Three of the UK’s premier independent music festivals – Kendal Calling, Sound City and Bluedot – have teamed up with fellow music lovers Louder Than War in launching a brand new emerging multi-venue music event and conference in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, the heart of what has been ranked as the best city in the UK for live music.

Taking place on the 4th November Off The Record is all about new music and innovative ideas.

During the day at Methodist Central Buildings, Sound City and Louder Than War will curate a music conference featuring the new guard of the music industry – Label and publishing A&R, agents, bloggers and promoters, who inspire those starting out in the industry.

From afternoon until deep into the night, Off The Record Live will cast a powerful spotlight on the best of the new, hosting showcase performances by 30 emerging artists across 6 legendary performance venues within 5 minutes walk of each other.

The artists performing are nominated by 30 cutting edge national curators (Guy Garvey, Lara Baker, Elizabeth Alker, Huw Stephens, John Kennedy, Tim Burgess – to name but a few!) who each put forward 3 hotly tipped emerging artists, defined as having been together less than 24 months and not yet released a debut album.

The acts will all be NEW and with a huge focus on the undiscovered, we’ll be keeping the line-up a secret till 24 hours before the event!

Andy Smith, Director of From The Fields (Kendal Calling and Bluedot) said:
“Each curator will nominate the top three emerging acts that they believe will make the biggest impact on the national stage in the next 18 months. Their combined recommendations will see the most nominated 30 acts programmed to perform. And these will be NEW acts.. acts which have formed within the last 24 months and yet to release an album. We believe that new music is at a creative high and we will prove it with this unique event.

We’ve taken the unusual step to not release a lineup until the event is nearly upon us. For most emerging artists a captivating live performance comes well before they have the opportunity to step foot in a professional recording studio – we want to capture the thrill of seeing something truly special and new on stage for the first time with no preconceptions.

The networking element of conferences is very important to me. The idea for Kendal Calling was formed at a music conference in Kendal back in 2005, and I’ve gone on to meet brilliant people at conferences as far apart as Brighton, Norwich and Halifax (Nova Scotia), some of whom have become very key members of our team. I hope the conference will prove a very useful gathering for Manchester and the North’s music industry, whether aspiring or professional.”

Confirmed curators who will put forward their favourite emerging artists include:

  • Guy Garvey, Elbow, 6Music
  • Tim Burgess, The Charlatans, O Genesis Recordings
  • Elizabeth Alker, 6Music
  • Huw Stephens, BBC Introducing
  • Kate Hutchinson, The Guardian Guide
  • Frank Turner
  • Shell Zenner – BBC Introducing, Wichita Recordings, Amazing Radio
  • Ollie Jacobs – Memphis Industries
  • Sarah Walters, chief culture writer Manchester Evening news
  • The Line of Best Fit
  • Tom Lovett, Sofar Sounds
  • Piccadilly Records
  • Joe Morrison, PledgeMusic
  • Simon Pursehouse, Sentric Music
  • Elena Jimenez, Popped Music
  • Clint Boon, Inspiral Carpets
  • Yaw Owusu, Nothin But the Music/ LIMF
  • Joe Frankland, PRS Foundation
  • Carlo Solazzo, Birmingham Promoters
  • John Sweeney, SESAC
  • Bob Allan and The Tipping Point network
  • John Kennedy, Radio X
  • Sean Adams, Drowned In Sound
  • Adam Ryan, The Great Escape
  • Sean McGinty, BBC Lancashire
  • Tim Thomas, Blueprint Studios
  • Lara Baker, AIMJames Moodie, Vevo
  • Craig Evans, Flying Vinyl
  • Mark Ryan, Amazing Radio
  • Will Spencer, Music Glue
  • Georgie Rogers, Virgin Radio
  • Chris Bye – Arts Council England
  • Jess Partridge & Dave Rowlinson, London In Stereo
  • Andy Smith, Live at Leeds
  • Mike Harounoff, Transgressive Records

Dave Pichilingi, Sound City CEO adds:
“We’ll be keeping the lineup TOP SECRET until the morning of the event because we know that you trust us and we trust you to be interested in the future and welcome to join our urban festival where the accent is on the new and not the comfy cushion of the old.”

John Robb, Louder Than War said:
“As a music fan who listens to new music all the time and loves the way music culture has fast forwarded into the 21st century I am thrilled to be part of this new music conference that puts Manchester back at the centre of UK music. There is so much great new music not only to talk about and listen to but also to discuss how we get to listen to it and encourage it into the future.”

Friday 4th November

Manchester’s Northern Quarter

Night and Day, The Castle, Gullivers, Soup Kitchen, Aatma, Ruby Lounge, Methodist Central Buildings
For more information, ticket news and updates about Off the Record go to:

About From The Fields
From the Fields is a dynamic and innovative promotions team who specialise in festival and boutique events and experiences.

It’s growing portfolio of events include Kendal Calling, Live From Jodrell Bank & Bluedot. With an eye for detail and a flair for creating unique experiences, the award winning team draws upon the wealth of industry experience enjoyed by its directors, Andy and Ben, as well as the experience and expertise of its Head of Marketing and Communications, Jamie Smith, and its Head of Operations, Julie Cotton.

From artists booking, design & promotion to boutique camping & immersive arts From the Fields curates events with a personal touch and award winning creativity.

About Sound City
Sound City’ is the brand responsible for organising a range of boutique music, media and technology festivals and conferences around the world. Since its inception 9 years ago it has designed, delivered, marketed and hosted events in cities on 3 continents that range from a series of shows, conferences and product and service launches to full music and arts festivals and creative and digital industries conferences. Sound City consistently delivers high quality, high calibre events that have been acclaimed by audiences and critics alike. Sound City owned events include Liverpool Sound City festival and conference (now in its 9th edition), Dubai Sound City, Tromso Sound City New York Sound City (4th edition), Gateway to the Asian Music Markets and Sound City Korea (2nd edition)