A guide to the Future Music Forum Barcelona 2019

In Barcelona there’s a plethora of music events, concerts for the discerning punter and business-focused events for industry professionals. In fact most industry workers reading this will probably think of Primavera Pro or Sonar+D as the standouts. But, there is one event that’s been simmering away under the surface for a few years. The Future Music Forum has been busy carving out a very significant niche as one of the industry’s best loved boutique conferences and attracting some of the most influential leaders in the business.

Based on how the industry execs still seem to nurture hit makers, you would be forgiven for thinking that they still don’t seem realise that the industry has changed, that consumers have changed and, for that matter, that the whole game has changed. Future Music Forum is about facing that head on with the future firmly in focus and getting to the bottom of these key challenges by sharing ideas and thoughts about how to improve on and solve the current problems.

FMF started 10 years ago and has grown into an extremely successful boutique music industry event that is supported by some the industry’s leading names. This year, apart from a substantial number of quality delegates in attendance, the event also features key insight from some of the industry’s leading names, such as Akuadolz Studios, MusicXray, SongTrust, Keychange, Womex, MusicGlue as well as local partners such as Microfusa, BCN Music Export, the local council, and of course, local big time beer producer, Estrella Damn! In fact, the daytime proceedings such as the keynotes, roundtables, panel discussions et al, take place at Damn’s old brewery, which in itself, is a stunning venue.

“If you are a music industry pro and curious as to what’s coming down the line within your profession, there are not many other events out there that educate you like the FMF,” said event director, Niall Doorly.

“If you’ve been banging around the industry for any length of time you can’t help but be cynical. But I’ve seen senior execs – with many, many years behind them – walk away wide-eyed by some of the conversations happening at the FMF. It’s also the vibe at the event that attracts people. Egos are left back in the office and free beer certainly helps,” he added.

The event will kick off with a welcome drinks event hosted by music aggregator Sonosuite and LIBKD on one of the city’s beautiful rooftop terraces, with live music and a DJ. If you are thinking of entering the Startup Competition – judged by LyricFind, Barcelona Technology School & LICKD – then this may be a good time to door step and network!

Mark Mulligan, managing director of MiDIA Research, kicks off daytime proceedings on Thursday morning with an a highly anticipated keynote. Then the event will split into three streams. First is all about Future Music, the second will focus on issues and workshops for both digital content creators and brand partnership specialists. The third stream takes a deeper look the health, wellbeing and ethical music business issues, which have definitely been making an impression on the scene this year.

Interesting names for our readers will include Rinse FM DJ, Jyoty Singh, Super Star DJ and Steal Records head honcho, Roger Sanchez, Matthew Herbert from the Brexit Big Band and also the creative director for elrowFamily, Jo Vidler. But that’s just and opinion, and of course there are some other key personnel in the firing line which you can check out here. After the daytime’s discussion end, the night time entertainment will undoubtedly begin. FMF Live is the official Thursday night event at the infamous Sidecar Factory Club in Plaça Reial.

Of course for those not nursing hangovers, Friday’s activities will run under 3 distinct streams from early morning ending at the Damn Brewery in the early afternoon. The first stream will host performance workshops by Microfusa (looking at music production hardware and software). The second stream is a Streaming & Playlisting special and a sync listening Lab by ThrityTwo creative agency. The third stream is a crucially important theme, focusing on the Spanish speaking market – LATAM music business special focus.

Future Music Forum Barcelona 2019, 11-13th September

Future Music Forum 2016 from Submarine Media on Vimeo.

About the Author

Since moving to Barcelona 13 years ago, Mark J established himself as a DJ, a producer, a radio presenter and a freelance writer. He is nightlife editor of Barcelona Connect Magazine and has written for various online and print publications. Mark has interviewed legendary artists such as Jean Michel Jarre, Laurent Garnier, Dubfire & Funk D’Void as well as emerging artists like Carlo Lio, Mark Reeve or Coyu. You can catch him DJing in Barcelona clubs the Macarena and Becool.