NME x Squarespace presents: ReBuild Music – the Big 10 Talk on the future of the grassroots music industry

The story of our brilliant entrepreneurs continues with this special discussion featuring experts from the music industry

In association with Squarespace

An accessible, affordable pop-up venue-cum-content creator from outer space – The Close Encounter Club – and a local scheme to create a subscription club for gig-goers as part of a one-man music and media empire – On The House Music – were two of the 10 brilliant projects that made it all the way to the final shortlist of NME x Squarespace presents: ReBuild Music, our year-long campaign to help the music industry bounce back better than ever in the post-pandemic world.

The 10 projects selected were united by their creativity and by a shared goal – to shake things up, to nurture talent, to spread the joy of music and to find ways to make the industry kinder, fairer and more inclusive.

Several months after last year’s launch, we invited the aforementioned winners – Shannon Cotton of The Close Encounter Club and Marcus Obsorne of On The House Music – to speak about their journey and put questions to two well-established professionals in the industry.

Pierre Hall is the co-founder and label manager of Speedy Wunderground, the NME-favourite label that pairs producer Dan Carey with a revolving door cast of cutting edge artists to record one-off, 7” singles. With most of the artists featured going on to enjoy wild success, the label has recently torched its own manifesto and started making albums, too; its empire includes physical and digital releases, merch and live events.

Lenny Watson is the co-founder of Sister Midnight, a female/female-identifying collective responsible for a label, record shop, venue and event promotion. Since the closure of their Deptford, London shop/venue, Lenny has been working to open a not-for-profit community gig venue in nearby Lewisham, with investors including Jools Holland. The proposed venue, The Ravensbourne Arms, is a long-closed pub that’s much missed by the community. Alongside her own campaign, Lenny has been helping like-minded people elsewhere get their own community venue projects off the ground.

The far-ranging conversation, hosted by former NME Deputy Editor Dan Stubbs, finds that despite difficult conditions for the music industry – thanks to Brexit, the pandemic and the backlog at vinyl pressing plants, to name but a few of the ghouls – there’s a great deal of positivity about the future. Our panelists share their thoughts on issues that still exist within the live music industry and the importance of local musical movements. To watch the full discussion, click above.

ReBuild Music is supported by Squarespace, the all-in-one online platform to brings your creative ideas to life

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