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The home of breaking new bands and artists for over 10 years, Live At Leeds continues its unrivalled role in supporting and championing new music, with a full day of programmed talks, workshops and insights from across the music industry at The Unconference – kick-starting the Live At Leeds weekend on Friday May 4th and rounded out with a special Momentum Music Fund showcase at The Wardrobe, headlined by newly announced Leeds favourites Marsicans.

The Unconference is a day of panels, workshops, presentations and networking for those working in, or aspiring to work in the music industry, as part of Live At Leeds and Leeds International Festival. If you are involved in music at any level and hope to gain a better understanding of the music industries – as an artist, producer, manager, promoter, enthusiast or otherwise, this is the perfect place to find out more from experts and those who have taken that journey in the past.

This years’ Unconference will feature artist & industry speakers, presentations, networking and panel discussions hosted by partner organisations featuring professionals from a diverse range of backgrounds within music.

Speakers feature from:
BBC Radio 1 • Music Manager’s Forum • Spring King • PRS Foundation • The Leaf Label • Deluxxe Management • The Independent • Kaiser Chiefs • Brudenell Social Club • Music Support • Big Life Management • Hookworms • Leeds City Council • Brighter Sound • Come Play With Me • Hannah Peel • BBC Introducing • Girl Gang • HA! Music • Studio 12 • MAP Charity • Paramount Music • Chapel FM • Marsicans • Equaliser

The Unconference takes place across Leeds College of Music and The Wardrobe in the city centre, is supported by Leeds Beckett University, Music: Leeds and PRS For Music Foundation and is free to attend by registering at

Schedule Overview:


WELCOME followed by A MANIFESTO FOR NEW MUSIC & LEEDS: 10.45am – 11.30am

SESSION 1: 12.00pm – 13.00pm
Music Managers Forum Panel
Brighter Sound present: Both Sides Now – Minding The Gender Gap
Yorkshire Music Forum presents Meet The Experts – Session #1

SESSION 2: 14.00pm – 15.00pm
Come Play With Me Selection / Listening Panel
Awesome Merchandise – Thinking Outside The Badge
Yorkshire Music Forum presents Meet The Experts – Session #2

SESSION 3: 15.30pm – 16.30pm
PRS Foundation present: Securing Momentum – A Practical Guide to Funding
Uncomfortable Conversations: Music & Mental Health
Yorkshire Music Forum presents Meet The Experts – Session #3

IN CONVERSATION WITH… TAREK MUSA (Spring King, Producer): 17.00pm – 17.45pm

DRINKS & NETWORKING: 18.00pm onwards


Program Details:

A Manifesto For New Music & Leeds
This years’ Unconference kicks off with a series of short talks, presentations and provocations from those involved in breaking down barriers and creating opportunities for music in Leeds.
Featuring: Tom Smith (MAP Charity), Leanne Buchan (Leeds City Council), Jemma Freese (J Frisco, freese trio & JOULE), Henna Angus (Paramount Music), Nathan Clark (Brudenell Social Club) + more

Music Manager’s Forum Panel
A wide ranging discussion from experienced music managers on the future of music management, how the landscape has changed, what skills are required, the barriers to entry and how you build your networks.
Featuring: Diane Wagg (MMF Chairwoman / Deluxxe), Natasha Arciniega (HA! Music), Jonny Simon (Big Life) + more

Brighter Sound present: Both Sides Now – Minding The Gender Gap
This panel will explore projects, initiatives and programmes in the music scene that are putting women front and centre – from the classroom, to the board room, to the stage. It will look at how we can support more women to engage in historically male-dominated spaces, examine the “talent pipeline” and explore what more we can all do to move things forward.
Featuring: Emily Marlow (Girl Gang Leeds), Jamie Hutchinson (Studio 12) + more

Come Play With Me Selection / Listening Panel
An open playback for the selection of two artists to feature on an upcoming release on the Come Play With Me label. A selection of tracks that have been submitted through an open submission throughout February & March will be played back to an audience, with discussion from an expert panel. For more information on the label, see
Featuring: Abbie McCarthy (Producer, BBC Radio 1), Diane Wagg (MMF Chairwoman / Deluxxe), Simon Rix (Kaiser Chiefs), David Martin (The Leaf Label), Roisin O’Connor (The Independent)

Awesome Merchandise – Thinking outside the badge
In this hour workshop Awesome Merchandise will help you to think about merch as more than just a money maker – unshackling it from your store and unlocking its power to create collaborations and community, as well as a source of revenue.
With over 12 years experience and 500+ products made in-house, Awesome Merchandise have produced an enormous amount of custom merch for an ever-growing global community; helping everyone from start up bands and record labels, to music festivals and touring talent turn their designs into, well… Awesome Merch!
Featuring: Jonny Hodson (Awesome Merchandise, Relationship Manager), Louise Fletcher (Awesome Merchandise, Marketing & Content Assistant)

Uncomfortable Conversations: Music & Mental Health                                                                                                                                       

Things we need to talk about and things we can do to keep listening and making change.Conversations abound in the creative industries and the media sphere – from #metoo to #blacklivesmatter to #TimesUp – and the music industries have been called out too, from the under representation of female acts in live music to sexual harassment.
However, a cause for concern from all quarters of the industries has been the uncomfortable reality of mental health issues that appear to endemic across all sectors of the music industries. It is this area that we want to address and we acknowledge that to do so means in all these areas we are committed to asking uncomfortable questions in the hope that this may lead to new ways of living and working together that are better and more healthy for all involved.
Featuring: Chris Madden (Counselling Pyschotherapist), Sally Anne Gross (Co-author of ‘Can Music Make You Sick’ / University of Westminster), MJ (Hookworms / Suburban Home), Sam Parker (Music Support) + more

PRS Foundation presents: Securing Momentum – A Practical Guide to Funding
PRS Foundation’s Momentum Music Fund offers grants of £5k-£15k for artists/bands to break through to the next level of their careers. 15 – 20 artists are funded each quarter, and recent recipients include Otzeki, Dream Wife, Fizzy Blood, Coco, and Sam Fender. In this panel, for the first time ever, attendees will scrutinise and talk through a successful Momentum application, focusing on each question with industry experts, Momentum Music Fund partners, and an artist with their manager. PRS Foundation will give a short overview of funding opportunities before the panel will give hands-on practical advice on how to successfully apply for Momentum.
Featuring: Bhavesh Patel (PRS Foundation), Hannah Peel (Artist), Rob Eaglesham (Manager, Marsicans).
The Momentum Music Fund is run by PRS Foundation using public funds from Arts Council England, support from PPL, and is in association with Spotify.

In Conversation With… Tarek Musa (Spring King)
Tarek Musa has worked with some of the UK’s most exciting new artists including The Big Moon, Gengahr and Bad Breeding. Having graduated from the Liverpool Institute of Recording Arts (LIPA), picking up the coveted Sennheiser Studio Excellence Award (2011) along the way, he returned to his roots in Manchester and refocused on recording, mixing and writing music. Tarek also received an MPG Award (2017) in the category ‘self-produced artist’ for his work on the Spring King debut album ‘Tell Me If You Like To’.

Most notably Tarek is writer, producer and frontman/drummer for Spring King. His songs have received extensive airplay from BBC Radio One ‘BBC Introducing List’, BBC 6Music (A-List), Amazing Radio (No.1 in the Amazing charts) and XFM (Evening Playlist). They have also been playlisted on Australia’s Triple J. Spring King have had releases through Transgressive, Rough Trade NYC, Mom & Pop with a whole host of glowing reviews from the likes of NME, The Line Of Best Fit, DIY, NPR (Austin top 100), Stereogum and Brooklyn Vegan. Tarek has also landed a whole host of recent syncs including; ‘Who Are You?’ on FIFA 17, Orphan Black, T-Mobile US, Skullcandy and Guitar Hero.

Tarek will be In Conversation with Emily Pilbeam (BBC Introducing)

Yorkshire Music Forum presents Meet The Experts
Throughout the day, our regular “Meet The Experts” sessions will also return hosted by Yorkshire Music Forum. Across the day, you will be able one-to-one meetings with music industry experts & professionals from a range of backgrounds, including organisations such as PRS For Music, Arts Council England, Kycker and business support from accountants, lawyers and The Business and IP Centre Leeds.

Momentum Music Fund Showcase
The Unconference concludes and Live at Leeds weekend kicks off with a very special showcase presented by PRS Foundation’s Momentum Music Fund at The Wardrobe Leeds – featuring appearances from supported artists Our Girl, Chelou, Fenne Lily and very special guest headliners Marsicans!

The starting gates of the summer festival season, Live At Leeds has become a go-to destination to see the artists that’ll be making their mark in the months and years ahead. Guaranteed to provide festival-goers their next favourite band, the multi-venue event has previously played host to the likes of The 1975, Bastille, James Blake, Years & Years, Rudimental, Stormzy, Sam Smith, Ed Sheeran, Rag ‘n’ Bone Man and more on their way to global acclaim. This year sees the festival bring another thriving mix of future superstars to the city, lead by the heavyweight sounds of The Vaccines with favourites such as Peace, Circa Waves and The Horrors being joined by the likes of Superorganism, The Magic Gang, IDLES, Nadine Shah, Rae Morris, Yak, Pale Waves, Bad Sounds, Spring King, Blaenavon, Boy Azooga, Ten Tonnes, Sorry, Anteros, Cosmo Pyke, Alaskalaska, Sports Team, Dermot Kennedy, Nick J.D. Hodgson, whenyoung, Sam Fender, Tom Walker, Stella Donnelly, Touts, Yungblud, Queen Zee, Pip Blom and over 100 more! The first place to hear the essential sounds of 2018, it’s a coming together of incredible new music in a city paving the way forward with some of the most exciting sounds in the country.
Live At Leeds 2018 is a multi-venue festival taking place in Leeds City Centre on May 5th 2018
For further details and information, head to:

For more information on Leeds International Festival, head to:
@leedsintfest #leedsintfest

About the Momentum Music Fund and PRS Foundation
Managed by PRS Foundation, the Momentum Music fund awards grants of £5,000-£15,000 using public funding from Arts Council England and support from PPL, and is in association with Spotify. PRS Foundation is the UK’s leading funder of new music and talent development. Since 2000 PRS Foundation has given more than £29.5 million to over 6,300 new music initiatives by awarding grants and leading partnership programmes that support music sector development. Widely respected as an adventurous and proactive funding body, PRS Foundation supports an exceptional range of new music activity – from composer residencies and commissions to festivals and showcases in the UK and overseas. | @PRSFoundation



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