Manchester’s In The City music conference kicks off

Kate Nash, Andrew Loog Oldham and Andy Burnham MP speak at event

Manchester‘s In The City music conference kicked off yesterday (October 5) with a series of talks from industry experts including singer/songwriter Kate Nash, former Sex Pistols manager Andrew Loog Oldham and Andy Burnham MP, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.

Speaking at the Midland hotel in the northern city, Burnham called for more money to be put into music at grass roots level, calling for school children to have more access to musical instruments at school.

Burnham also said he thought that music TV shows were in danger of marginalising smaller bands, hailing the now-defunct ‘Top Of The Pops’ programme, which ended in 2006 after a 42-year stint on the BBC.

“I do believe that not just the music industry, but also that TV is in danger of becoming reliant on a safe, small number of acts,” he said. “It [Top Of The Pops’] was a great thing that was always putting a new mix of music in front of the British public.”

With regards to the illegal downloading of music files, the MP reiterated that legislation would be a last resort.

He also revealed that the ongoing consultation period between the industry and internet service providers would conclude at the end of October.

Kate Nash, meanwhile, spoke about the Featured Artists Coalition – a new body that argues that bands should maintain the copyright to their music, which can then be leased to record labels.

Now in its 17th year, the three-day event sees over 500 gigs take place in Manchester until tomorrow evening (October 7).