Indie-structible: Five hot topics at AIM's Indie-Con 2017

Indie-structible: Five hot topics at AIM's Indie-Con 2017

The more eagle-eyed commuters crossing London Bridge this morning could well spot a few record bags and knackered Converse among the suited hordes hurrying to work.

Today, AIM’s annual Indie-Con event will see the indie world descend on Glaziers Hall for eight hours comprising panels, discussions and interviews. Twelve panels are set to take place over six simultaneous time slots, followed by an afterparty at Omeara, the nearby venue recently opened by Mumford & Sons Ben Lovett, who will be giving the keynote interview. But before everyone decamps to his new bar for a well-earned beer, here’s our pick of the day’s activities.

If you’re attending, enjoy. If you’re not, follow Music Week’s tweets throughout the day and look out for a full report after the event.

The customer is always right

Inide-Con 2017 wastes no time in tackling a question vital to the indie (and indeed major label) industry: what do consumers want? Media Insight Consulting CEO Chris Carey leads a presentation covering consumer preferences relating to music discovery, the role of vinyl, YouTube and buying habits. 

Make or break-through

A lack of British breakthrough artists was an issue that seemed to dog the music business throughout 2016, and Indie-Con are rightly addressing it with what looks set to be a no-nonsense discussion. How Do You Break An Act In 2017? features speakers including Secretly Group’s Michelle Kambasha, Warp’s Bronya Francis and Caroline Simionescu-Marin, the XL A&R behind recent UK underground compilation New Gen. Expect some big ideas from some of the most prominent young voices in the game. 

A healthy debate

Can Music Make You Sick? That’s the question being posed by Help Musicians UK as they discuss the results of the first and second phases of their Music And Depression (MAD) study. Chewing over issues surrounding wellbeing and mental health in the indie world are the University Of Westminster’s Sally-Anne Gross, BBC 6Music’s Tom Robinson, Sofia Genders of End Of The Road festival and artists Lauren Aquilina and Amy Studt.

Carry on up the charts

After lunch, Cooking Vinyl present How To Achieve A Number 1 Album. As the venerated indie celebrated its 30th birthday, it also toasted the chart success of Passenger’s Young As The Morning Old As The Sea, which hit No.1 last September and has sold 57,158 copies to date. The key players behind the record’s achievements dissect the campaign in a panel chaired by AIM CEO Paul Pacifico.

Grime to shine

After honouring Stormzy at the AIM Awards last year, Indie-Con puts the genre that birthed the Croydon rapper under the microscope. How are artists like Stormzy (who’s rumoured to be releasing new music this month) achieving success without traditional music business structures behind them? What can other genres learn from grime’s explosion? Answering these questions and more is a panel that includes Dench Records’ Nadia Khan, BBC Radio 1’s MistaJam. GRM Daly’s Posty and Spotify’s Austion Daboh.

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