The event took place at London's Tobacco Dock venue between 8th and 10th November.
The BBC Music Introducing Live '18 conference is a music industry forum offering workshops, seminars, radio shows, live performances and A&R sessions aimed at independent artists and young music professionals looking for advice and networking opportunities to give their career a little boost in the right direction. The event is held in association with the Independent Label Market, where I headed as soon as I arrived, eager to meet representatives from my favourite labels to have a little chat and discover some of their latest records. Though I was initially a bit disappointed to see that some of the labels announced weren't present on the Saturday, which was the only day I could attend, I still had the pleasure to talk to people from the brilliant Bella Union (Fleet Foxes, Laura Veirs...) and inspiring Late Night Tales (artist-curated compilations) before grabbing some lunch and coffee. I also discovered White Peach, whose vinyl display was the prettiest thing (pictured below), but it's at Gondwana Records that I ended up spending the most time...
Home to instrumental wonders Portico Quartet, GoGo Penguin and Mammal Hands, the Manchester-based label has just signed psychedelic folk singer-songwriter Caoilfhionn Rose, whose influences include 90s indie band Broadcast, which had me sold instantly (see video below). Gondwana founder Matthew Halsall, a musician himself who also co-produced Rose's record, was very approachable and friendly, so we exchanged contact details before I rushed downstairs to join the line for a one-to-one A&R session.
After queuing for a good hour, I finally got to meet Emma Hall, a representative from Girls Rock London who made positive comments about my band's latest single and gave me valuable advice to pitch for festival and support slots. Unfortunately, the interaction was a bit short, as many people were still waiting to get their own feedback session, but I really enjoyed our discussion and we will definitely stay in touch in the future, as Girls Rock share the same mission and values as my own collective FemFriday.
On the whole I had a very interesting day, even though I arrived later than expected: it took me forever to get there due to bus replacement services from Brighton, and the awful weather didn't help! I only got to do a fraction of the plethora of opportunities and activities available, but it was really worth the trip, as I made some great contacts I wouldn't have had the chance to meet face-to-face otherwise. In conclusion, BBC Music Introducing Live is definitely a must-go event for any music nerd or indie band trying to get a foot in the proverbial door... and it also has some very cool stages, where I definitely want to perform next year (pictured below - I do love a good octagon).
Photo credits: all pics by Cess except the BBC Introducing Live logo, taken from the event's official website.