Focus Wales Announce Full Conference Schedule

Self Esteem's Keynote at FOCUS Wales 2022. Pic: Tim Rooney

FOCUS Wales has become Wales’ biggest music industry event, with three days of panels, networking sessions, and industry advice. The festival will see over 400 music industry professionals, and 250+ acts descend on Wrexham from around the world, across 9th – 11th May 2024.

This year the conference will look towards the future, discussing current changes in best practice and working, and ideas which will inform a brighter future for the industry as a whole.

A host of conference sessions and topics have been announced today, including Navigating the Future of Music Journalism on Thursday 9th May, where some of the UK’s most prominent music journalists will discuss the evolving landscape of music journalism, exploring its present challenges and potential futures with a music manager.

On Friday 10th May, POWER UP will be discussing sustaining a career as a black creative or professional in the music industry, followed by a lunch mixer where delegates and artists can learn more about the POWER UP movement and participant programmes.

The LIVE federation will be hosting two panels, featuring prominent agents from the UK and Europe, and bookers from events such as Glastonbury, Galway International Arts Festival, Dot to Dot, Bearded Theory, Mirrors, and Knockengorroch, and Hop Farm festivals.

PPL will be hosting a discussion between leading indie record labels at home, and abroad including Domino Records Germany, Rough Trade, Secretly, and Libertino Records.

Cardiff University will be presenting a special panel, discussing their ongoing research project between Welsh and Maori music communities, and language. The panel ‘Pūtahitanga: Music, identity, and language in Cymru and Aotearoa’ will take place on Saturday 11th May with Welsh artist Katie Hall (CHROMA) and Maori artist Wairehu Grant (half/time) who will both also be performing as part of the live programme.

Other panel topics announced include: Balancing Parenthood and Music (presented by PRS for Music), Mental Health and Wellbeing (presented by Musicians’ Union and BECTU), Did TikTok kill the video star? (presented by Beacons), plus panels presented by Music Managers Forum, British Council, and Musicians Union.

Speakers and delegates participating in this year’s festival include: Jean-Louis Brossard (Trans Musicales, France), Cecilia Soojeong yi (DMZ Peace Train Festival, South Korea), Joy Warmann (Secretly Group), John Kennedy (Radio X), Alejandro Castillo (MARVIN, Mexico), Anne Haffmans (Domino Records, Germany), Paul Jones (Rough Trade), Eve Horne (Peak Music), Patricia Carrera (Control Freaks), Justin Sweeting (Clockenflap Festival, Hong Kong), Michelle Escoffery (PRS for Music), Sarah Wall (PPL), Lio Kanine (New Colossus Festival, New York), Adam Lewis (Planetary), Login Kochishski (PIN, Macedonia), Dana Beeler (Music Nova Scotia), Marie Desjardins (M for Montreal), Rick Morton (Blow Up Live), Tuuli Kaeramaa (WOMEX), Matt Hanner (Runway Artists), Louise McGivern (Midnight Mango), Fanny Lambotte (Festival Republic), Arusa Qureshi (Summerhall, Edinburgh), Ben Tibbits (Wonderland Magazine), Dom Gourlay (Under the Radar), Martin Longley (Songlines) plus lots more.

International partner showcases will this year be hosted by: M for Montreal (Canada), BreakOut West (Canada), Nova Scotia Music Week (Canada), Catalan Arts (Catalonia), Fira B! (Balearics), CNM France, Music Export Ukraine (UA), Spanish Wave (Spain), Westside Music (Sweden), Way Up North (Denmark), Wide Days (Scotland), and more to be announced.

This forms part of the 250+ strong line-up of showcasing artists who will perform across 20 stages in Wrexham city centre, across the 3 day festival.

FOCUS Wales 2024 headliners include Spiritualized, The Royston Club, The Mysterines, Deerhoof, Skinny Pelembe, Snapped Ankles, The Bug Club, Willy Mason, Benefits, Angeline Morrison, Flamingods, Adwaith, Cerys Hafana, and Melin Melyn. FOCUS Wales showcases more Welsh artists than any other event, as well as artists from Australia, Basque Country, Canada, Ghana, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, South Korea, USA + many more.