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12th January 2018

UnConvention, a free one-day music conference aimed at the grassroots of the industry returns for the fourth year to Hastings Fat Tuesday Music Festival, taking place on Monday 12 February, 10am-5.30pm in the Sussex Hall, White Rock Theatre, Hastings.

Targeted at anyone interested in pursuing a career in music, the event will see panellists from across the music business in conversation about its future, discussing key elements including practical advice for gigging, and tips on securing crowdfunding & grants. The event will be interspersed with live music from Hastings Fat Tuesday 2018 artists.

Organisations represented at UnConvention include Help Musicians, PRS Foundation, Arts Council England, and Off Axis, plus musicians including Laura Kidd (She Makes War), Ded Rabbit, and Polar States, and award-winning journalist, TV presenter and radio commentator John Robb.

The panels are as follows:

10.30am-11.15am: Playing Away - practical advice for gigging across the UK and abroad

In this panel we speak to a number of artists who have found ways to successfully break out of their local scene, and take their music to new places (both here in the UK, and abroad). Some practical advice on reaching new audiences, and building a bigger fanbase.

11.45am-12.30pm: Investing In Talent - crowd-funding and grants

Here we will look at a range of grant and crowd funding schemes that are designed to help new talent grow, build audiences, and work toward sustainable careers.

2pm-2.45pm: Building a Career in the Modern Music Industry

In this panel we look to explore the experiences of people who manage to make working in music their day (and night, and weekend) job, offering insight into what a modern music career looks like, and how we might go about pursuing one.

3.15pm-4pm: The Power of Music - music and young people

An opportunity to hear from local organisations working with young people and reflect on the importance that music making can have on the intellectual, social and personal development of children and young people.

4.30pm-5.15pm: Award-winning journalist, TV presenter and radio commentator John Robb in conversation

Award winning journalist and editor of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best-selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs, or performing spoken word.

UnConvention will be followed by a networking event at The Palace Bar, 37 White Rock, Hastings.

To date there have been more than 80 UnConventions all around the world, from Manchester, Oxford and London to Brisbane, Groningen and Sao Paulo (

Co-founder Jeff Thompson, who also runs a number of independent record labels in Manchester, has also helped to develop a number of innovative models from music co-operatives in Uganda, to a new, alternative UK touring network called Off Axis (inspired by the Brazilian Fora do Eixo) which also forms part of this year’s Fat Tuesday programme.