Un-Convention Salford ’09 Day three

Last night was cool got to see some great bands and hangout with some ace people.

Un-Convention Salford ’09 – Bands as Enterprises – Do It Together
What a fantastic panel, Martin Atkins was deeply insightful, offering much advise and genuine passion. His comments were often wild and to the point, some of which could be quite cutting for the uninitiated. The lawyers were helpful, Richard Hoare (Clintons) and Eleanor Broady from independent local practice ‘Beelegal’ offering much information and support to grass-root musicians, record company owners and other new music facilitators.

Northern Irish bass player Rich Dale (Escape Act/Volte-Face Records) also covered some interesting ground, focusing on the needs and demands of bands as small enterprises.

Now, on one hand there really are some interesting, fab and deeply insightful people here, offering great advise and discussion on all things music related. On the other however there are a shocking number of people that are stuck in the old business models and ideals that are so rapidly failing in the turbulent economic climate.
There seems much sense in becoming a music business guerrilla (i.e. moving quickly and easily mobilised) and this seemed to have been strongly echoed by some of the panel, but still lost on many in the room.
The question of realistic objectives, focusing on what the individual wants to achieve was raised and partially answered by the panel, how ever this form of discussion by and large is missing from Un-Convention ’09, hopefully it will come up at future events.

Un-Convention Salford ’09 – It’s easier to ask for forgiveness than permission
This session is focusing on the requirements and business needs for live performers, promoters and managers. The panel made up of a group of promoters based all over the UK were well placed to discuss many of the issues faced by venues, performers and how audience demands can be met.
A general consensus was that some times both performing musicians and promoters can be their own worst enemy’s. For the system to work all party’s need to fulfil their own part of the deal and do they’re most to provide an excellent service.

Pay to play was discussed and again the panel came up trumps, the overall feeling that it was a poor and at best dubious business practice. The old school “if you don’t bring 30 people I’ll tell every one how cr*p you are” is now obsolete and can be dealt with by not dealing with this type of promoter. Sounds simple and it is that simple. Various best practice scenarios were discussed in length.

One of the interesting things about coming to Manchester is the proliferation of fly posting in the city. It was interesting to hear that the fly posting is pretty much only done by two crews who operate of different patches. They have deals with the local council only post on old wood, no metal, glass or public property. They also manage these spaces and keep them in good order. It seems to work very well and is perhaps some thing other areas of the country could look at adopting. It was highlighted by member of the audience (for want of a better word) that these fly posters reflect the diverse and vibrant cultural element that is Manchester.

Un-Convention Salford ’09: Final thoughts
It was great to see so many passionate and enthusiastic people in one place, all keen to discuss and share in formation. People had travelled from India, the Netherlands and Ireland to attend; it was great to have such a wide range of experiences all in one place adding to the mix.
I’m still surprised that some people; both audience and panel are stuck on old business models that have no place in the changing music industry. There was a feeling among some that they could still turn the biasness around, unfortunately I’m not sure they will be able to do this.
The over all message from many seems to be a clear focus on adapting methods and using best practice to facilitate them monetization of music and music practioners.

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