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Wednesday 28 February 2018

Solent University is proud to be celebrating ten years of groundbreaking music education this March through the annual SMILEfest music festival and conference.

SMILEfest was launched in 2009 by Martin James, Professor of Music Industries at Solent University, as a celebration of all aspects of the music industries – from performer to manager, promoter to journalist, producer to DJ, and everyone in between. More than a music festival, SMILEfest’s long-term aim is to support Southampton in becoming a music city – a space where our music futures are celebrated as much as our fantastic heritage.

Martin told us, “Since 2009 our students have worked with us to bring in some amazing guests and produce many brilliant gigs in locations as disparate as The Guildhall, The Joiners, The Engine Rooms and even the Marlands. Together we’ve created an outdoor festival in East Park, a fringe festival all over the city, acoustic gigs in out-of-the-way places, hardcore and punk mini-festivals, a photo exhibition, an album sleeves exhibition and loads of fantastic media outputs.

“This year is no different. Over the course of SMILEfest Decade, Solent students and staff will collaborate to provide live gigs and club nights, masterclasses, ‘in a day’ challenges, an employment fair and Southampton’s premier music industries conference, among many other things.

“UK Music will be giving an insight into the latest opportunities within the music business, followed by short introductions from visitors. Students will then have the chance to visit all of the guests in the Spark, ask them questions and get their personal advice and tips on how to get into the industry – a great way to network and make connections with professionals. You never know where a conversation can lead! 

“We hope you enjoy the many great events and continue to celebrate Southampton’s ever-growing music culture. Keep checking the SMILEfest website for a full schedule of events during March 2018.”