THE STATE OF THE NATION – 10.30am – 11.30am

To open the conference programme, this discussion covers the current state of the independent music sector in the UK. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the scene at the moment from the perspective of artists, venues, record labels and festivals, and what are the key challenges we face in sustaining and growing a prosperous and equitable industry?

MODERN RECORD LABELS – 1.45pm – 2.45pm

Record Labels have always shouldered more than their fair share of risk in the music industry. Believing in talent and putting their money where their mouth is has meant they have been at the forefront of defining popular culture for the last seventy years. Of course, it hasn’t been an easy ride, but as we enter a new decade, we take a look at how labels are coping in the modern landscape. Streaming is booming, but the attention economy is fierce, and with tens of thousands of songs released each day how do labels make sense of it all? Here we meet a range of labels that are adapting to the new ways of music consumption, to get insight into how we can successfully champion music in the modern world.


A discussion on the current challenges of music scenes around the UK. The Regional Music Scenes Network has been set up to help share ideas and best practice between those championing independent music across the country, from large cities to towns and rural areas. The purpose of the network is to identify what is and isn’t working in various scenes with a view to developing strategies to help support music making in the future.

YOUR BRAIN ON MUSIC – 11.45am – 12.45pm

Daniel Levitin’s book, ‘This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession’ is a ground-breaking exploration of how our brains interact with music. Looking at why we make and love music, Daniel argues that music is fundamental to the human species, perhaps even more so than language itself. In this session he will be discussing his work with fellow author Daniel Rachel, covering themes such as why and how music gives us pleasure, why we are emotionally attached to it, and how we develop musical expertise.

JUMP PRESENTATION – 3pm – 3.30pm

Un-Convention is delighted to be part of a European-wide fellowship programme, funded by Creative Europe and working alongside MaMA (France), Nouvelle Prague (Czech Republic), Linecheck (Italy), MIL (Portugal) and Athens Music Week (Greece) to support innovative music professionals. This event in Manchester sees the launch of the second fellowship and we will be making a presentation about the project, the participants and how you can get involved in the future.

HOW TO JUMP! – 5pm – 5.30pm

Scott Lewis was one of the ten fellows 2019. He will share his experience together with you who are now embarking on the same adventure.


The Musicians’ Union host networking drinks and a special ‘in conversation’ session

FRIDAY, 6th MARCH 2020

NETWORKING WORKSHOP – 9.30am – 11.00am

Networking is essential while developing an idea. Make sure you have all the necessary tools to make the most of the JUMP programme and its networking activities.

THE MUSICIANS’ VIEW – 1.45pm – 2.45pm

For this session we hear from a range of musicians about their experiences of working in music. What are the skills, traits and breaks that helped them to succeed, and what lessons have they learned that they would pass on to fellow musicians? We also consider if the career prospects for musicians have changed over the years and whether the industry is becoming more or less artist friendly.

THREE MINUTE HEROES – 3pm – 3.30pm

Presentation on a new project by Greater Manchester Health & Social Care Partnership


In this interactive workshop, we will discuss the different approaches to time management and a healthy work/life balance. Yes to being passionate, no to burning out!

THE LIVE MUSIC SECTOR – 3.45pm – 4.45pm

The live music sector in the UK remains strong and brings in substantial revenues for the industry. For many artists it is where they build their fanbases and provides their key source of income, and yet the sector is not without its problems. There are serious concerns about the health of grassroots scenes across the country, and there is much debate around areas such as diversity, exclusivities and the concentration of power into fewer and fewer hands. In this panel we explore the current issues of the sector, and what is and isn’t working for booking agents, promoters, venues and others at the coalface of the industry.


Drinks and networking session