Solent Smile Festival: Conference Day

Southampton Solent Smile Festival has returned triumphantly for it’s 6th year and today was the annual conference day in which music industry professionals have been invited in to share stories from their unique professions.

Yasmin Davey-Corrigan plays acoustic set at Solent Smile festival conference.
Yasmin Davey-Corrigan plays acoustic set at Solent Smile festival conference.

The day kicked off with journalist Ben Marshall and photographer Tom Sheenan sharing Rock n’ Roll stories gained over working together for many years in the industry. Followed by Oasis/Noel Gallagher manager Marcus Russell giving us insight into what being a music manager actually consists of and helpful tips to anyone wanting to get into band managerial work.

Keeping with the topic of Oasis, the next discussion was based around two of the most important “20th anniversaries” being celebrated this year. One being 20 years since Oasis’ Definitely Maybe was released and the upcoming special edition re-release and also 20 years since Kurt Cobain’s death. Marcus Russell was joined by John Kennedy (XFM), Laura Barton (Guardian journalist/ BBC Radio 4 broadcaster) and Keith Cameron (Mojo journalist) to discuss this and the impacts of Oasis and Nirvana on music over the last 20 years.

Solent Smile Festival 2014 conference on the role of women on the radio featuring Laura Barton, Nosheen Iqbal, Ruth Barnes, and John Kennedy.
Solent Smile Festival 2014 conference on the role of women on the radio featuring Laura Barton, Nosheen Iqbal, Ruth Barnes, and John Kennedy.

Following this, there was then discussion on the role of women in radio and the music industry which featured Laura Barton, John Kennedy, Nosheen Iqbal (Guardian features commissioning editor & radio critic), Ruth Barnes (Amazing Radio presenter) and Fiona Sturges (Independent, Uncut). A real eye-opener and insightful discussion into the lack of women in the music industry and the controversy surrounding this issue.

Live acoustic performance at Solent Smile Festival conference from Kai Knightley.
Live acoustic performance at Solent Smile Festival conference from Kai Knightley.

Then James McMahon (Kerrang! Editor) interviewed James Endeacott about his career, rock n’ roll stories and his upcoming autobiography.

James Endeacott talks about his career in discussion with James McMahon at Solent Smile Festival conference.
James Endeacott talks about his career in discussion with James McMahon at Solent Smile Festival conference.

The day then continued on with conferences on image-making featuring WIZ (Kasabian, Dizzee Rascal, Arctic Monkeys video director), Dunstan Bruce (once of infamous political band Chumbawamba, but now a highly regarded music film-maker) and Kate Head (Stoked PR, Tinchy Stryder, Taylor Swift) discussing the importance of image throughout the music industry. Finally followed by a  demo surgery with Tom Davies (Secretly Canadian), Anna Moulson (Melting Vinyl), James Endeacott, James McMahon and Kat Kennedy (Big Life Management).

Overall, an extremely interesting day for everyone and very insightful. One event definitely not to be missed year upon year!

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