Wide Days, the annual networking & music conference, has announced that it will go ahead this year – but in virtual form.

The event, originally launched in 2010, usually takes place in Edinburgh in April, with interviews, live performances, sector meetings, social activities and a range of networking options running over the space of two or three days.

And its 2020 incarnation will be no different, aside from it being delivered in online form. Thursday July 23rd and Friday 24th will feature the conference and showcases, with Saturday 25th beginning with a virtual music tour, followed by the Wide Whisky Club and a Festival Takeover, with Focus Wales and the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival guest-programming a selection of acts.

To replicate the networking opportunities usually available, the conference will be delivered in partnership with a new digital event platform launched by Catalan company Meetmaps, allowing attendees to pre-book one-to-one meetings, hang out in themed social rooms, take part in international match-making sessions and participate in round tables hosted by event partners.

Panels and presentations originally announced for April’s physical event have been adapted, and 50 speakers, plus representatives from industry trade organisations, will participate – including newly-added sessions which will look at the variety of approaches and innovations that sectors of the music business are taking to survive during the pandemic.

Reimagining Music Export and New Opportunities In Media will focus on this area of discussion, while Reshaping The Music Industry, in partnership with digital consultancy Music Ally, will ask how the music industry could look in two years time. IQ Magazine will also look at a case study of Laura Marling’s successful concert streams.

Utilising fan engagement, creating stand-out content, music distribution, and, er, mixing music with martial arts, are some of the other wide-ranging subject areas being covered, while Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival and the Scottish Music Industry Association will be running seminars, as will PPL and Emubands, who will also offer one-on-one sessions.

And, as ever, six upcoming acts will perform 20-minute sets to be broadcast on the Thursday or Friday evenings – Billy Got Waves x Joell, Kapil Seshasayee, Magpie Blue, MEMES, One Nine, and Swim School.

The cost of a delegate registration is set at a flat rate of £30 and virtual attendees will also have the option to pay-forward a ticket as part of a bursary system set up to allow those hardest hit in the Scottish industry, to apply for a free accreditation. Organisers will also match each donated ticket.

The list of confirmed speakers (with updates here) reads as follows:
Agnese Daverio (Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival), Andrew Mikkelsen (Atlantic Records), Arusa Qureshi (The List), Chris Cooke (CMU), Ellen De Faux (LS Productions), Gee Davy (Association of Independent Music), Hannah Rankin (bassoonist & boxer), Jess Partridge (In Stereo Group), Joe Hendry (musician & wrestler), Jumi Akinfenwa (Pitch & Sync), Keith Harris (Manager & Martial Artist), Lauren Bauld (PPL), Lisa Whytock (Active Events), Nabihah Iqbal (Musician & Martial Artist), Nancy Mills (PPL), Olaf Furniss (Wide Events), Paul Brindley (Music Ally), Rachel Grace Almeida (Crack Magazine), Renell Shaw (composer & martial artist), Sam Taylor (CMU), Sammy Andrews (Deviate Digital), Shain Shapiro (Sound Diplomacy), Tina Hart (Tina Hart Media), Tom Ketley (FLY Events).

More at www.widedays.com.