Confirmed Speakers 

Full speaker list will be added in august

 

Lucy Humphreys, Senior Brand Partnerships Manager, Global, Universal Music Group & Brands (UK)

Lucy has 10 years’ experience managing strategic brand partnerships, specialising in insight-driven entertainment solutions. She has worked at Universal Music Group & Brands for two years, during which she has delivered music & culture based solutions for brands including Dubai Tourism, National Geographic, Hyundai and the Union for International Cancer Control. Lucy prides herself on her ability to deliver unique, relevant and engaging solutions for brands across varying industries.

AARON WODIN-SCHWARTZ, Vice President, Public Policy & Public Affairs, BRAND USA (USA)

Aaron Wodin-Schwartz is vice president, public policy and public affairs for Brand USA, the nation’s public-private partnership dedicated to increasing international visitation to the United States through marketing and promotional efforts. In this role, Aaron develops, executes, and leads outreach efforts to key stakeholders to promote and advance Brand USA's mission and raise visibility worldwide for the organization, build community engagement, and respond to requests from these stakeholders regarding the organization’s progress toward established goals and objectives. Aaron is also responsible for working with federal partners and key industry groups to ensure productive implementation of the Travel Promotion Act, communicate U.S. travel policies, and develop collaborative opportunities to promote inbound travel to the United States.

Arfa Butt, cultural strategisT, Sounds Like London Ambassador & Music Industry Leader (UK)

Arfa has 20 years of extensive marketing, partnerships, and programming experience including; MTV (Global), Mayor Of London’s Music Board, Sounds Like London Campaign Ambassador & Curator, Amy Winehouse Foundation, The Barbican Young Arts Academy, Creative Access, She Said So, Arts Depot, Google and many more.

As a freelance music & talent director and urban music lead at Viacom Arfa has spearheaded an endless array of international platforms, including the launch and management of MTV’s first UK urban channel, MTV Base in 1999 and then commissioned to create MTV’s 100th channel, MTV Base Africa in 2004.

Passionate about individual stories and the power of words, Arfa celebrates and explores language, culture and identity, all the while managing trauma, supporting mental health & wellbeing and caring for everything connected to the heart.

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region (UK)

Steve was elected as a Liverpool City Councillor in 2002 representing the Fazakerley ward and served as Lord Mayor of Liverpool during the city’s European Capital of Culture year of 2008-2009.

A bricklayer by trade, he’d set up his own company by the age of 22 and later went on to work in various capacities in the construction industry. After returning to full-time education at Liverpool John Moores University and then Liverpool Hope University, Steve worked for many years as a business manager for the Learning and Skills Council.

In 2010, Steve was elected as the Member of Parliament for the Liverpool Walton constituency, stepping down in 2017. In May 2017, Steve was elected to become the first ever Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region – securing 59% of the vote – on a manifesto that pledged to be ambitious, fair, green, connected and to ensure that the whole city region works effectively together.


Sam Woods, VP Commercial - Global, Boiler Room (UK)

Sam has 14 years of experience working in advertising, technology and music.

After periods at Channel 4 and MTV building their digital advertising platforms, Sam was a part of a two man team that launched the commercial arm of Shazam Ltd across EMEA, MENA and APAC concluding in its sale to Apple.

Most recently Sam has joined Boiler Room where he runs commercial partnerships globally as well as leading Boiler Room’s youth marketing agency, Boiler Room Brand Labs.

Eileen Chapman, Director of the Bruce Springsteen Archives & Center for American Music, Former GM of stone pony Nightclub & Founder of Riverfest jazz & Blues festival (USA)

Eileen Chapman was previously the general manager of the internationally known Stone Pony nightclub and of the Fast Lane nightclub, both located in New Jersey’s music capital, Asbury Park.

Eileen serves on the boards of the Grammy Museum Experience, the Asbury Park Music Foundation, the Asbury Park Historical Society, and Asbury Angels.

Prior to joining Monmouth University, Eileen was a founding member of the Jersey Shore Jazz & Blues Foundation, founding member and event coordinator of Riverfest Jazz & Blues Festival, entertainment director for the Clearwater Festival, owner/operator of the first compact disc (CD) retail store in New Jersey, event coordinator of the Asbury Park Jazz Festival, director of the award-winning New Jersey Seafood Festival in Belmar, and consultant and entertainment coordinator of the Guinness Oyster Festival.

Eileen also serves as a councilwoman for the City of Asbury Park.

Tim Holt, Head of Marketing for VisitBritain and VisitEngland (UK)

Tim Holt is Head of Marketing for VisitBritain and VisitEngland. His passion is driving impactful and emotionally engaging brand campaigns that connect global audiences to what Britain and England offers. His team drive the brand, audiences and effectiveness of marketing at VisitBritain and VisitEngland. Working across brand partnerships he has lead partnerships with Aardman, Boiler Room, Vice and National Geographic, to name a few, developing compelling content and positioning Britain as the modern, dynamic, creative and cultural melting pot that it is! When he isn’t at work he loves the great outdoors, football and trying to get his kids off their screens.

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Rowan Hoban & Sarah Bird, Founders, Wild Rumpus (UK)

Rowan Hoban & Sarah Bird set up the community interest company Wild Rumpus in 2009, initially dreaming up the award winning family arts event Just So Festival and then disappearing down a wormhole of immersive and transformative experiences in outdoor landscapes.

In 2013, they recognised that they needed to make being outdoors central to the way they worked, and so moved their office to a converted horsebox in a woodland in Cheshire. They have gradually expanded to a 16th century farmhouse, with apple orchards, kitchen gardens, chicken runs, bee hives, vintage caravans, converted workshops, a treehouse and a campfire roundhouse. It operates as an office but also a creation space offering artist residencies and development opportunities.

Wild Rumpus now produce a range of events and festivals throughout the UK as well as internationally in Brazil and New Zealand, working with a wide range of tourism, culture and heritage organisations.

Last year they set up Timber Festival in partnership with the National Forest Company which won Best New UK Festival at the UK Festival Awards.


Jayne Ellen White, Music Specialist, Memphis Tourism (USA)

Jayne Ellen White is the Music Specialist at Memphis Tourism. Heading the Music Hub division with 12 years in the Music Tourism industry, her mission is to foster growth and awareness of the sound of the city’s current musicians, while celebrating the rich music legacy that is at the heart of the city’s $3 billion tourism industry.

Jayne Ellen was the Director of Public Relations at Sun Studio for 10 years. At the legendary studio, which was the epicenter of the big bang of Rock N Roll, Jayne Ellen appeared on media outlets worldwide as an authority of the studio's history. Later, as Director of Visitor Experience at The Stax Museum of American Soul Music, Jayne Ellen authored a tour experience titled The Memphis Sound Effect, which analyzes iconic recordings by The Staple Singers, Otis Redding and others, and explores the impact that Memphis Soul continues to have on popular music.

Kevin McManus, Head of UNESCO City of Music for Liverpool (UK)

Kevin McManus is currently Head of UNESCO City of Music for Liverpool.

Prior to this he was the Curator at the British Music Experience in Liverpool, the UK’s only national museum of rock and pop music.

Kevin has been involved in music since he began writing for influential music paper New Musical Express (NME) when he was 18. As well as writing for NME his music journalism career also included writing for The Face, ID, and Mixmag.

He went on to work for the University of Liverpool where he wrote a number of books about Liverpool music history and the social and economic context in which it was made.

In his subsequent public sector career Kevin developed the pioneering creative industries sector development agency for Liverpool, Merseyside ACME, which he led for almost 20 years. Kevin’s achievements during this period included setting up the Baltic Creative CIC and establishing Sound City.

Jane Randall, Head of Visitor Economy, Marketing Manchester (UK)

Jane has spent her career working in both leisure and business tourism and has worked in various roles including destination management, conference venue management, marketing and PR.

Jane has worked at Marketing Manchester since January 2012 as Head of Visitor Economy managing a variety of projects and services including several Arts Council funded projects to promote culture as a key driver for visits. She was previously at the Northwest Regional Development Agency where she managed the Agency’s team of tourism specialists and played a key role in managing relationships and monitoring contracts with the regions five Tourist Boards.

Jane has held various positions over the years including; West Midlands LGA Tourism Advisor, President of the Tourism Management Institute, Tourism West Midlands Board member, and Chair of the Northwest Regional Tourism Management Group.

Brandt Wood, Co-Founder, Producer, Pilgrimage Music and Cultural Festival & Principle, WoodHouse (USA)

Brandt Wood has over thirty years of experience in creating, developing and operating iconic music venues, restaurants and festivals. He also developed a groundbreaking national live music program at Harrah’s Entertainment with C3 Presents. Wood’s festival production credits include Trees Outdoor Music Festival in Dallas in 1993 and 1995, City of Dallas New Years’ Events in 2000 and 2001, Live at the Drive-In with Jimmy Buffett in 2014, and with his co-founders, developed and produces Pilgrimage Music and Cultural Festival in Franklin, Tennessee since its inception in 2014.

Brandt also developed the groundbreaking Americana Music Triangle Experience at Pilgrimage which invites the American South’s historic music cities to participate in the festival program. A dozen cities now come to Pilgrimage every year and under an historic backdrop tell the story of their music roots and reinforce to today’s audiences the value of exploring, experiencing and preserving this living music history.


Katja Hermes, Head of projects, Sound Diplomacy (Germany)

Katja founded the Sound Diplomacy Berlin office in October 2013. In this role Katja has consulted several cities on their Music City strategy (Vancouver, Cardiff, Lausanne and Vilnius), given lectures about Music Cities at events around the world and initiated the Music Cities Network together with the Hamburg Music Business Association (IHM). She has consulted with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation, GIZ, Adam Mickiewicz Institute Poland, Nordic Embassies Berlin and many more. Katja has been working in the music business for more than 12 years. She has worked in various fields in the industry including at Mutek Festival, Ableton and Initiative Musik, the German funding organisation, where she was responsible for export projects. Katja holds a diploma in Geography and Economy, with a focus on urban planning and creative industries.

Charlie Rout, Creative Lead, Partnerships, Warner Music (UK)

With just under a decade of experience in the music industry, Charlie has worked on music campaigns for brands such as Levi’s, Red Bull, Beats By Dre and 1800 Tequila. Charlie recently worked on a 6-month mentorship programme in Liverpool with Brit-hop rapper, Loyle Carner. The project was created by Levi’s to encourage community access to music and community-wide collaboration.

Nora Will, Manager Market Development, #VisitDuesseldorf (Germany)

Nora organises international press trips and coordinates marketing activities to promote Düsseldorf as a vibrant tourism destination, focussing on the city’s contemporary art scene and music history. For the last two years, she has also been part of the #urbanana-project that aims to showcase the attractiveness of the polycentric urban landscape of the Rhine-Ruhr region in cooperation with various stakeholders within the creative industries of Düsseldorf, Cologne and the Ruhr Area. Together with her colleague Thorsten, she organised a post-convention tour as an additional day for delegates at last year’s Music Tourism Convention in Cologne, Germany, that included a visit to Kraftwerk’s former music studio, guided walking tours and a live showcase. The event acted as a catalyst for a process to strategically develop music tourism in Düsseldorf. As a first step, #VisitDuesseldorf has initiated a guided tour called “The Sound of Düsseldorf” in cooperation with two music journalists.

KAMEL KING, MUSIC BUREAU MANAGER, VISIT MISSISSIPPI (USA)

Kamel spent 10 years as the Attorney on the Road for GRAMMY nominated group The Williams Brothers, was a Director of Operations for both Blackberry Records Inc. and Terminal Recording Studios, a GRAMMY award winning studio, and has had many years of experience in booking and event production. Kamel has since been Ass. Producer in the Recording Academy© endorsed “Mississippi…Celebrates Its GRAMMY© Legacy” events, “Mississippi Night” at the L.A. GRAMMY© Museum and other tourism conferences. Kamel is also a contributing author in the American Bar Association released book "Entertainment Law: For The General Practitioner". He is a practicing entertainment attorney.

Kamel is most proud to currently be the Music Bureau Manager for the State of Mississippi's Tourism Development agency which manages the Mississippi Blues Trail, Country Music Trail, Freedom Trail, Writers Trail and the state’s rich music and cultural branding at many trade shows and festivals.


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Thorsten Schaar, Head of Department Content, #VisitDuesseldorf (Germany)

Thorsten has worked as a journalist for years. He used to write for culture and music magazines. In his time as an editor at “11Freunde – magazine for football culture”, he travelled the football world, covering the Africa Cup 2008 in Ghana and meeting the crazy mascot Kingsley at Partick Thistle in Glasgow. For twenty years he's been doing interviews for Düsseldorf’s greatest rock band Die Toten Hosen. He followed them to England, Argentina - and Helgoland. Working for the local tourism board, he coordinated the worldwide PR and social media activities during the Tour de France 2017 when Kraftwerk played an unforgettable open air concert in their hometown. Together with his colleague Nora he works strategically on the topic of ‘The Sound of Düsseldorf’, always making sure to involve the local music scene and key players from the music industry. Fun fact: Thorsten has seen his favourite band, The Ramones, live 17 times.

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Jeannette Varela Calabria, Project Manager, global Urban Holland Campaign and Country Manager for Spain, Netherlands Board of Tourism and Conventions (NBTC) & Holland MarketinG (Spain)

Jeannette Varela Calabria has been working for over 9 years at the Netherlands Board of Tourism and Conventions (NBTC) Holland Marketing and as well as being Country Manager for Spain, she is responsible for the global Urban Holland Campaign. She was born in the Netherlands and lived in various places up around the country until 2003, when she moved to Madrid and has lived ever since.

Marketing is her passion and she has been active in this field for over 15 years within different sectors and companies, such as France Telecom, Miele and Havas Media Group. Regarding her role as project lead for Urban Holland, Jeannette says “I truly believe in globalization and in connecting people through different passions, such as music and art. Traveling the world and getting inspired by other cultures and best practices, and above all, sharing this knowledge, makes this possible.”

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Brendan McGoran, Economic Development Officer (Creative & Digital), Place and Economy Department, Belfast City Council (UK)

Brendan is the lead officer for the development and implementation of Belfast City Council’s Creative Digital Industries strategy.

He is responsible for an extensive portfolio of projects that form the Council’s support structure for Belfast’s Creative and Digital Sector under the themes of Economy, Talent and Infrastructure. Projects include the development of co-working space for creative companies in the city, supporting the local music sector, new digital tech clusters and enabling the sector to do business internationally through events such as SXSW, Output Belfast and Cartoon Business.

Following an Honours degree at the University of Ulster and 18 months at the University Of Wisconsin, Brendan worked in the creative sector, developing productions for clients such as Coca-Cola and BASS Ireland. Brendan went on to join the Nerve Centre’s DREAM project to develop a support structure for Northern Ireland’s Digital Media sector and later the Creative sector as a whole. Brendan joined Belfast City Council in January 2004.

Scott Humble, Head of Client Solutions, Lastminute.com (UK)

Scott has 19 years experience working in advertising, media and design. After university he travelled for 4 years, working as a scuba instructor in Indonesia and Thailand, before reluctantly returning to the UK to get a 'proper job'. After a brief stint in banking, he was drawn to the bright lights of London and the emerging 'New Media' sector, joining 'New Media Age' publisher Centaur. He then worked at a brand identity consultancy, before landing on his feet within the newly formed 'Media Team' at lastminute.com.

He has been lucky to work on lots of exciting projects with different brands and tourist boards - finding new and interesting ways to really grab audiences attention and persuade them to book a trip.

He’s passionate about travel and experiencing different cultures, and has seen first hand the power of music as a driver for tourism.


Mitch Whitten, Executive Vice President for Marketing & Strategy, Visit Fort Worth, texas (USA)

Mitch Whitten is executive president for marketing and strategy at Visit Fort Worth, where he is responsible for all external outreach, tourism and the community’s Destination Master Plan.

In recent years his team has launched the Fort Worth Film Commission, fostered the Hear Fort Worth music association, developed an international tourism strategy and created initiatives to promote the local culinary scene.

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Kenneth Womack, Dean, Wayne D. McMurray School of Humanities & Social Sciences at monmouth university & Author of multiple Beatles books (USA)

Kenneth Womack is Dean of the Wayne D. McMurray School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Monmouth University, where he also serves as Professor of English. He is the author or editor of numerous books, including Long and Winding Roads: The Evolving Artistry of the Beatles (2007), the Cambridge Companion to the Beatles (2009), and The Beatles Encyclopedia: Everything Fab Four (2014). More recently, he is the author of an acclaimed two-volume biography of Beatles producer George Martin, including Maximum Volume: The Life of Beatles Producer George Martin (The Early Years, 1926-1966) and Sound Pictures: The Life of Beatles Producer George Martin (The Later Years, 1966-2016). His latest book, Solid State: The Story of Abbey Road and the End of the Beatles, will be published in September 2019 in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ famed LP.