Last Friday saw day two of the Night Time Economy Summit. Just like the previous day, promoters and events industry professionals descended on London’s E1. What followed was an engaging series of talks, the hum of people making new connections and excitement about what was on the programme for the day.
The scope of the subject matter felt expanded. While the talks we attended on day one were very promoter-centric, day two touched upon Black music and the night-time economy, structural challenges in the adult events space and much more.
Get the lowdown on what we learnt on day two of the Night Time Economy Summit below.
Elevating Black voices with Funk Butcher
Our day began in room three. Here, DJ and editor Kwame Safo, also known as Funk Bucher, headed up which mused on the challenges faced by Black creatives trying to put on events.
It was an engaging talk and we could’ve sat and listened all day. Credit to Kwame, Salma Repa, Juice Saleem, Ameena Badley and Thad Boogie for their insights.
Kwame set the goal for the talk at the beginning. How can Black voices be elevated? And how can people who aren’t Black — but want to push the music — be elevated too?
Infrastructure was a hot topic. Kwame compared grime, drill and other forms of Black electronic music to indie and rock. He explained that the latter genres hadn’t had their events closed by things like Form 696, so it’s been easier for them to build out. As a Birmingham creative, Ameena spoke about the importance of regional publishing houses sites for creativity. This was echoed by Juice.
We left the talk feeling energised. It was a nuanced discussion by four industry experts, perfectly setting the tone for the rest of the day.
The impact of Brexit on the night time economy
This was a panel around a report on Brexit’s impact on the night time economy. Headed up by UK Music’s Jamie Njoku-Goodwin, the speakers looked at the problems created by Brexit. It was a talk about structures, with the panel providing the solutions to balance out the issues.
So, what are some of the problems? It’s a live music thing. The panel noted that the consequences weren’t unfounded. Many conversations took place, and ministers promised people that live events would be fine. If you’re in the events industry, you’ll know that gigs and tours took a substantial hit.
The speakers felt as though we should treat the EU as an ally. Overseas countries present a great touring resource. They did stress, however, that the political will is needed to rebuild the relationship between the EU and the U.K.
And what of the solutions? The report set out the pathway for the industry. A comprehensive touring report needs to be sought out.
As the panel continued, the conversation moved to the response from the industry as a whole. It was reassuring to hear that the wider night time economy had rallied around the problem of touring, with the panel agreeing that reports and commissions have been a positive factor.
After a short break, it was off to room three to see the discussion on safeguarding nightlife. Moderated by Deborah Hewitt of Safeguarding Nightlife, the panel introduced a new first-aid initiative that would offer further training to events industry staff.
However, we thought the words from Tazmin Lent were really pertinent for promoters. Tazmin is the founder of ‘Where You At’, an app designed to help you find your friends in the club and empower anyone who finds themselves in a potentially dangerous situation.
Tazmin explained the background behind the app. She told the audience how it shows you an indoor map of the club with floors, bars and toilets.
We felt that Tazmin’s work would be great for promoters. You could encourage your attendees to download this or make a partnership. It’s an extra layer of safety for your guests, used in tandem with the other security measures you employ at your event.
Funding with the Arts Council, PRS Foundation, Help Musicians and The Drinks Trust
We stayed in Room 3 for a talk on accessing funding for creative industries and the night time economy. The panel featured speakers from Arts Council England, Help Musicians, PRS Foundation and The Drinks Trust.
We felt the information passed on by Arts Council England’s Kim Macari was helpful. She explained the two funds they give out. One is government-funded and one is from the National Lottery.
Kim went on to talk about the barrier to funding, which is supply and demand. She explained there was a 792% increase in applications after the pandemic and that the government won’t meet the rise in demand.
However, she told the audience there are no limits on how many applications you can make, but the presentation is crucial. You have to bring context to what you are requesting funding for and ensure that it makes sense for the Arts Council too.
If you’re making an application, there are webinars, drop-ins and recorded content from the Arts Council to make the process easier. Kim also told us about this resource, a library of successful funding applications to guide you when compiling your own.
Elsewhere, we learnt that the PRS Foundation have ‘The Open Fund for Organisations’ and Help Musicians has funding for venue staff. All great resources for promoters looking to organise something memorable.
What did we learn?
Just like the previous day, quite a lot. Day 2 of the summit had a broad scope, with themes of safety, representation and politics featuring heavily across the panels.
Most importantly, the feeling of community was still present. Speakers were passionate about passing knowledge on, making themselves available to speak to anyone interested in continuing the discussion.
We left the event feeling engaged. It was a day of learning new things and hearing fresh perspectives on issues around the events industry. When people come together, great things can happen.
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