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UK Music Explore Challenges and Opportunities Facing Music Sector At Wide Days

UK Music’s interim Head of Public Affairs Hannah McLennan travelled to Wide Days Festival in Edinburgh to chair a panel titled meet the international CEOs. 

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13.05.2024: UK Music’s interim Head of Public Affairs Hannah McLennan travelled to Wide Days Festival in Edinburgh to chair a panel titled meet the international CEOs. 

 

 UK Music interim Head of Public Affairs, Hannah McLennan; Executive Director European Music Managers Alliance, Jess Partridge; IMPALA Executive Chair, Helen Smith and COO Association for Electronic Music Finlay Johnson.  

Hannah was joined by Helen Smith from IMPALA, Jess Partridge from the European Music Managers Alliance, and Finlay Johnson from the Association for Electronic Music. The session focussed on the panellists’ respective visions for the future, the challenges facing their members and how these should be addressed.  

Opening the session, Hannah asked the panel about the key challenges facing the sector. Answers focussed on rising costs which make it increasingly less profitable for organisations and individuals working in music. The panel discussed the unique issues many people in the industry feel given there are such high levels of self-employment found across the sector. The panel also raised the increasing difficulty of operating in such a competitive global market.  

Moving on to the opportunities, Finlay shared how opportunities and challenges are often the same thing, in an industry full of creative thinkers. The panel discussed the potential benefits of collaboration across different sides of the sector and the power of music to engage with people socially, as seen with initiatives linking Ukraine to festivals across Europe. 

The session then moved to questions from the audience. The panel were asked about support when setting up a festival for the first time, new ways of working for music managers and how trade bodies collaborate with one another.  

UK Music interim Head of Public Affairs, Hannah McLennan; Executive Director European Music Managers Alliance, Jess Partridge; IMPALA Executive Chair, Helen Smith and COO Association For Electronic Music Finlay Johnson.  

The next day, Hannah attended a music walking tour of Edinburgh with the festival organisers. The tour included a trip to St Cecilia’s Hall: Concert Room & Music Museum, with a chance to play an amazing antique harpsichord, plus a visit to Bannerman’s music venue.  

Across the week, Wide Days brought together delegates and musicians from all over the world to network and perform at Edinburgh’s most iconic venues.  

 

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