The Unconference is now in it’s 4th year supporting Live At Leeds and is a collaboration between the festival organisers, Leeds Metropolitan University, Music Industry Yorkshire and IMGNTN - with it’s programme curated by ex-Forward Russia guitarist, and Dance To The Radio founder whiskas. This year it has been a pleasure to welcome on board the support & funding of Leeds Inspired, as well as work with Blacks Solicitors to facilitate our networking activities.

As well as our traditional format of talks & panels, at this years event we hope to create an environment for networking, where individuals can discuss specific issues that are affecting them with experts from a local or national background, from topics including releasing music to the live sector to marketing to digital and more.

Our panels focus on the overall context of the current changes to the way we all consume music, with the help of our keynote speaker Mark Mulligan, as well as the insight of great individuals working in the field, such as Scott Cohen, Jon Gomm & more.

This year’s event is hosted at Leeds College of Music as we remain in the newly emerging Leeds Arts Quarter we inhabited last year. We take even greater advantage of the location this year, by hosting a gig in the evening at The Wardrobe with Black Moth, Wet Nuns and Bearfoot Beware. We hope Unconference attendees will join us here for a drink & some food - The Wardrobe are kindly offering us 20% off food for our attendees, and the gig is free for those who have been to The Unconference during the day (£5 on the door otherwise).



Welcome Morning / Registration Key Note - Mark Mulligan
Meet The Experts - An Introduction

Networking in the Bar
Roundtable Discussions hosted by Blacks Solicitors

The Future of Music Distribution & Consumption
Roundtable Discussions hosted by Music Industry Yorkshire

The Bedlam Social presents: “Selling a self-penned mythology: Managing an independent music career in the digital age”

Networking in the Bar Listening Panel

Networking in the Wardrobe Bar, across from Leeds College of Music

After conference gig in The Wardrobe Bar

Welcome Morning / Registration Key Note - Mark Mulligan

Mark is the co-founder of MIDiA Consulting, a boutique media and content focussed innovation and strategy consultancy - (email to ask if he has a topic yet, or...) here he shares his thoughts on the changes facing the music industry and how we interact with music on digital platforms


Scott Cohen (The Orchard)

For Scott Cohen is the co-founder of digital distribution pioneer The Orchard. The Orchard is the largest digital distributor in the world with offices in more than 20 countries. As a well-recognized public speaker and lecturer, Scott travels the world evangelizing new business models for the digital age. He is a visiting professor at London Metropolitan University and sits on the BPI Council. Scott’s music career started in the late 80’s in independent and major label artist management. In addition to his responsibilities at The Orchard, he manages the Raveonettes, the Dum Dum Girls, the Deer Tracks, Queen Kwong and advises a host of other established and emerging artists. Scott is a minimalist and strict vegan. No meat, fish, cheese, milk, honey, leather, wool or anything else derived from an animal.

Gareth Dobson (Wichita Management)

Gareth Dobson heads up Wichita Management, the artist management arm of independent label Wichita Recordings. He represents a wide array of artists including Gold Panda, Peaking Lights, Veronica Falls and Frankie & the Heartstrings, as well as Leeds' own Sky Larkin. Gareth began life working as a scout for Fierce Panda records and then as the editor of independent music website Drowned in Sound. Gareth is milady obsessed with NFL and the NY Jets.

Jon Gomm

Jon Gomm, based in Leeds, is an acoustic singer-songwriter with a revolutionary virtuoso guitar style, where he uses one acoustic guitar to create drum sounds, basslines and twisting melodies all at the same time. The emphasis is still on the soulful vocals and songwriting, and his original material is influenced by everything from Robert Johnson to Radiohead. His live shows combine deeply personal performances and a natural wit, with a onceseen-never-forgotten two-handed guitar style, both physical and complex, producing sounds people can barely believe are coming from a humble acoustic guitar. Nowadays, Jon tours worldwide. In January 2012 the song Passionflower went viral online, with the video passing 3 million hits, resulting in national TV appearances in the UK, Portugal, Holland and Turkey, and plaudits from new celebrity fans, such as:

“Wonderful to watch. Genius.” - Stephen Fry
“I love your work and style so much. You are very special” – Jon Anderson (Yes) “Wonderful playing and singing” - David Crosby (Crosby, Stills and Nash)
“Hands down the most amazing guitarist I have ever seen!” - Tommy Lee (Motley Crue)

Ed Heaton (Elfm)

Ed Heaton is a music producer and music director for ELFM. As well as producing a host of local artists at his recording studio based at Eiger, through his work with East Leeds FM he has been able to also promote, mentor and offer opportunities to a wide range of local musicians. ELFM have been supporting local musicians since it started broadcasting in 2003. Last year more than 800 artists performed lived in one of it’s regular sessions...in the Parlour. Added to that they promote both young and established artists in gigs, galas and festivals broadcasting from their Caravan of Love with live sets on the Awning Stage. ELFM runs training and mentoring schemes for young musicians and this year ELFM will be hosting live music at the Live At Leeds football tournament. East Leeds FM is a community radio station based in Seacroft, Leeds. Since first going live in 2003, over 7000 local people, aged between 3 and 87, have broadcast their thoughts, stories, ideas, poetry and music. ELFM is a project of community arts company, Heads Together Productions.

Rich Huxley (Hope & Social)

Rich does all sorts of music things. He’s in a band called Hope and Social, is a founder of the UK’s first fan-funded record label, has a studio and produces records. He lectures in sound at Lancaster University, talks at events about the music industries and creative entrepreneurship, and works in outreach/music for young people in the UK and abroad.


Chris Jackson (Enjoy Digital)

Chris is an experience director and founder of several agencies, which includes one the UK’s first ever online agencies, created in 1997. He practised SEM ‘since before Google existed’ and is still passionate about all things digital. Chris brings passion, experience and expertise in all areas of digital marketing through acquisition, conversion and retention strategies.

“I’ve been lucky enough to work with clients including, Alliance and Leicester, Betdirect, Dell, Ferrari, Learndirect, Littlewoods, MTV, Mercedes, Remmington, Thomas Cook, Virgin, Vodafone, Victor Chandler and many more including some personal favourites who were not necessarily big brand names.”

Ryan Lofthouse (Closer Management)

Ryan Lofthouse of Closer Management has recently signed two acclaimed young singer- songerwriters - George Ezra and James Bay - to Sony and Universal Records respectively, while also working with the hugely successful James Morrison. Ryan has previously worked as A&R at Independiente, home of Travis and Embrace among others.

Simon Palmer (Armstrong Watson)

Often called the 'rock and roll' accountant due to having clients involved in the pop world, Simon shares his love of music with a can-do attitude to client issues. Simon says that there is always a solution and knowing your client's business and personal goals is key to providing the right response quickly. Simon has worked in the corporate sector throughout his career. A partner since 1998 and now head of Corporate in our Leeds office, he uses his corporate experience to provide a client-focused service to family companies, serial entrepreneurs and new start-ups.

Matt Parsons (Ditto Music)

Matt Parsons is CEO and co-founder of Ditto Music, the largest record label and digital distribution services company in the world. Founded in 2005 with offices in Liverpool, Nashville and Melbourne, Ditto work with 50,000 artists worldwide and have founded over 6,000 records labels, accounting for 78% of all UK labels. Matt has engineered 11 UK Top 40 hits by unsigned artists (earning a place in the Guinness Book of World Records), established all of Ditto's unique label services, spoken at most UK Universities and music conferences and addressed MPs and heads of Industry representing the Independent Music Sector. Ditto Music have been nominated for two international trade awards due to their success in the US and 'Distribution Team of The Year' at the Music Week Awards. Matt also consults privately for Independent and Major labels on release and marketing strategies.

Charlie Philips (AIM)

Charlie Phillips is a City qualified solicitor with over 15 years experience working in and around the music industry. He is Head of Legal and Commercial Affairs at the Association of Independent Music in London, working closely with AIM members on licensing and rights issues, with a particular focus on performance rights. Before joining AIM, Charlie worked at IFPI managing their international performance rights committee, working with PPL and equivalent collective licensing organisations around the world. Charlie's previous roles include Head of Music for Capital Radio's digital and DAB stations, and Head of Music at Napster.

Colin Roberts (Big Life Management / Work It PR)

Colin Roberts is part of Big Life Management, who look after the likes of Richard Ashcroft and The Scissor Sisters. Most recently, Colin has been working with London Grammar and Chloe Howl, two of the brightest names of 2013. In addition, he heads up Work It Media, a digital marketing and PR group. Colin is obsessed with technology and Portsmouth FC.

Jim Sclavunos (Black Moth)

Harriet Bevan and Jim Swainston. Vocalist and Guitarist respectively, in Leeds hard rock band Black Moth have performed at Leeds and Reading Festivals and most recently toured the UK with Turbowolf. Black Moth released their debut album in May 2013 which they worked on with musician and producer Jim Sclavunos (drummer for Grinderman, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, etc.).As well as playing in bands since she was 13, Harriet has spent every spare minute running club nights, DJing (in clubs and co-hosting at Ker- rang Radio), making music zines with friends and now works for Fifth Avenue Music PR agency.Black Moth are currently without official management so Jim fulfills this role and now finds himself having experience of working with record labels, booking and press agents and also music lawyers.

Nick Simock (Dead Young Records / Oporto)

Director - Dead Young Records
An independent record label, management and promotions company based in Leeds. Known for their carefully prepared limited releases with Witch Hunt, Gringo Star & Paul Thomas Saunders and events at Oporto, Holy Trinity Church and further afield.


Alistair Tant (Essential Music)

Ali Tant has worked on digital and social networking strategy for Marilyn Manson, The Blackout, The Orb featuring Lee Scratch Perry, Groove Armada & Billy Bragg amongst others for Essential Music and Marketing and Cooking Vinyl. Ali oversaw the digital marketing, social campaign & D2C for Paul Buchanan’s first solo album helping Paul hit the top 3 of the album midweek charts. During 2012 Ali was also involved in the campaign for Top 10 albums from The Enemy, The View and Matt Cardle. With 8 years experience in the indie sector Ali has formerly held roles working a the Leeds labels Dance To The Radio and Slam Dunk Records. During his time at Dance To The Radio Ali was heavily involved with The Pigeon Detectives Platinum (Wait For Me, 2007) & Gold (Emergency, 2008) selling album campaigns. During his time at Slam Dunk Records he was instrumental in the development of You Me At Six, helping the band achieve their first top 40 single in 2009.

Rob Webb (Awal)

Rob Webb - Having previously worked as a freelance journalist for publications including NME, Drowned in Sound and the BBC, and also as a live promoter (Tramlines Festival, DiS Events), Rob has been a Client Manager at digital distributor AWAL since May 2009. Working out of the Sheffield office, recent projects include Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds' 'Push The Sky Away' album campaign as well as new releases from Little Boots, Maya Jane Coles and Pet Shop Boys. AWAL became part of the Kobalt Music Group early last year, having been acquired by the independent publisher prior to the launch of their new Label Services division.

Peter White (Fear & Records)

Peter White runs the Fear & Records indie label and manages neo-legendary hardcore act Rolo Tomassi and journalist favourite Chain of Flowers. He additionally co-runs Rolo Tomassi's own label, Destination Moon. Fear & Records has released records by the likes of Emmy the Great, I Was A Cub Scout, Milk Music, Pale Seas and Playlounge. Peter additionally works as a TV industry journalist and has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the best meat joints in London.

Rob Wright (Vibrations)

Rob Wright - formerly of the Sandman school, was the last editor of the Leeds edition before he crossed over to Vibrations as initially reviews editor then editor, a position he has held since 2011. As well as editing the magazine, he still likes to pick up a pen or at a keyboard and write the occasional article or review, though responisbilities being what they are he admits to 'not getting out as much as he used to'. That said, he probably gets out more than he should. He counts among his greatest achievements interviewing John Lyddon and only mentioning butter once, nearly reducing the tour guide at Jack Daniels distillery to tears when asking him how much damage a fire in one of the mellowing sheds would cost and helping to put the FFers on at Leeds Festival... and nearly causing a riot when they turned out not to be the Foo Fighters.

Kate Zezulka (Leeds Music Hub)

Kate Zezulka founded the Leeds Music Hub, a Headingley-based not-for-profit space for local music. The Hub has been open since May 2012, running a cafe/social area, music lessons from Leeds' practising musicians, and a variety of events including workshops, seminars, exhibitions, film screenings, live music and more. The Hub was set up to support local, grassroots music and musicians (both creatively and financially) and underpin the local music community.

Additional speakers include:

Damian Baetens (Transmit Consulting) Keith Butler (Marriott Hotel)
Nathan Clark (Brudenell Social Club) Mark Hubbard (Leeds Music Trust) Mike Jolly (Cloth Cat)

Sally Jones (Armstrong Watson)
Sarah Smith (Centre Stage)
Rich Watson (360 Live)
Marion West (Marriott Hotel)
Frank Wilkes (Music Industry Yorkshire)


Black Solicitors

Blacks Solicitors LLP is a 15 partner firm of solicitors specialising in commercial, sport, property and private client matters.

We operate from two offices (Hanover House and Wade House) in Leeds, West Yorkshire and provide legal services to clients throughout the United Kingdom.

We provide an efficient professional service at realistic and competitive rates. We excel in providing clear and sensible advice which takes into consideration both legal and commercial factors.

We have great belief in organic growth and are proud that the majority of our Assistant Solicitors and Associates trained with the Firm and share our vision regarding what is important to clients - namely clear and sensible advice.

We seek to contribute towards a just and responsible society and we have a Corporate Social Responsibility policy reflecting this


Cloth Cat

We are a based charity based in inner-city Leeds that uses music training to help local people improve the quality of their lives. We help people to gain control over their lives and find avenues into employment by providing the opportunity to learn a variety of skills and to develop their musical talent. By doing this, we also provide a basis for empowerment, confidence building and making music contacts that will become ever more useful as their abilities continue to grow towards there future.



Samuel Nicholls aka whiskas

As well as being a successful artist in Forward Russia and Honour Before Glory, whiskas has worked as a promoter, manager, producer and record label boss (Dance to the Radio). His views on independent sustainability in the music industry, has led him to be invited to speak at numerous events and is now a permanent lecturer in music at Leeds Metropolitan University. Currently, through his new IMGNTN consultancy for grassroots music, he’s involved in curating Live At Leeds’ The Unconference and setting up the new Leeds Music Hub project.

@whiskas9 www.imgntn.co.uk

Carl Flattery

Carl is a principal lecturer in music production at Leeds Metropolitan University where he leads the song writing and profession practice modules. There are 800 students studying music production or technology at Leeds Met and Carl spends much of his time looking for opportunities and projects to get students involved with in the local and national music scene; with The Unconference being the main event he has helped set up to date. When he’s not teaching or wrangling Sam’s creative output, he focuses on his musical project ‘I Remember Monte Carlo’.