How to crack Wales
Who are the key players, tastemakers, influencers and agents in Wales? What blogs, festivals, radio stations, labels, showcases should emerging artists pitch to? This essential briefing will explain the landscape and entrance points.
Andy Jones is the co-founder and music booker for the FOCUS Wales showcase festival. Andy has worked within the music industry for over 15 years; as an artist, label MD, and promoter. He's delivered work for a variety of labels, including dedicated releases in the UK, Germany, Italy and Canada. Through these projects Andy has gained extensive experience of the various sectors, providing his team with a depth of expertise which underpins the delivery of the FOCUS Wales festival. FOCUS Wales is the annual showcase festival for the Welsh music industry, and takes place in Wrexham each May, placing the industry spotlight firmly on the talent that Wales has to offer the world. 2019 marks the festival’s 9th edition, and will once again welcome over 10,000 festival goers, with over 200+ bands from around the world performing across 20 stages. Alongside the annual festival, FOCUS Wales are now developing an international branch to their work, supporting artists from Wales to export across the globe, with FOCUS Wales showcases at SXSW (USA), POP Montreal (Quebec), BreakOut West (Western Canada), and more projects to be announced. Andy has taken part in conferences at music industry events around the world, including BreakOut West (Western Canada), Tallinn Music Week (Estonia), Indie Week (Toronto), LUCfest (Taiwan), MU:CON (Korea), Zandari Festa (Korea), and NewSkool Rules (The Netherlands).
I spent my over two decades exploring music from diverse extremes; Fuzz Pop, Bedsit Indie, Country, Synth Pop, Psych Folk, Post Punk (yes bit of a musical magpie here!!!) and honing an individual, independent free musical spirit. I realised that my natural environment was not the stage but rather helping young artists, lifting them up to the limelight, enabling them to achieve their individual musical visions. Libertino Record has grown over the past two years and now has a roster of over fifteen artists who create and perform in both Welsh and English. Through Libertino Management I also manage a large proportion of the acts and promote many live gigs across Wales, UK and Europe. I strongly believe that art should be inclusive and not exclusive creating a community from grass roots level. Libertino's aim is to give artists a platform from which to fly and how to fly successfully.
Jo is a radio producer and music journalist. She currently produces the Janice Long programme on BBC Radio Wales, and is station manager for Green Man Festival.
Involved in the business of music since 2006, Aaron has both a practical and academic interest in the global music industry. He holds an MA in Music Business Management from the University of Westminster in London as well as years of experience working with songwriters, music publishers and collection societies in a variety of roles during his time at the Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO). Aaron now acts as an independent music rights and royalties consultant working with songwriters, artists, music publishers, record labels, management companies, non-governmental organisations and other specialist bodies. He also administers royalties himself. In September 2018 Aaron joined BIMM Dublin as a music business tutor teaching as part of the BA in Commercial Modern Music as well as their Diploma in Music Business course. He focuses on helping students navigate the world of music publishing and music rights.