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CMU and friends to assess and advise on all things digital

By | Published on Thursday 6 May 2010

So, 6 May 2010 could be a day of change, a day of new direction, the start of a new era in the history of the British people. Because yes, today is the first day of CMU’s first ever May-time Roadshow. The world may never be the same again.

Over the next three weeks the CMU team will be leaving their Shoreditch bunker to stage events at City Showcase in London, The Great Escape in Brighton and Liverpool Sound City in, well, Liverpool. Along the way we’ll be talking to some leading music business people, offering some wonderful wisdom on how to make it as a band, and putting the future of music radio to rights.

But it all kicks off in London today with a workshop led by CMU Business Editor Chris Cooke at the Apple Store on Regents Street as part of this year’s City Showcase. Called ‘Famous For Fifteen Megabytes: Using the web to launch your band’, it will look at all the many digital tools that are out there to help bands promote themselves, sell music and raise money, and ask which are worth the time and/or cash investment for artists at the start of their careers trying to get noticed, to build a fan base and to make some money.

Five better people to assess the digital space, and advise the artists, songwriters and students in the audience, you could not imagine.

Benji Rogers is a London-based independent musician who, as well as recording and performing as a solo artist and with his band, found time to conceive and create Pledge, a fan-funding service designed by an artist with an artist’s needs very much in mind. Since launching in beta last year, Pledge has signed up artists including Tina Dico, Duke Special and, most recently, Gang Of Four.

Darren Hemmings is head of the [PIAS] group’s Digital Marketing department, which offers centrally-managed digital marketing solutions to labels and clients, working with artists like We Are Scientists, Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip, New Young Pony Club and Young Guns. Prior to joining [PIAS], he worked at the Virgin Group’s parent company, advising on their group-wide music/brand initiatives.

Dave Haynes is VP Business Development for SoundCloud, the ‘cloud-based’ music platform that allows music creators and professionals to easily distribute, share and stream audio over the web. He also organises the OpenMusicMedia and Music Hack Day events that take place across the world.

David Riley spent four years running the digital department at Cooking Vinyl, running digital campaigns from artists as diverse as The Charlatans, Dropkick Murphys, Nitin Sawhney and, most notably, the double-platinum selling album ‘Invaders Must Die’ from The Prodigy. Last year he launched his own digital marketing and consultancy firm Good Lizard Media.

Mark Meharry is the co-founder of Music Glue, a London based ‘business to business’ digital services company that specialises in online solutions for music artists, live event promoters and live venues. Music Glue works with up and coming acts like Enter Shikari, Mumford & Sons and The Joy Formidable, plus established artists such as Marillion, Justin Hawkins and The Magic Numbers. They also provide content management, website and ticketing solutions to half the venues in Camden, plus close to 100 other venues and promoters throughout the UK.

This all takes place at 4pm at the Apple Store on Regent Street. You’ll need a City Showcase wristband to get in, but they’re only a fiver and if you’re London-based you’ll be wanting one of those anyway. It also gets you access to a whole host of gigs, showcases and panels taking place around the West End (especially Regent Street and Carnaby Street) over the next four days, plus the City Showcase Rocklands festival in South East London and a bunch of stuff happening at The O2 and British Music Experience this weekend.

More info at Wristbands can be bought at the City Showcase hub in Kingly Court, off Carnaby Street, just around the corner from the Apple Store.