Skip to content


Support for the development and careers of music industry practitioners

About SoundBytes

Soundbytes explores opportunities for artists and independent music companies in the modern music landscape, looking at building sustainable careers and developing live opportunities

Soundbytes events aim to connect practitioners with each other; to provide them with practical and achievable strategies, and to encourage them to work together to create and support cultural activities in the region.

Previously Un-Convention’s have taken place across five continents, in places such as Belfast and Swansea through to Brisbane, Mumbai and Sao Paulo. Participants have included Huw Stephens (Radio 1), Youth (The Orb & The Fireman), Peter Hook (New Order), John McClure (Reverend And The Makers), Caroline Elleray (Coldplay & Keane), Pete Jobson (I Am Kloot), Mark Gardener (Ride), Tom Robinson, Don Letts, Jarvis Cocker, Bill Drummond (the KLF), Martin Atkins (Nine Inch Nails) and Billy Bragg, plus performances from I Am Kloot, The Whip, Reverend SoundSystem, Everything Everything, The Virginmarys, Young Fathers, Liam Frost, Beth Jeans Houghton, Gallops, Arthur Delaney and The Loose Salute, and many more.

SoundBytes Music Initiative: music industry sessions

We work closely with strategic partners including Creative Englandthe Musicians Union, PRS Foundation, BBC Introducing and Arts Council England (ACE), to deliver a package of workshops, seminars and surgeries to develop the careers of music industry practitioners with a focus on the following:

Industry Basics

  • How to make a living -revenue streams
  • Job roles, organisations and structure
  • Intellectual Property

Professional gateways & opportunities for career development

  • Starting up your creative industries business
  • Business planning
  • Professional gateways & career opportunities
  • Social media & web marketing
  • Role of radio, television, video, websites, podcasts, MySpace & SoundCloud et               

Management &  Live Music

  • Expertise in music management
  • Role of record labels, publishers and artist managers
  • Promoting and managing events, (gigs, seminars & workshops etc)
  • Changes in the music Industry (new concepts/ model for labels, artists and managers)
  • Realities of working in the industry (e.g, working with musicians and technicians etc)
  • Developing new venues, rehearsal and workspace


Sync Event


The Music Publishers Association (MPA) and UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) offices in London and Los Angeles, BPI hosts an event which sees an eclectic mix of UK independent music companies travel to LA to learn about the increasingly important sync licensing market.

Meet and network with some of the most important music supervisors and placement executives in the TV, film, advertising and computer games markets in Los Angeles.

Time & Date: Saturday 13th June - Wednesday 17th June

Read more

Past Events

SoundBytes: Un-Convention Meet Up

6:30 - 10pm
Date: Thursday 5th February 2015
Venue: The Bureau, St John the Evangelist, Victoria Street, Blackburn

Adam Daly - Key Music Management
James Cook - Delphic
Thomas Rylance - The Lottery Winners

Plus live performance from:
David Shurr & The Lottery Winners

The explores explore opportunities for artists and independent music companies in the modern music landscape, looking at building sustainable careers and developing live opportunities

What is the distinction between being ‘amateur’ and ‘professional’?

For many of us music is more than just a hobby, but at the same time is some way from being a ‘job’. There can be a huge gap between the desire to commit as much time and effort to making music required to pursue a career, and the time when that commitment produces any kind of financial return. The juggling of work commitments and mid week long distance gigs, leaving work early (without the boss noticing) in order to make soundcheck, coordinating annual leave to book some studio time – these are things that all artists go through. Being a professional musician is determined by your mindset rather than your bank balance.

The event also aims to connect practitioners with each other; to provide them with practical and achievable strategies, and to encourage them to work together to create and support cultural activities in the region.

The event is free to attend and includes a live set by The Lottery Winners.

'This event is an opportunity to meet other people involved in music in the area… whether you’re an artist, label owner, promoter, writer, manager, or someone just starting out, the better connected we are, the more things are possible.' Ed Matthews-Gentle – SoundBytes

This is the third in a series of Monthly Meet Ups taking place across Lancashire.

For more information visit SoundBytes Un-Convention on Facebook.

(below: David Shurr)

SoundBytes Conference 2014

SoundBytes in conjunction with Un-Convention & Transmit returns to Preston for two days of performance, workshops, panels and talks around independent music and creativity.

DAY ONE: Friday 18th July

Start-up Music Business Workshops

We will present a series of workshop sessions to look at some fresh ideas, work through then and think about the reality for your music business:

Music Industry Overview – New Business Models

  • State of The Nation – Current status of music industry in the UK and the move away from traditional business models
  • Focus on key areas such as recordings (masters), publishing (composition), live music and management
  • Business to Business (B2B) Revenue Streams - Value in from licensing to TV / Film / Advertising / Brands

Making Money in New Music Business - How you can stay ahead of curve?

  • Exploitation - Strategies to maximise copyrights and target your own individual revenue streams
  • Routes To Market - Digital distribution, DIY and taking control of your own products releases
  • Marketing and Promo – Getting your assets right the importance of the ‘timeline’ for promoting your product or service

Being self-employed in the Music Industry

  • Prepare and present your business in its current form or ‘pitch’ a new business idea
  • What are the different approaches you could take?
  • Do you need to consider a portfolio approach?
  • Next steps and action plan for future growth

Facilitator: Mark Hobrough, Swansfield Music

About Mark

Mark has a long and varied career in the music industry. He set up Revolution PR in 1991, alongside Lemon Records (funded by MCA - Universal). Clients included Muse, Radiohead, Oasis, Stereophonics, The Verve, Fatboy Slim, Robbie Williams, amongst many others. Mark now runs a successful management company looking looking after James Flannigan (UK), Anders Grahn (Sweden) who between them have collaborated with and/or had cuts placed with Lucy Spraggan, Rebecca Ferguson, Johnny McDaid (Snow Patrol), NBC TV, and Example, to name a few.

Transmit Start Ups - provides business planning, training, coaching and mentoring services to creative businesses throughout England and Scotland and Northern Ireland. Our specialism’s are within the music and digital sectors. Transmit are also a delivery partner for the Government’s Start-Up Loans initiative.

DAY TWO: Saturday 19/07/2014 - St Johns Minster, Preston

SoundBytes: Un-Convention

SoundBytes returns to Preston for a day of panels and talks around independent music and creativity.

SoundBytes Un-Convention Preston 2014 will build on two previous events in the city, each of which saw nearly 200 local artists, promoters, labels, entrepreneurs and industry professionals gather together to discuss careers in music, how to get ahead in the live sector, and also ideas for the development of the local scene.

This year the event will again focus on opportunities for artists and independent music companies in the modern music landscape. The event aims to connect young and emerging practitioners with each other; to provide them with practical and achievable strategies; and to encourage them to work together to create and support cultural activities in the region. It is a must for anyone looking to develop their career as either an artist or music professional.

The day is free to attend and includes panels and performances, and will feature some of the most cutting edge artists and thinkers in the modern music industries.

Participants include The Heartbreaks, John Dawkins (manager, The Enemy / The Twang), Mike Burgess (HeavyFeet), Louis Barabbas (Debt Records), Laura Kidd (She Makes War), Chris Cooke (CMU Daily), James Cook (Delphic), plus more to be announced.

There will also be performances throughout the day.

This year the SoundBytes conference was one of Lancashire's contributions to the International Festival of Business (IFB) 2014, the UK's biggest business festival taking place in Liverpool. As a satellite event SoundBytes will be one of hundreds of events, conferences and seminars taking place across June and July in 2014.

Past event videos:

SoundBytes:Un-Convention - Preston 06.11

SoundBytes: Un-Convention - Sustainable Careers in Music


In November 2012 SoundBytes joined force with Un-Convention to present our annual music industry symposium for artists, managers, promoters and others already working or aspiring to work in the in the music business. The event took place on 24th November (2012), in the stunning St John's Minster in Preston. As well as lively and insightful panels with the likes of Steve Lawson, Chris Cook, the day also included live performances from Travelling Band, Kirsty Almeida, Bill Orrick, Harp and a Monkey and many others. The live performances were recorded and tracks will be featured on a new SoundBytes CD released early 2013.

Here is a short film featuring some of the highlights from the day: SoundBytes 2012 Film

Read more

The Music

SoundBytes: Celestial Sessions CD 

To mark the culmination of Guild 2012, SoundBytes invited emerging artists (and a few special guests), from the Lancashire region to record a track of their own and another from the two previous Guild years (1972 & 1992). The 15 tracks were recorded live at our annual music symposium on Saturday 24th November 2012, at the stunning St John's Minster Church in Preston, Lancashire UK. The CD was launched at SXSW and will also be distributed at other music symposiums including Liverpool Sound City and The Great Escape.SoundBytes: Celestial Sessions - Tracklist Recorded live at St John's Minster, Preston, UK (24/11/12).

01. Our Own Little Place – Bill Orrick (
02. Breaking Tradition – Jamie Brewer (
03. White Lies – Baxter Rhodes ( Casanova – Firstname Frank (
05. Willow And The Ghost – Harp And A Monkey (
06. World Stops Spinning – Andy Oliver (
07. Moonbird – Kirsty Almeida (
08. Vincent – Kirsty Almeida ( cover: original by Don McLean (1972)
09. Out On The Weekend – Travelling Band ( cover: original by Neil Young (1972)
10. Dear Madam Barnum – Harp And A Monkey (
11. Come As You Are – Andy Oliver (
12. Pink Moon – Bill Orrick (
13. Superstition - Jamie Brewer (
14. Ain't No Sunshine – Baxter Rhodes (
15. Star Man – Firstname Frank (
16. Be the Change - Tom Metcalfe ( Bonus Track
17. Domino (Live) – Bill Orrick ( Bonus Track

For more information and to request a copy of the CD (subject to avaialability please contact


Following a series of successful events and a showcase at Berlin Music Week, SoundBytes - the Creative Lancashire music initiative, have released a promotional CD of original music by new and emerging artists and labels from the Lancashire region.

The CD has been distributed at international music trade symposiums such as MIDEM, SXSW, Liverpool Sound City and The Great Escape.

Overall, we were extremely impressed by the range and depth of talent in the region, which was also reflected in the feedback from our judges.

"The quality is fantastic. Every track is worthy of inclusion... really impressed by Lancashire's creative output"
- Rebecca Boulton (Manager, New Order)

All the tracks plus other shortlisted entries can also be heard by clicking the link below:


For further information or to request a copy of the CD please contact Ed Matthews-Gentle: