Music industry seminar Wide Days 2011 features top speakers
Showcase sets from Withered Hand, Capitals and Rachel Sermanni
Following its successful launch in 2010, the organisers behind Scotland's Born To Be Wide return on the 7 Apr 2011 with another edition of jam-packed A&R seminar Wide Days, featuring a tasty programme of panels and workshops by day and selective showcases and live performances by night. The educational initiative, held at the University's Teviot House, is aimed at young bands seeking solid behind-the-scenes advice from the more established big bosses and industry veterans. The focus is set on securing practical know-how and providing both a platform and melting pot for anyone in, or on the peripheries of, the music industry. Speakers on this year’s panels include Glastonbury booker Martin Elbourne, Chemikal Underground boss Stewart Henderson and film music composer Malcolm Lindsay.
The 2010 event also saw an impressive line-up of speakers on the panels, ranging from representatives for Scotland's leading festivals to digital music experts and lawyers, along with reputable managers including Keith Harris (Stevie Wonder), who’ll be back again this year, and Rab Andrew (Primal Scream, Texas). "Wide Days 2010 was one of the top grass roots events in Britain and right on the mark for the DIY music culture of the day", says Olaf Furniss, co-organiser along with Derick Mackinnon. And this year sees no deviation from the dedicated emphasis on veritable and entertaining consultancy. Panel topics focus on ways in which bands and artists can help themselves in an evolving industry where the once dominant London-centric big labels are no longer the be all and end all, and aim to encourage dedicated musicians looking to the business beyond their music making credentials.
New to this year's event, the programme also offers the opportunity for private 15 minute consultations, granting new-comers one-on-one time with the panellists to seek out whatever knowledge time may have deprived of them in the seminars; from money-making advice from Scott Cohen of The Orchard or online promotion advice from Inner Ear's Dougal Perman. Also, this year's keynote speaker is Regular Music founder Barry Wright. Regular Music are one of Scotland's biggest promoters, hosting Scotland’s first outdoor festival in 1979, before going on to promote numerous stadium gigs by acts including U2, Oasis and Frank Sinatra.
"Barry can offer a fascinating insight into the Scottish live scene over the decades," says Wide Days co-organisers, Olaf Furniss. "Back in the seventies he had the likes of Iggy Pop hanging out in a part of town now overrun by yummy mummies with SUV push chairs."
Following on into the night, Sneaky Pete's, Cabaret Voltaire and Electric Circus host staggered live performances (so you can catch all six) from Letters, PAWS, Rachel Sermanni, GoGoBot and Capitals. Highlighting issues surrounding international showcasing, Edinburgh-based Withered Hand (a.k.a. Dan Willson) will also be performing, having returned triumphant from Texas after making it to SXSW despite the visa issues that sparked uproar. The closing party at Electric Circus sees panellists playing personally selected records from Oxfam Record Shop, which will be on sale with all proceeds going to the charity.