THE LIE OF THE LAND – 10.15am – 11.10am

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, managers, labels and promoters, and what are the key challenges we face in sustaining and growing a prosperous and equitable industry?

JUMP PRESENTATION2.15pm – 2.45pm

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

WELLBEING IN MUSIC – 11.20am – 12.15pm

We work in an industry with seemingly constant pressure, one where adulation and criticism can be a daily occurrence. Financial and emotional risk are almost a prerequisite for artists and those who seek to champion them, and moreover there is often little security, structure or sense of longevity to much of it. It can be a tough gig, and that’s not always easy to deal with. Fortunately, we are living in a time where people are increasingly open about how difficult it can be, both mentally and physically and on all sides of the equation, from artists and promoters to tour managers and venue owners. Here we consider the specific challenges the industry presents to our wellbeing, and how we can help ourselves and each other to better cope.

DIY CAREERS & SCENES – 4.00pm – 5.00pm

The DIY scene in 2019 is as vibrant as ever. Putting on shows, and putting out records, building fanbases and creating art on their own terms, a whole swathe of self-driven artists continue to blaze trails with the punk ethic. But in a time when the internet has enabled a generation to seize the means of production, and at the same time make attention the scarcest of commodities, how do modern artists find an audience?

FRIDAY, 8th MARCH 2019

THE LIVE MUSIC SECTOR – 1.30pm – 2.30pm

This panel will explore the current independent live music scene. Although the live industry is booming it is clear that there are some concerns about the state of the grassroots and independent sector. In this panel we explore what is and isn’t working for promoters, venues and others at the coalface of the industry.

GOOD MUSIC – 2.45pm – 3.45pm

“Can a mere song change a people’s minds? I doubt that it is so. But a song can infiltrate your heart and the heart may change your mind.” ― Elvis Costello
Music can bring people together, break barriers and build aspirations. It can give a sense of identity and place, and act as a powerful tool to engage with those disenfranchised by the world around them. Across the globe, and in a range of contexts, music is used to improve lives, and sometimes, even to save them. In this panel we meet a range of organisations and initiatives that are using music to make the world a better place.


Of all the sectors of the music industry it is the labels that have had to adapt the most in recent years. At the first Un-Convention back in 2008 one of the themes central to the debate was whether labels could exist in the future, and indeed if they still had a role to play. With their core income stream being completely disrupted, and a new generation of artists building relationships directly with their fans it seemed that perhaps time was nearly up. However, in 2019 we still have a vibrant Indie label culture, and in a time where everyone can self-release perhaps they play a more important role than ever. Here we meet a range of labels that have adapted to the new ways of music consumption, to get an insight into how we can successfully champion new music in the modern world.