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You wait all year for a new Manchester music industry conference and two come along at once…

One of  Low Four Studio's filmed pilot events

The University of Salford and Low Four Studio will launch a new annual music conference for Greater Manchester in 2024, entitled Soundcheck.

The event will join the Beyond the Music conference and festival on the Manchester industry calendar. Beyond the Music, organised by Oli Wilson, son of the founder of Manchester’s original global music industry event In The City Tony Wilson. That event will take place this October following a high-profile launch at Texas’ SXSW in March, with Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham and New Order lending their support. 

The hybrid Soundcheck event will feature both in-person and online discussions on the vibrancy and future of Greater Manchester’s world-renowned music scene. Particular focus will be given to the city’s recording and live economies as well as in-depth analysis of the available commercial, charitable and governmental support schemes available to artists.

Launching in April 2024, Soundcheck will be hosted between the University’s Peel Park campus and Low Four Studio on Deansgate Mews in Manchester.

Soundcheck will also seek to generate new research projects for staff and students in the University’s School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology and attendees will be able to get involved in workshops, training and contribute towards the research output conversations.

Daniel Parrott, co-director of Low Four Studio and programme leader of music management and creative enterprise said: “We are delighted to be bringing a new, innovative music conference into the heart of Greater Manchester. Soundcheck will be an event that appeals to all music fans, musicians and those who work in the city’s pioneering music scene by bringing some of the leaders from across the sector to discuss ways in which we can keep this region at the forefront of the UK music scene for a long time to come.”

Dr Brendan Williams, co-director of Low Four Studio and reader in music technology at the University of Salford added: “This conference will focus on the challenges faced by artists, managers, promoters and technologist alike. Beyond our local situation, Soundcheck will aim to bring the brightest minds in the industry to contribute to a national conversation.”

The conference will be informed by a series of informative and entertaining pilot discussions recorded last year, featuring a number of prominent figures in the region’s music industry.

Funded by the university and UK Research and Innovation, the four filmed panels are now available to watch online and feature contributions from the likes of YES, Porij, KSR, Dave Haslam, The Albert Hall, The Stoller Hall, United We Stream, Reform Radio and Manchester Collective.

The panels included discussions on how the area’s music venues responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, whether Manchester can still claim to be a world-class music destination and the future of live-streaming music performances.

Panel hosts included Alan Williams, professor of collaborative composition at the University of Salford, Jay Taylor from the Music Venue Trust (and Goldblade), musician and broadcaster Jenna G and Sarie Mairs Slee from the Northern Place and Culture Partnership.

Full details on the line-up and programme for the 2024 event will be revealed later this year.

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