Wide Days music convention hailed ‘most successful ever’

The eighth Wide Days music convention (21-22 April) has been hailed the most successful to date, with full event passes for the event selling out and showcases attracting a record 1,000 registrations from members of the public.

Taking place in Edinburgh at Teviot Row House, the conference hosted on day one attracted 250 delegates for panels on topics including artist development, the future of festivals, ticketing and utilising data from digital services to plan releases and tours. This was followed in the evening by seven emerging Scottish acts playing consecutive live shows, and a range of networking activities on the second day.

“The feedback from delegates has been phenomenal, with 98% saying they are very likely or likely to recommend the event,” says Wide Days founder, Olaf Furniss, citing a survey of delegates taken at the end of the conference.

Moreover, there was unprecedented interest in the showcase acts from both the public and industry delegates from labels and festivals.

This year also saw organisers expand the programme on day two, which was open to full ticket holders, adding to the activities which led to being named Best Networking Event at the Yearly Music Convention Awards. Participants were treated to a coach tour, followed by a keynote interview with Julie Weir (Music For Nations/Sony Music), lunch and whisky tasting on the stage of Edinburgh’s iconic Usher Hall.

“The fact that the two-day tickets sold out, shows an increasing number of industry professionals are seeking opportunities to connect in less traditional environments,” adds Furniss, who personally oversees the networking day. “We will be seeking to build on this in 2018, while continuing to look at ways we can offer even better value for those only attending the conference and showcase.”

This year saw Creative Scotland, Help Musicians, PRS Foundation and Eventbrite join existing event partners PPL,  EUSA, University of the Highlands & Islands, the Scottish Music Industry Association, EmuBands and the BPI.

“The added level of partnership support allowed us to provide more mentoring for the showcase acts, raise the overall production levels and offer a bursary-subsidised ticket to emerging musicians and industry practitioners,” says Furniss. “As a result, we have taken the event to a new level.”

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