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On Thursday 14 March, members of the music industry descended upon Southampton for the Parallel Music Conference – a new event for 2024 spearheaded by graduates of Solent University, Southampton.

15th March 2024
MusicHomepage - News - Standard

Compared to The Great Escape in Brighton, Parallel was conjured by Jamie Ford, the founder of music promoter and label Honeymooner, and marketer Matt Bisgrove, graduates of Solent who studied BA (Hons) Music Business. The event, which welcomed more than 170 people, was designed to develop the city’s music industry, with students, graduates and residents booking tickets to attend.

Solent’s Department of Art and Music provided start-up funding for the conference, recognising the exciting opportunity for collaboration and networking the conference envisioned. James Hannam, Course Leader of Music Business at Solent, says:

"We were delighted to work in partnership with Honeymooner on the first edition of the Parallel Music Conference, with all of the panels hosted by current students and graduates of Solent's music courses.

“We're very thankful to our guest speakers and student volunteers, who helped to make the event such a success. Not only did the event showcase the talents of our students and graduates, but also provided a great opportunity for knowledge exchange between the university and the music industry."

The conference took place at Solent University’s city-centre campus before culminating in an after party at one of Southampton’s leading independent live venues, Heartbreakers. Throughout the day, experts in the music industry took part in a variety of panel sessions designed to guide artists and professionals seeking to carve out a career in music, informed by those who are flourishing in theirs.

Speakers included The Great Escape Festival’s Head of Music, Adam Ryan; musician and Goat Girl band member, Holly Mullineaux; Senior Marketing Manager at London’s Communion Records, Tom Connick; and Radio X DJ, John Kennedy.

Exploring everything from production and song writing to the city’s music scene and where it can go next, as well as marketing and releasing tracks, the conference invited major players from across the country to come together at Solent to discuss routes into music and inform students, graduates and residents on how they can carve out their own successful careers.

Jamie Ford – Honeymooner's Founder and Live Promoter and Co-Founder and Programme Director of Parallel Music Conference, says:

“We were delighted to partner with Solent University to present the first Parallel Music Conference. Marking 10 years since I graduated from Solent, we were able to help put Southampton on the music industry map by delivering a comprehensive programme of events.

“The next generation of music creators, industry professionals and the local music community benefited from knowledge delivered by those working deep within various areas of the music ecosystem across the UK. I remember just how useful guest industry talks were during my time studying, so it was amazing to have the opportunity to pass this on to current students across all years and courses.

“This was the first conference of its kind in Southampton, and the hunger for it was clear to see, so we can’t wait to grow it further in 2025 and beyond!"

Solent’s Department of Art and Music offers real-world teaching that translates to thriving careers. Find out more about courses here.

Photo credit: Ellie Campbell, Media Production student.