Wide Days announces conference additions, childcare grant and bursary programme

In a first for a UK music industry event, a grant will be offered to prospective delegates who need to cover childcare costs in order to attend.

Maya Radcliffe
  • By Maya Radcliffe
  • 3 May 2022
  • min read

Wide Days has announced additional conference sessions, speakers and a bursary programme for professionals in Scotland starting out in their career.  

The convention (from 19 - 21 May), which is supported by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland’s Open Project Fund, has added a range of sessions and speakers to the conference programme, which takes place in Edinburgh’s Assembly Rooms.

Musician, actor and filmmaker, Leee John will reflect on a career spanning over four decades, in conversation with Wide Days founder, Olaf Furniss. Shooting to prominence in the ‘80s with the band Imagination, he scored global hits with songs including Just An Illusion, Body Talk and Music & Lights, notching up over 30 million album sales. More recently he has worked with Gorillaz, Grammy-winning Brazilian artist Jorge Vercillo and Belgian producer Plastic Bertrand. 

Leee John will also take part in a panel focusing on co-writing, which is hosted with PRS and is chaired by BBC Radio 1 presenter and musician Gemma Bradley. They will join lawyer Jeffrey Izzo and musician Alex Amor, who also performs at the opening reception.

In Not Another F•cking NFT Panel, speakers will demystify the topic of non-fungible tokens, cutting through the hype to explain how they can be relevant for emerging artists and labels, as well as established stars. It features Marlen Hüllbrock (Music Ally), Mike Walsh (Serenade) and Sam Taylor (CMU). His colleague, Chris Cooke, will also host their influential Setlist podcast in front of a live audience, reviewing the week’s key music business events with a panel of industry figures.

Augmenting round-table discussions exploring the export opportunities offered by music collaborating with the tourism and gaming sectors, the showcase panel introduces representatives from international events. They include Robyn Stewart (Breakout West, Canada), Sarah Jones (Focus Wales), Peter Åstedt (Future Echoes, Sweden) and Ingrid Kohtla (Tallinn Music Week, Estonia). 

Following on from a recent online event connecting Mexican, Scottish and Welsh music professionals, Wide Days will feature a Mexico market overview, with veteran DJ Sondera taking to the decks following the Friday live performances. 

Event partners PPL and EmuBands will also host dedicated strands, and a series of talks programmed in partnership with Attitude Is Everything, will focus on a range of initiatives to make the music industry more accommodating for the disabled artists, music professionals and audiences. These include case studies from Michael McCulloch from Glasgow’s Garage, outlining the venue’s initiative for autistic concert goers, as well as Louise Hutchison from TRNSMT Festival, which was awarded a gold level status by the charity for accessibility. 

Attitude Is Everything representatives Rich Legate and Paul Hawkins will also host presentations on their Just Ask and Beyond The Music programmes, as well as an introduction to language and terminology around disability. 

A limited number of free bursary passes are available to emerging artists and music industry professionals based in Scotland, who have not previously attended Wide Days. Priority will be given to individuals who face additional challenges including geographical distance, disability and those returning to work after a period of illness. 

The childcare grant is available to a parent who would not otherwise be able to attend and provides between £100 - £150.

Details of how to apply for the bursary and grant are available.