The Wu-Tang Clan got it spot on: cash rules everything around me. All acts will require some semblance of finance at one stage of their career or another. There’s still some money to be got from labels and publishers, while gigging your ass off up and down the country will also raise a few bob. But there are also a range of governmental sources who can be tapped for euros and they’re the ones we’re interested in here. Just what is the policy when it comes to funding rock’n’roll? Why are bands treated as the poor relations when it comes to public money in Ireland?
Speakers: Ciarán Walsh (Culture Ireland) , Allison Outhit (VP Factor Canada), Mark Crossingham (Universal Ireland, IRMA), Madeline Boughton (Ireland 1916)
Meet the music tech moguls because they sure as hell want to meet you. It’s worth remembering that music is as much a part of the equation of tech, yet it often feels as if tech is leading the conversation. Today, we turn the tables and ask our five brave tech superstars a couple of questions, starting with ‘what’s in this for the bands?’ And nope, they can’t spend the time allocated on their elevator pitches or marketing BS. Speakers: First Stage, Cirquit, Beatvyne, Muddy, Press Record
Rob Hallett is a man who knows the music business like the back of his hand. He spent 10 years as president of international touring at AEG Live and worked on tours with Leonard Cohen, Prince, Bon Jovi, Black Eyed Peas, Jay-Z, Justin Timberlake Jennifer Lopez, Justin Bieber, Usher and dozens more. Before that, he was a booking agent, a recording studio boss and director of Marshall Arts and the Mean Fiddler.This year, Rob announced his new venture Robomagic, which will feature a live promotion company (they’ve already worked with Duran Duran, Sleaford Mods and D’Angelo), talent management and development as Robomagic 360 and a financial side called Robomagic Capital. The company is also involved in the management of the Standon Calling festival.Rob joins us at HWCH Convention to talk about his life in music, his view of the live music business, the potential for disruption in the sector and what he hopes to achieve with Robomagic. Speakers: Rob Hallett
It has become a tradition at HWCH Convention to gather together a bunch of musicians to get them to talk about what’s on their mind. This year, we are joined for our giant therapy session without the large bill at the end of it
Speakers: Lewis Jackson (Enemies), Ollie Murphy (HamsandwicH), Sorcha Brennan (Sleep Thieves), Michael Pope (Le Galaxie).
A dentist, a vet and an engineer guy walk into a gig…There’s one group of people we never hear from at gatherings like this one and that is the music fans who buy the tickets and come to the shows. The music business rarely bothers to get their opinion on the stuff that matters so we decided to do just that at HWCH Convention 2015. As part of our public focus group, we talk to Dermot Ferguson (the dentist), Síomha O ‘Leary(the vet) and Ronan Kearney (the engineer) about how they decide on the bands to check out, where they go to find out about new music, the venues they like, the festivals they rate, what they like about Irish bands and, of course, what they don’t like.
Try to imagine what a remake of Almost Famous would look like in 2015. The days of hacks going on the road with a band for days on end without getting arrested went out with the cassette tape, while no-one is hanging around to read what any music writer has to say about a new album. But we music journalists are hardy beasts and we’re still in the game despite the slings and arrows of Spotify playlists, websites not paying for work and blogs with no critical backbone. We’ve gathered together some music writing types to talk candidly about why they’re still doing what they do and what they reckon is on the way.Speakers: Jessica Hopper (Pitchfork), Hugh McIntyre (Forbes, Noisey, MTV, HP), Dev Sherlock (Hype Machine) Blaithnaid Healy (Mashable)
Jessica Hopper came to town for Hard Working Class Heroes 2015. The Chicago-based music and culture writer is a senior editor at Pitchfork and editor-in-chief of The Pitchfork Review.Her latest book, The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic(Featerproof Books), presents a snapshot of her 20 years to date in the critic business with ace pieces on R Kelly, Lana Del Rey and Hole, ruminations on the visceral excitement of riot grrrl and a poke around the emo movement’s problem with women. In our book, she really is one of the finest writers in the game – and she’s also got a hell of a lot of powerful, passionate good sense to make about sexism in the music business, as this recent hugely acclaimed keynote from the BIGSOUND conference in Brisbane shows.