the Wide Whisky Club, and a Festival Takeover wherein Focus Wales and the Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival will guest programme a selection of acts.

'Over the past three months we have hosted a series of online seminars and social evenings, as well as taking part in many other online events, and right across the music industry spectrum there is a strong desire to connect and learn,' said Wide Days founder, Olaf Furniss. 'At Wide Days we also want our guests to be entertained and have fun, so we will aim to translate everything we do in the physical space to the virtual environment — including the tour and whisky tasting.'

A new digital event platform launched by Meetmaps will ensure that delegates can replicate conference networking opportunities. The platform will allow guests to pre-book one-to-one meetings, gather in themed social rooms, participate in international match-making sessions as well as round tables hosted by event partners.

The online conference programme will feature some 50 speakers and is now available to view on the Wide Days website, with additional panels and speakers set to be announced leading up to the event.

The conference will include a Local Heroes strand highlighting two notable individuals who have helped put Scotland's music scene on the map. Active Events' Lisa Whytock will reflect on her career as an agent, promoter and manager working with some of the best in traditional Scottish music, while FLY Events founder Tom Ketley will reveal how his student club nights turned into large-scale open air dance events, ultimately launching the international careers of several Scottish DJs.

The majority of panels will take place between midday and 5.45pm, with mornings reserved for meetings. The Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival will host a round table exploring how jazz musicians are working with technology, while the Scottish Music Industry Association will host a discussion with the Scottish Animation Network.

Wide Days announces virtual conference, networking and music programme

Kapil Seshasayee

In partnership with PRS Foundation, Wide Days will also present a diverse selection of six emerging Scottish acts: hip-hop artists Billy Got Waves x Joell., DIY multi-instrumentalist Kapil Seshasayee, atmospheric singer-songwriter Magpie Blue, post-punk duo MEMES, electro-popsters One Nine, and indie quartet Swim School.

All of the emerging acts have taken part in a mentoring programme and will individually perform 20-minute sets to be broadcast on the Thursday or Friday nights (running order TBA). The six chosen acts follow in the footsteps of previous Scottish participants Honeyblood, Be Charlotte, Fatherson, The Ninth Wave, The Jellyman's Daughter, and Scottish Album of the Year Award winner, Kathryn Joseph.

Delegate registration for the event is a flat-rate of £30, which will go towards paying the team of freelancers who deliver Wide Days, many of whom have lost the majority of their work since lockdown began in March. Participating delegates will also have the option to pay-forward a ticket to allow struggling members of the Scottish music industry to apply for a free accreditation and Wide Days will generously match each donated ticket.

Wide Days confirmed speakers:
Agnese Daverio (Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival), Andrew Mikkelsen (Atlantic Records), Arusa Qureshi (The List), Chris Cooke (CMU), Ellen De Faux (LS Productions), Gee Davy (Association of Independent Music), Hannah Rankin (bassoonist & boxer), Jess Partridge (In Stereo Group), Joe Hendry (musician & wrestler), Jumi Akinfenwa (Pitch & Sync), Keith Harris (Manager & Martial Artist), Lauren Bauld (PPL), Lisa Whytock (Active Events), Nabihah Iqbal (Musician & Martial Artist), Nancy Mills (PPL), Olaf Furniss (Wide Events), Paul Brindley (Music Ally), Rachel Grace Almeida (Crack Magazine), Renell Shaw (composer & martial artist), Sam Taylor (CMU), Sammy Andrews (Deviate Digital), Shain Shapiro (Sound Diplomacy), Tina Hart (Tina Hart Media), Tom Ketley (FLY Events)

Wide Days, 23–25 July, £30 delegate registration, widedays.com

Wide Days

The virtual edition of Scotland's key music convention will include panels, interviews, live performances, sector meetings, social activities and a range of networking opportunities. The line-up boasts over 50 speakers and performances by emerging Scottish acts Billy Got Waves x Joell., Kapil Seshasayee, Magpie Blue…

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