Friday, 25 March 2011

Great Escape Update

The latest batch of announcements about the Great Escape convention inlude news from PRS for Music, host of day one of the convention, who have announced that their Chief Economist Will Page will be joined by Topspin CEO Ian Rogers and digital music expert and Bandcamp advisor Andrew Dubber for his keynote session, which will focus on the rising importance of direct to fan platforms. Page, Rogers and Dubber will together assess the role of such platforms for labels and artists, today and in the future, and evaluate the different approaches taken by rival services, while also considering how best to use direct-to-fan technology to recruit, engage and sell to fans.

The Great Escape will also again be looking at how artists and music companies can "escape" their domestic markets and pursue opportunities in other territories. This topic with be expertly dealt with this year in a panel presented by PPL. Bringing insights from a live, label and management viewpoint on how to meet the challenge of launching and monetising talent abroad, the panel will include ATC Management's Arwen Hunt, Exceptional Records' Bob Fisher and PPL's Director of Performer Affairs Keith Harris. Elsewhere in the panels domain, 7Digital's Ben Drury and Omnifone's Jez Bell will discuss the merits of rival digital business models, while BASCA CEO Patrick Rackow will lead a debate on digital licensing. For those working with newer artists, Radio 2 and 6Music's Jeff Smith, The Guardian's Caspar Llewellyn Smith, and festival and TV booker Ali Anselmo will reveal how they discover new talent, and advise bands on how they can build that all important "buzz".

On the Friday afternoon, delegates will be able to explore the thought processes that go on behind music-based brand partnerships as four managers and promoters pitch their sponsorship ideas to four leading brand managers. In more news, HMV CEO Simon Fox will provide a keynote and take questions on his vision for the UK live sector, discussing HMV's ambitions in this space and how the live industry could better work with other parts of the music business. Wired journalist Duncan Geere will provide an insight session on the state of the digital music market, with some predictions on future trends.

In the series of In Conversation sessions, Frank Turner will be discussing his career with 6music's Matt Everitt. Other sessions include DJ Shadow and BRIT Award winning producer Paul Epworth. There is also a "masterclass" programme, The Great Escape Start Ups Showcase, and the debate on what the future music company will look like, which will include insights from BMG Chrysalis A&R director Alan Pell and Cooking Vinyl chief Martin Goldschmidt.

The Great Escape runs from 12-14 May across Brighton. More at

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