by / February 4th, 2009 /

Belfast Unconvention Schedule

The schedule for panel discussions and workshops for this weekend’s Unconvention in Belfast has been released:


11.15 – 12.00 – Music in the Air: How Music is moving to ‘The Cloud’
Is ownership dead? Last.FM, Spotify, Spiralfrog, Bandcamp, Pandora and others allow users to access countless albums online for free. Widgets and other free media proliferate social networks. In this panel we’ll discuss whether access will eventually trump ownership, how context is just as important as content, whether music in ‘the cloud’ is more valuable and whether the URL is the new MP3.

12.15 – 13.00 – Record Label: Revival or Relic?

Why start a record label? What even constitutes a ‘record label’ these days? Is your fan base your record label? This panel will discuss the shape of labels to come, how they might function, what power they have and the advantages and disadvantages of being a label. What’s working for labels in today’s music industry and how should you approach starting your own?

14:00 – 14.45 – Beat of the Drum: Leading Your Tribe & The REAL cost of DIY
As traditional record label models fail, the panel will focus on the brass tacks of going DIY. Going DIY requires real leadership and focus so we’ll look at how to build, motivate and expand your tribe to help sustain your career and what tactics you might use outside of the traditional promotional toolbox to spread the word. Where does DIY crossover in professional management? Is the DIY model sustainable?

15.00 – 15.45 – What Makes Good Sync?
It’s no secret that with recorded music sales are no longer enough to sustain an artists career and that licensing your material for use in motion pictures, tv and advertising has become a real priority for most labels and artists. But with the sheer volume of music available, as well as being submitted, to studios for consideration it becomes all the more important to stand out. This panel will discuss what decision makers are looking for in a song and best practice in submitting your music.

This will be followed by a floor debate’¦ the mic is open.


11.45 – 12.45 – Net, Blogs & Rock N’Roll: Media Promotion in the New Music Industry.
The Long Tail has turned music promotion on it’s head. Blogs, online communities and other tastemakers are more important than ever in introducing your music to a new audience. This panel will discuss the shifting media landscape and how best to approach it.

14:00 – 14.45 – The End of the Middle Man: Are Band-to-Fan models the way forward?
”Any of us that are not either the artist or the fan, are just potentially in the way. So it’s on us to provide value. To provide real value. It is not about lock-in. It’s not about owning your masters. It’s about me providing value to you, and if I can’t, well, then I should get the hell out of the way.’ – Ian Rogers, CEO of Topspin Media This panel will discuss the relevance of traditional marketing to today’s music business and if the focus on Band-to-Fan relationships makes traditional media irrelevant.

15:00 – close – What’s Working?
A selection of bands, labels, music entrepreneurs and the floor in general discuss what tactics are showing success in promotion, marketing and artist development.

Each evening will see a showcase of Northern Irish talent and State’s own Phil Udell and Niall Byrne will be amongst the many panelists and delegates attending. More details available here.

UnConvention TV on MUZU.

  • Just added:

    Rachel Unthank, of Rabble Rouser Records’ Rachel Unthank & The Winterset, is set to deliver the first workshop of UnConvention Belfast, at 11:45am on Friday February 6th.

    She’ll be sharing thoughts and stories as a touring artist, travelling within your means and tips for the road as well as her experiences recording and performing music in today’s music industry.

    Called ” a joyous, virtuous and luscious un-folk album” by The Observer, Rachel’s new record “The Bairns” has been warmly received across the UK and was shortlisted for The Mercury Music prize. She’ll return to the BlackBox on February 8th for a full live performance.