Guy Garvey, Frank Turner, Tim Burgess + More To Curate New Music Event “Off The Record” This November!

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, AIM

James 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

Date: Friday 4th November

Area: Manchester’s Northern Quarter

Venues: Night and Day, The Castle, Gullivers, Soup Kitchen, Aatma, Ruby Lounge, Methodist Central Buildings

Ticket Details

Gig Passes allowing access across the evening’s venues are available from £16.50

Delegate Passes (allowing access to the day conference programme and the evening’s venues are available from £35)

Full ticket details and purchases can be made from

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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