Submitted by Peter Åstedt
Wide Days is a small boutique showcase festival in Edinburgh, Scotland. Wide Days is a showcase where they just Showcase Scottish Music to a bunch of handpicked people from the music industry. For the first time this year they also added artists from outer parts of UK and abroad on the last day we meet Wales and Canadian artists.
With just under twenty showcasing bands Wide Days is a small conference. They invite at least the double industry pros so as an artist you have a great possibility to network and really get to know each participant and since they are carefully selected you get yourself access to the best there is in the business. Big is not better in many of these cases.
The panels during the conference also have many different levels. All from a new artist knowledge to build Music tourism. You also have quick introductions to important subjects. This is a festival I can recommend starting with if you are new in the business or just want to go get a smorgasbord of contacts to the UK scene and now also from abroad.
Music curation of artists is also done by handpicked professionals. You can apply to play but only as a Scottish artist. If you are lucky your export partners in your country have an exchange and you can access that. I rather suggest just buying a ticket and go as a delegate, that is good enough to make some great business on Wide Days.
Wide Days is a master to make everything familiar. Around all the conferences and gigs they have a varied bunch of activities that you really get to know people very personally. Here you have Olaf’s bus tour and Whiskey tasting. Music-guided tours to record stores or just music landmarks in the city. Great things to get your first business going.
Edinburgh is also a great city with a lot of gig places. With just a handful of artists, all the professionals get to see every artist. Also, great that during the evening they change gig places, so you get to see more of the great stages.
My guess is the future these festivals of the music industry. You will in the future look into who you will meet not that is a big quantity of people. The curated programs and the personal experience will be more and more important than the big excessive party.
Wide Days 12th edition was great and does show how the future of showcasing probably will turn out. Keep it on a family level and with handpicked people and good business will happen.
If you are after the UK scene this is a must for you. Then add on some international contacts as extra. Let’s see if the festival now works to open up more for international artists. That is a hard decision to make. One side is that you as a professional you get to know what is going on in Scotland very well. On the other side new artist from abroad also could make good collaborations. The risk is that the festival loses its family feeling. This year was just great, also that the weather was amazing.