It’s time for a re-up. You don’t need us to tell you that the music business is changing. And you certainly don’t need us to put another bunch of industry lads and lasses on a panel with microphones and fancy nametags to tell you how much the business has changed. That’s, like, so like 2008.
As Barack Obama is discovering (judging by the grey hairs on his head), it’s one thing to talk about change, but quite another task entirely to actually do something about it when it’s all around you. You can’t go back to the way things once were and you also can’t just completely alter the way things are done overnight.
What you need, plain and simple, is information. Data. Opinions. Views. The knowledge. You need the knowledge.
This weekend, HWCH will attempt to give you that knowledge. We’ve a wide range of panels and workshops with musicians, geeks, managers, festival bookers, promoters, journalists, broadcasters, record labels, publishers, entrepreneurs and others talking about themselves, what they do and how and why they do it. It’s a weekend of fat-free, vitamin-enriched brain food for those who ply their trade on and off the stage.
Turn up, listen, take notes and ask questions. What you do with the knowledge you hear over the weekend is completely up to you, but don’t say that we didn’t tell you what’s going on.
A series of informal end-of-the-day/start-of-the-night peer to peer conversations about this, that and the other with plenty of do’s and don’ts for bands at every stage of their career in between the anecdotes. Tongues may be occasionally in cheek, but remember that all advice is good advice.
(1) Bandtip Thursday 6th 5pm The Artist Lounge, Filmbase
A conversation with the people who decide which bands, albums and songs gets reviewed, covered and broadcast. You may give out yards about journalists and DJs so now’s your chance to meet their bosses.
Anthea McTiernan (The Ticket editor),
Sophie Gorman (Day & Night editor),
Brian Adams (Today FM Head of Music),
Maggie Breathnach (Ceol Ar an Imeall)
(2) Bandtip Session Friday 7th 5pm The Artist Lounge, Filmbase
THE VENUE BOOKERS
What’s happening on the homefront? The folks who book the best live rooms in the country provide a state of the nation address on the state of the Irish live music nation. Warning: may contain strong language.
Gugai (Roisin Dubh, Galway),
Niall Morriss MCD,
Sean Harrold,Dolan’s Limerick,
Karl Geraghty (Workman’s Club,Dublin),
(3) Bandtip Session Saturday 8th 5pm The Artist Lounge, Filmbase
THE FESTIVAL BOOKERS
Bookers from a number of international showcase festivals talk about their booking policies, what bands need to know before they go and their success stories. Note: no passports required.
Matt McDonald , CMJ
Robert Meijerink, Eurosonic
Lizzie Newton, SXSW
Natasha Haddad, TGE
Andy McClean , NXNE
Bjorn Pfarr, Reeperbahn
Industry delegates at HWCH from at home and abroad make themselves available for ten minute one to one chats. booking is free but on a strict first come first served basis mail email@example.com to nab one of the coveted 25 places per day
Friday 7th / 10.30am to 1.00pm, The Button Factory, Curved Street, Temple Bar
Saturday 8th / 10.30am to 1.00pm, The Button Factory, Curved Street,Temple Bar
Friday 7th / 2pm / The Button factory
MEET THE GEEKS
The bible was right, the geeks did inherit the earth. At a time when technology is paying the piper, a roundtable discussion with reps from some of the leaders in the field. Expect views and examples about what comes next, not what might come next.
Friday 7th / 3.30 pm / The Button Factory
THE A TEAM
If you have a problem, if no-one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you should hire the A-Team. Every band needs a team but, in 2011, that team looks a hell of a lot different to the team you might have had in your corner 10 years ago. We put together an A-Team for your band and pick their brains.
Saturday 8th / 2pm / The Button Factory
Welcome to the age of the portfolio career. If you want to work in the music business, chances are you won’t be just doing one thing as used to be the case - you’ll be doing three, four or five things instead. Our panelists talk about how they manage to juggle what are sometimes very diverse careers and if they can ever envisage a time when one career will do.
Saturday 8th / 3.30pm / The Button Factory
THE FREE AGENDA
HWCH 2011 KEYNOTE PANEL, in association with the On the Record blog.
The notion of “free” has become something many involved in our industry take for granted. From giving away tracks or albums to playing gigs, providing your music for free has become a choice a huge number of acts have chosen (freely) to make.
But just as there’s no such thing as a free lunch, there is also no such thing as free music. There are costs at every stage of the process, yet acts
seem willing to pick up the bill in the hope of making fans from the exposure or furthering their career for the future. It works for some, but it doesn’t work for everyone. So-called free services like Spotify and their streaming brothers and sisters also muddy the water as punters get their music for free and the tech lads augment their bottom-line, but the people who make the music make do with cents rather than euros.
Time for some questions and opinions. What’s the real value of free? At what stage, does free become a cost? Does providing your music for free make you a schmuck or smart? What happens when a band moves from free to paid-for? Can you really make a career from providing your music for free? Is free just a fad or is free here to stay?