Preview: Music industry info day

Festival promoters, band managers, record label representatives and a sound engineer are among the key music industry figures set to share their knowledge at the Off The Record day, which takes place at MacArts in Galashiels on Saturday, December 5.
Left, Tallah Brash - The Electric Circus. Right, Vic Galloway - BBC Radio Scotland.Left, Tallah Brash - The Electric Circus. Right, Vic Galloway - BBC Radio Scotland.
Left, Tallah Brash - The Electric Circus. Right, Vic Galloway - BBC Radio Scotland.

The youth event, open to anyone aged 14-25, will provide advice sessions focusing on key aspects of the industry, including releasing music, getting/organising gigs, promotion and working in the business.

Confirmed speakers include Claire Donna (Soma Records), Nick Roberts (Electric Fields Festival), Edinburgh booker Ben Proudlock (Mash House), BBC producer Amy Ferguson (The Janice Forsyth Show) and sound engineer Nora Winstanley (Henry’s Cellar Bar).

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They will be joined by Grainne Braithwaite (Synergy Concerts), Sarah Quinn (Academy of Music & Sound), Toni Malyn (EmuBands) and Justine Ward (GR Management), who works with Primal Scream and Texas.

Musicians and those interested in working in the business often need help when it comes to releasing and promoting their music, as well as getting their first gigs,” says Michael Lambert, co-director of Born To Be Wide, the company which organises the day. “Off The Record provides the basic knowledge to get started and ensures they avoid the most common mistakes.”

Previous events have led to attendees getting work placements, gigs and national media coverage. And Lambert’s fellow Born To Be Wide director, Olaf Furniss, adds that the speakers have been hand-picked to be relevant to the audience.

“Everyone speaking at the event works with emerging artists and budding industry professionals, and as several speakers are in the same age group as the audience, they are perfectly placed to talk about how to get work in the business,” he says.

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The Galashiels event sees Born To Be Wide partner with Scottish Borders Council, Youth Borders and Creative Arts & Business Network.

“Off The Record is a unique opportunity to get the practical skills for working in music and is relevant for both musicians and anyone interested in working on the industry side,” says James Mackintosh, Youth Music Forum coordinator at Youth Borders.

“This is a great way for young people involved in music to connect with each other as well as some fantastic people already working in the business,” says Kelsey Jubin, creative learning manager (acting), arts development, Scottish Borders Council.

Find out how to organise a gig and avoid losing lots of money; learn about the diverse opportunities offered by the music industry; find out how a record label works and how to release and sell your music, and pick up information on how to get noticed by radio, press and future fans.

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The Galashiels event represents Off The Record’s first foray into rural areas. The organisers are keen to stress that they may be able to provide transport for those who might otherwise struggle to attend.

“It’s about breaking down barriers to participation,” says Kelsey. Anyone who needs help with transport can call SBC Library and Arts HQ on 01750 726400.

Admission to Off the Record is £2 (includes lunch). All attendees will also receive a £25 EmuBands voucher.

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