4th November Manchester. NQ
Conference & Showcase
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Taking place on Friday 4th November at the Methodist Central Hall during the day, Sound City and Louder Than War will curate a music conference featuring the new guard of the music industry – Label and publishing A&R, agents, tech start ups and impresarios, bloggers and promoters, who inspire those starting out in the industry to rip up the rule book, try new things and importantly, be brave and bold.

With the relentless day to day of online communication, there has never been a more important time to meet face to face. Off the Record conference is aimed at people who have been to many music industry conferences and those who have never been to any at all, and who are curious about finding new ways to do things and people to do them with.

Wristband registration for the conference will be from 09:30am at the Methodist Central Hall.


Keynote with Everything Everything

Manchester-based Everything Everything have released three albums, and have played prestigious shows at festivals including Glastonbury, Kendal Calling, bluedot and the Isle of Wight. They have played worldwide, from Moscow to Washington DC. In November 2015 they sold out the famous Manchester Apollo. Their work has been shortlisted for the Mercury Music Prize and they have received three nominations for the Ivor Novello Award.

‘SUMMER OF LOVE’ – How to get on the festival circuit  

Moderated by Jim Mawdsley, key champions of emerging artists from UK festivals share their tips, tricks and insider info to help you get your name on their line up and get the most out of a festival slot before, during and after the fact. Find out what they’re looking for from the artists they champion and hear first hand about opportunities, application procedures and the benefits of using festivals to grow a fanbase.


Including key influencers from radio stations, print and online magazines sharing their tips on how to get in the ear of the people with the power to get you heard with:



This panel will see music industry veteran Jen Otter Bickerdike who was Director of Marketing for Interscope and A&M Geffen (Nirvana, Gwen Stefani, Pearl Jam, Dr Dre) before completing her PHD in Cultural Studies at Goldsmith’s University and now lectures on fandom, chair a discussion on how to use all of the technological tools of the trade and to make them work to build a dedicated fan base and how to keep them interested and growing with:

‘A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN’ – Exploring the musician / manager relationship

If you’ve always wanted to be a music manager but weren’t quite sure what they ‘do’. This panel of Managers will be discussing the role of the artist manager in the DIY era. For artists, this panel will explore the importance of good management to kick starting and maintaining a successful career. They’ll be offering insight to aspiring music managers on nurturing emerging artists and getting yourself started as a manager.

‘IF YOU’RE GONNA, DO IT DO IT RIGHT’ – Putting a gig on properly 

Champions of live music will be talking venues and spaces, production, promotion, and getting creative with turning gigs into events. How audiences consume and share live music is changing, they’ll be sharing tips and tricks to make your gig stand out, attract this new breed of audience and keep them engaged.

A select number of special keynote speakers will also be announced along with the final conference line-up in the coming weeks.

‘MY GENERATION’ – Breaking the industry


Gain exclusive industry knowledge on how to build your career in the music industry, from people who’ve recently done it themselves. Hear how these young industry professionals got their foot in the door in their field, how they got there, tips on finding work experience, applications and what it takes to land your dream job.

‘NEW MUSIC FROM AN OLD FRIEND’ – Making the most of the help that’s out there

Representatives from Arts Council England, Help Musicians UK, PRS for Music Foundation, Pledge Music & Secret Sessions will be speaking about the funding and support systems that are available to emerging musicians and ways that artists can look out for themselves in the industry. They’ll be offering advice on playing the funding game, and making the most of the help that’s out there to help reach the next stage of your career.


The photographers behind Oasis’s ‘Definitely Maybe’ and The 1975’s ‘I like it when you sleep…’ amongst many others will be providing insight into the world of the modern music photographer and discuss working with some of the world’s most recognisable bands. They’ll be offering honest advice on breaking into the world of Rock & Roll photography whilst maintaining their artistic integrity.


Louder Than War’s John Robb will be chatting to up and coming hip hop artist and creative Shadez the Misfit. They’ll be discussing his pertinent and thought provoking real life lyrics and ways to build your brand as an artist. Following stand out performances at Lovebox and Channel 4 and successful brand partnerships with the likes of Adidas and Samsung, Shadez will be discussing the importance of breadth as an artist. Having been featured by Complex, MTV and GQ they will be chatting about how important it is to stand out from the crowd.


Off the Record will be introducing a whole day of interactive ‘ workshop Sessions’  These sessions bring you the very best industry insight and knowledge with The People in the know in a relaxed and comfortable environment. These industry experts will be covering everything from Sync Deals, Touring to health & well being and much more.


Syncs. Everyone is trying to get them, so how do you increase your chances of landing one? In this talk by independent music publisher Sentric Music’s Head of Sync Simon Pursehouse Director of Music Services, who has got sync deals for artists on Made in Chelsea, BT Sport, Top Shop advertisements will go through the nine steps needed to get you to the top of the pile of tunes that music supervisors worldwide trawl through on a daily basis. From metadata to instrumentals, copyright registrations to email etiquette and everywhere in-between, this will stop you making the mistakes that 90% of artists are currently doing.

Representatives from Arts Council England, Help Musicians UK, PRS for Music Foundation, Pledge Music & Secret Sessions will offer advice on how artists can get funding, and making the most of the help that’s out there to help reach the next stage of your career.


The Off Axis Gig Network

Off Axis is a new gig and touring network that enables brilliant artists to play successful shows, to guaranteed audiences all across the UK, even in places they’ve never visited before. As such it offers a practical and effective route for those involved to develop national fanbases in a way never before possible. It currently includes bands from 67 towns and cities across the UK, has created hundreds of opportunities to play to new audiences, and has partnered with Kendal Calling on a pioneering initiative to give emerging artists access to unique festival opportunities.

Jeff Thompson from Off Axis will be explaining how the system works, and how you can get involved.


CMU:DIY presents Making Money From Music

CMU’s Chris Cooke provides a beginner’s guide to the music industry for DIY artists, outlining the different ways music and musicians make money, and introducing the different business partners you may work with along the way. Recordings, songs, merchandise, gigs, brand partnerships and direct-to-fan, we’ll cover them all in 45  minutes.

DIVERSE MUSIC SOLUTIONS: Thinking Beyond a Chart Position

Elroy ‘Spoonface’ Powell (Spoon)

“Thinking Beyond A Chart Position”

Five things to consider when wanting to get into the music industry.

Based on personal experiences as a number one selling artist, publisher and music lover come five ideas to consider if wanting to enter the music industry.

The talk will cover

  1. Purpose
  2. Knowing your worth
  3. Building relationships
  4. Surviving the burn out
  5. Finding balance and giving back

With an opportunity for Q & A!