EVENT NEWS: Yorkshire Music Forum Convention 2020

Saturday 14th November to Thursday 19th November


6 days of online panels and live performances to support the region’s music industry.

Keynote In Conversation with Rebecca Taylor (Self Esteem).

Socially distanced live HerFest at Brudenell Social Club.

Discussion panels covering PR, mental health, and the future of the music industry.

Yorkshire Music Forum Convention returns in 2020 as an online event to support the region’s music industry, taking place from Saturday 14th November to Thursday 19th November. The event will feature panels and live performances put together in collaboration with Launchpad and the consortium partner members Come Play With Me, DMF Digital, Higher Rhythm, Arnold Brown Ltd, and Music:Leeds.

Kicking off with Come Play With Me’s HerFest on Saturday 14th November, which will take place in front of a socially distanced audience at Brudenell Social Club, the remainder of the events will be live-streamed. A keynote in-conversation with Rebecca Lucy Taylor (Self Esteem) will take place on Sunday 15th November with further live-streamed discussion panels each night on topics including artist guide to building your own PR and approaching the media, managing mental health in challenging times, blueprint for the future (with Youth Music) and building back better.

Live performances selected by the YMF partner organisations will follow the live conversations each night, and on Tuesday 17th there is a special edition of Launchpad’s regular online advice sessions, with journalist Jenessa Williams.

HerFest will take place in a socially distanced manner at Brudenell Social Club, with tickets available here.

To sign up for a 1-1 Press Advice Sessions, please book here.

The panels will be streamed online and are free to watch, but please you need to register in advance in order to receive information on how to view the panel, how to direct questions to be asked during the discussion and more. You only need to register once to access all the panels, and you can find the latest details on the sessions and speakers here.

Sunday 15th November – Keynote In Conversation with: Rebecca Lucy Taylor (Self Esteem), from 7pm

Rebecca Taylor (Self Esteem) the keynote speaker will be in conversation with Emily Pilbeam (BBC Introducing).

Self Esteem is Rebecca Lucy Taylor, and a project which began with painting and prints and video alongside her day job writing and performing as one half of Slow Club. Since her musical divergence from the band, Rebecca has reveled in unleashing a whole version of herself with no compromises, no reducing herself, no hesitating. She would go on to write the songs that had been rising up inside her all through the years – big songs, that spoke of love and sex and chaos, that brought in huge basslines, gospel choirs, the kind of polished, provocative production she admired on the biggest pop records. Her debut album, Compliments Please, was released on 1st March 2019 to huge critical acclaim. She is currently putting the finishing touches to her second album, due for release in 2021.


  • Rebecca Lucy Taylor (Self Esteem)
  • Emily Pilbeam (BBC Music Introducing)

Monday 16th November – Artist guide to building your own PR and approaching the media, from 7pm

With many different routes for artists to get coverage of new releases, videos and live appearances, it’s important to make sure you have a strong story and are approaching the media in a way that makes it easy for them to write about you. This panel will look at how to build your own PR, what opportunities there are for generating coverage through direct approaches and when is the best time to get involved with PR companies.


  • Rianne Thompson – chair (BBC Music Introducing)
  • Jenessa Williams (freelance journalist)
  • Chiedu Oraka (artist)
  • Cat Park (Ten Letter)
  • Jasleen Dhindsa (Dawbell)

Tuesday 17th November – 1-1 Press Advice Sessions w/ Jenessa Williams, 3pm to 7pm

Sign up for a free one to one online advice session with Jenessa Williams (freelance journalist), for advice on building your press profile, advice on targeting outlets and developing your assets.

Slots are limited, you will need to book a specific slot through the link below, and are only available to artists based in Yorkshire. When booking, please feel free to include some information on what you’d like to talk about.

Register here.

Tuesday 17th November – Managing mental health in challenging times, from 7pm

Many people working in music and the arts are facing big challenges right now – whether it’s job losses, lack of opportunities to play live, freelance work drying up, restrictions making it impossible to meet / collaborate etc. We all deal with these issues in our own ways, and it can be inspiring to hear how others maintain positive mental health.

This panel features a brilliant collection of music industry professionals brought together with the aim to share their stories, strategies and pointers as to who they’ve seen offering help, what has worked for them and how they manage when circumstances sometimes seem to be working against them.


  • Estella Adeyeri – chair (Big Joanie)
  • Elle Douglas (Three Minute Heroes / The Warren)
  • Joseph Hastings (Help Musicians UK)
  • Menno Versteeg (Royal Mountain)

Wednesday 18th November – Blueprint for the future (with Youth Music), from 7pm

Earlier this year, Youth Music published their Blueprint for the Future report, featuring the voices of 1,300 young people with plans to begin careers in the music industry. It showcases how, despite the overwhelming tenacity, determination, and entrepreneurial spirit in young people, current routes for them to move from education to employment are not fit for purpose, while setting out a positive vision for change that’s centred on the power of supporting and cultivating young creatives across the music industry.

Read more about the report here: https://youthmusic.org.uk/blueprint-future

This panel features young people supported by Youth Music funded programs in Yorkshire, those in a supporting role and a Youth Music grants officer for the region.


  • Lily Fontaine – chair (English Teacher / artist & writer)
  • Tamara Sharp (Chanté Amour / artist)
  • George Rowan (Youth Music advisor / A Festival, A Parade)
  • Leonie (LIO)
  • Louise Henry (Youth Music – Grants and Learning Officer)

& more

Thursday 19th November – Building Back Better: Post Coronavirus Music Industry – from 7pm

The Coronavirus has shaken society, affecting all our daily lives, and impacting all who enjoy music and pursue careers in the music industry. Discussion around recovery from Coronavirus often focuses on the economic needs to adapt, but is it also an opportunity to interrogate traditional power structures in the music industry, and think about building back better? This panel will look at technologies that can support independent artists create new revenue streams within the music industry, as well as deep-rooted inequalities that need to be addressed as the sector adapts to new ways of work.


  • Jess Partridge – chair (In Stereo Group / Freelance events and projects manager)
  • Ben Whynter (PRS Foundation)
  • Mark Dale (Go To Hear)
  • Pascal De Mul (Exit:Live)

Registration and further information

Register to attend: http://bit.ly/YMF2020
Programme details (speakers & panels): https://www.launchpad-music.com/ymf

Yorkshire Music Forum Convention is produced by the Yorkshire Music Forum consortium of Come Play With Me, DMF Digital, Higher Rhythm, Arnold Brown Ltd, and Music:Leeds and in collaboration with Launchpad. Yorkshire Music Forum is a PRSF Talent Development Partner and this event is supported by BPI, as well as Youth Music, with public funding from the National Lottery through Arts Council England, Leeds 2023 & Leeds City Council through Launchpad.

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