After the record-breaking success of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, hosted by the UK city of Liverpool, on behalf of last year’s winners, Ukraine, a new one-day event, Modern Music Cities (A Eurovision Legacy Conference) has now concluded, garnering fantastic feedback from delegates.

On Friday 14 July, the event examined what contemporary music cities look like presently and how they should look in the future, with a dynamic programme of insightful discussions, engaging panels, and thought-provoking presentations.

During the event, industry experts, music creatives, cultural leaders, and policymakers explored the significance of music cities, their cultural impact, the role of technology and industry organisations, diversity and inclusion efforts, and future prospects for the music industry within these cities.

A presentation by award-winning author and thought-leader Seth Godin reimagined music cities, exploring opportunities for them and their leaders, whilst Jamaican author, essayist and literary scholar Professor Emerita Carolyn Cooper shared the journey of Kingston as a leading music city.

Sound Diplomacy’s Shain Shapiro explored the definition of a music city and the steps involved in creating one, whilst expert panellists from around the world delved into the influence and impact on culture and industry.

A discussion on how tech is transforming music scenes and impacting creators featured Spotify’s Bryan Johnson, visionary musician Gaika, Metaverse expert Des Agyekumhene, and DJ / thought-leader Elijah Cushnie. Music Week’s Ben Homewood hosted a panel on the role of frontline industry organisations in fostering growth and sustainability in music cities, featuring Scott Lewis of EMI North and CEO of Soundcity Becky Ayres.

Chair of the UK Music Diversity Task Force, Ammo Talwar MBE highlighted recent efforts to promote diversity and inclusion in the music industry, and the Launch of the Liverpool City Region ReMap Report on Black Music, was alsoe presented by Chair of the Liverpool City Region Black Music Action Group, Jennifer John.

Looking to the future, emerging music creator Ni Maxine hosted a roundtable discussion on the needs and aspirations of the next generation of music creators and professionals, whilst UNESCO City of Music Officer for Liverpool,  Kevin McManus explored the impact of major events like Eurovision in elevating a music city’s brand while supporting the local music sector.

Award-winning author and thought leader Seth Godin said: “I was thrilled to be beaming in to talk about the magic of connection and how music cities can create the conditions for the kind of creativity we need right now.” 

Jamaican author, essayist and literary scholar Professor Emerita Carolyn Cooper, said, “I was sp pleased to be part of the Modern Music Cities Conference, a creative platform where I was able to share my vision of Jamaica as a cultural superpower.  The diverse musical genres originating from the city of Kingston have had a global impact completely disproportionate to the physical size of the island.  Wi likl bot wi talawa.  (We’re small but we’re powerful.)”

UNESCO City of Music Officer for Liverpool,  Kevin McManus, said: “It was great event. Renowned thought leaders and practitioners in the field of music convened in Liverpool to ignite discussions on the key elements that define a modern music city and explore its future prospects. With a focus on developing and safeguarding international music city brands, these vital discussions delved into what constitutes a music city and how technology and globalisation might shape its trajectory moving forward.”

Director of Culture Liverpool, Claire McColgan, said: “I’m delighted we have had this event, packed with some of the keenest minds in the music industry, so soon after Eurovision to dive into the finer details of its success and explore how a city can use music to shape its ambitions and fine-tune its identity and story as an exciting place to be.”

Eurovision Minister Stuart Andrew said: “Liverpool put on a blockbuster Eurovision Song Contest showcasing Ukrainian culture and British creativity, clearly demonstrating that the city can brilliantly host the biggest music events. This conference will help to build on the legacy of Liverpool’s success so that both the city’s and UK’s music sector can continue to thrive in the years to come.”

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