Music conference aims to bring about a new order

A new global music conference and festival will hold its first edition in Manchester and is being back by city music legends New Order. Beyond the Music is the brainchild of Oli Wilson, son of Tony Wilson.

The music convention will debate the key issues facing the music industry as well as celebrate the opportunities in the “new cultural economy”. The inaugural event will take place in Manchester from 11-14 October.

But the event will be launched on a world stage when New Order, the convention’s first-named ambassadors, will perform an exclusive SXSW concert at The Moody Theater in Austin, Texas on March 13. Support will come from Manchester avant-pop rockers The Orielles and post-punk quartet Loose Articles.

Both supporting acts are being supported to attend SXSW by GMCA (Greater Manchester Combined Authority) and were selected by the Greater Manchester Music Commission and Manchester Music Cities Network. The next day the venue will host a SXSW festival showcase of new artists with details to be announced shortly.

Then the music conference in Manchester in October will aim to address the “unprecedented and urgent challenges” facing the industry. Beyond The Music co-founder Oli Wilson said: “It’s a pivotal time in the history of the music industry and for Manchester, so it’s only right the two are coming together again to decide what the future is going to look like.

“Building on our civic traditions of innovation and cooperation we are creating a forum for the music industry to shape its future in the new cultural economy, and delivering a new music festival that will realign Manchester as the global capital of music.

“Whether it has been with technology or creating new business models within the industry, from the very beginning of their career, New Order have always led the curve. Now in 2023 we are proud to have New Order as our first artists ambassadors, as they embody the spirit of Manchester and share the same commitment to innovation as Beyond The Music.”

New Order added in a statement: “We’re supporting Beyond The Music to help change and innovation in the music industry, particularly in mental health which is something close to our hearts. Manchester is a place where this can happen, our home and the city of revolution, and we’re looking forward to the launch of Beyond The Music with a live show at SXSW and being a part of this positive movement for the music industry.”

Organisers say Manchester was the obvious home for the event as “the beating heart of the UK’s cultural enterprise and a city historically known for social change”. They said they aim to create a global forum and live music festival, defining the music industry’s place in the new cultural economy by bringing together tech, AV, gaming, brands, and literature to build a creative alliance for the future.

Beyond The Music will gather artists, entrepreneurs, creatives and music industry professionals over the course of three days with funders, businesses and organisations in order to maximise impact and take solutions to scale whilst putting the spotlight back on live and new music discovery alongside world class artists.

The first edition will take place on 11-14 October 2023 across venues and skylines in and around the city. The global annual event will seek to not only solve the issues being faced today but to produce innovative models for the future.

With Beyond The Music, Oli said he intends to build upon the foundations laid by his father Tony Wilson, the iconic broadcaster, journalist and creator of Factory Records and the Hacienda nightclub, responsible for some of the world’s greatest music.