Between 31st July and 1st August 2015 - in collaboration with the Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design - the Selector PRO brought together leading UK and Russian music theorists and practitioners with the aim of providing professionals and the general public with a full insight into the British and Russian music industry.
The event came about following the success of a number of Selector Live parties in Russia; the Selector is the British Council’s radio show, which celebrates the best emerging British music. It was felt that a series of events, this time more industry-focussed, would be a great idea; a platform for sharing experiences and discussing UK-Russian relations in the music industry across a multi-format festival. Read more about the specific events below.
Selector PRO proved a great success with the Moscow music industry and general public alike and attracted more than 5000 people in two days. It was also picked up by nine capital and national media partners, including the Moscow 24 TV channel who organised a live broadcast of the all of the lectures taking place during the event.
Selector PRO Events
There were workshops, talks and discussions involving 22 Russian and UK experts from various sectors: booking agencies, promoters, labels, music media, festivals, music production, theory and technology. Discussion topics included How Music is Born and New Music Formats and speakers included Paul Morley, former NME writer; David Toop, author of 'Rap Attack' and 'Ocean of Sound'; Jon Clifford, Digital Director of the London’s largest festival Field Day; Michela Magas, founder of Music Tech Fest, and adviser to the European Commission on Digital Development; as well as representatives of the Young Turks and Donky Pitch labels and the agencies Coda and The Agency group.
Paul Morley, taking part in the Selector PRO discussions. Photo: British Council Russia. For more images of the discussion and music market events, visit the British Council Russia Flickr site.
The closing event of Selector PRO was Selector Live, a live broadcast of the British Council’s Selector radio show. The show featured the British musicians Ben Khan, Matthew Herbert – performing a DJ set – and DJ Grinel.
Around these key events, there was also a music market and online competitions, including one which will result in the winner receiving a scholarship at the Moscow Business School for MA Music Management.
Ben Khan, performing for Selector Live. Photo by British Council Russia. For more images of the Selector Live event, visit the British Council Russia Flickr site.
What they had to say
Everything that’s involved with anything at the moment, including music, is just changing by, almost, the day, I’m trying to work it out myself, so I like these kind of conferences, both to see other people who are having theories about that, thinking about that both as a business, as a creative act, act of the imagination, as something that is so important in people’s lives. Selector PRO was very successful in all sorts of ways, the combination of panel subjects, the types of talks, the mix of attitudes and ages, the fantastic venue, and most importantly a very attentive and interested audience.
- Paul Morley
I think this conference is great because it brings together different practitioners, different types of music and different ideas about how we think about working with sound, making music in the future and that is a big question for me now so, being in this situation helps me to formulate ideas from people who have different backgrounds, different languages and different cultural backgrounds.
- David Toop
Selector PRO brought together great people involved in various fields of music, and it has been very helpful in terms of unifying the community and finding new friends. And it's very exciting to see how different people are involved in this program, from legendary names to DIY emerging entrepreneurs; we have Ildar Zainetdinov from GOST Zvuk and Matthew Herbert, and Maxim Semelyak and David Toop. It is very important that Selector PRO played the role of a social elevator in the music community, both inside the country, and between countries, that will definitely help music to flourish.
- Ira Ineshina, Picnic Afisha festival
A large proportion of artists who perform in Russia are British, so it is not surprising that the relationships with British agents are developing every day, and the fact that Russian audiences are interested in the British music seems to me historically understandable. There is still development to be made in terms of both relations and audiences, so in that sense, the British Council is doing an excellent job, and I think this event is an investment into the future.
- Igor Tonkih, promoter, Glavclub and Youtaspace concert halls
I’ve certainly met some people that I’m very strongly considering doing some future business with, and also, I think its important for us to be here so we can get the message across to bands, promoters, whoever was out in the audience that we do take the Russian market very seriously and it is something we are looking to send our artists to.
- Greg Lowe, the Agency Group
Thanks so much for a fantastic time in Moscow. We felt it was extremely well organised, with a great venue, intelligent programme, impressive group of people in the line up, and wonderful audience. We have encountered a really high level of expertise, intelligence and enthusiasm from the participants, and we’ve already formed some partnerships and potential collaborative ventures as a result of this visit and look forward to coming back. Congratulations on a hugely successful Selector Pro!
- David Dubber, Michela Magas, Music Tech Fest