Going underground as free music conference at Portsmouth Guildhall aims to help new acts

Guest speakers at the conference will include Mikey Demus from the band Skindred
Guest speakers at the conference will include Mikey Demus from the band Skindred
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ACTS trying to find their way in today’s fast-evolving music business can attend a free conference aiming to give them a helping hand.

The Underground Music Conference, at Portsmouth Guildhall on Monday, is billed as ‘an invaluable opportunity to get the lowdown on what’s happening in the growing underground music scene’, as well a chance to network and make useful contacts.

Skindred''Picture: Shutterstock

Skindred''Picture: Shutterstock

Artists, bands and songwriters can all benefit from the event.

The first conference was held in Brighton last November, and was set up Bruce John Dickinson, former guitarist of chart-topping rockers Little Angels, and The Colour of Noise.

He said: ‘The underground rock scene has really kicked off. It feels like the audience and the bands have reclaimed their own music, and it’s existing outside normal media. It’s social media and it’s bands talking to each other, generating the interest, developing a large community, and with this community comes self-sufficiency.

‘Everywhere I look I see talented bands hitting a wall because they don’t know where to turn for help and advice. Our job is to join the dots and help get new music heard.’

The Underground Music Conference offers attendees the chance to learn from skilled practitioners and players in the business, and to explore what’s going in on in the exciting world of underground music.

Experts at the Portsmouth conference include David Pontin, director of the Platform One College of Music and Bruce John Dickinson.

Guest speakers include Arya Goggin and Mikey Demus from Skindred, Mikey Sorbello from The Graveltones, Luke Arthur of PledgeMusic – the online direct-to-fan music platform, Mark Clayden – founding member, songwriter and bass player for industrial-metal act Pitchshifter, and Damian Keyes who will be speaking about social media strategy.

Topics that will be covered at the conference include self and DIY management, how to finance your band and projects – including crowd-funding, grants, and traditional record deals, planning your career within the industry, social media and networking.

Luke added: ‘We will explore ways to help grow and maximise your fan-base and explain exactly how PledgeMusic can provide you with a platform on which to launch, build and develop your musical career.’

The conference takes place from 6pm to 8pm on Monday at The Guildhall. It is free to attend, but interested acts should email Claire Lloyd at claire@centralpress.co.uk.