Industry pros offer advice to songwriters at Un-Convention: Hastings Fat Tuesday 2020

Hastings Fat Tuesday has announced that singer-songwriter and BBC Radio 6 presenter Tom Robinson will be the key note speaker at this year’s Un-Convention.
Tom RobinsonTom Robinson
Tom Robinson

This one-day music conference at the White Rock Hotel is aimed at the grassroots of the industry and takes place on Friday, February 21 (10am-5pm).

Panellists from across the music business will speak about the future of the industry and attend workshops on a range of key elements including practical advice for gigging, the ‘dos and don’ts’ of promotion, building a fan base, securing management and funding and how to develop a sustainable career.

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Panel 1 – Debut, 10.30am-11.30am: For musicians and song writers just starting out, this looks at local opportunities for mentoring and support at an early stage. It offers information and advice about how to develop musically, where to play live, and how to make your first recording.

Panel 2 – Breaking through, 11.45am-12.45pm: Chaired by BBC Introducing the South presenter and producer Melita Dennett, this panel will look at what artists need to consider when developing a sustainable career in the music industry including: management or DIY, making the most of your releases, radio play and streaming, getting festival and support slots, and the importance of developing your fan base.

Panel 3 – Songtrust Presents: What Is A Music Publisher and Do You Need One? 2pm-2.45pm: Lara Baker of Songtrust explains the role of a music publisher and your options as a budding songwriter.

Panel 4 – Resilience and Wellbeing in the Music Industry, 3pm-4pm: This panel looks at the specific challenges the industry presents to an artist’s well being, and how people can help themselves and each other.

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Key note Q&A – singer and broadcaster Tom Robinson (BBC Radio 6 Music), 4.15pm-5pm.

Born in Cambridge in 1950, Tom first became known in the late 1970s as a musician and LGBT activist with the Tom Robinson Band (TRB) who were early supporters of Rock Against Racism and Amnesty International. In 1977 their Top 5 debut release 2-4-6-8 Motorway became one of the landmark singles of the UK punk era. Other hits included Glad To Be Gay, Up Against The Wall and the band’s debut album Power In The Darkness, which went gold in the UK and Japan. As a solo artist Tom had further solo hits in 1983 with War Baby and Atmospherics: Listen To The Radio, and co-wrote songs with Peter Gabriel, Elton John and Dan Hartman.

As a radio broadcaster, over the past 30 years Tom has hosted programmes on all eight of the BBC‘s national radio stations and won two Gold Sony Academy Radio Awards.

Other panelists for the day include: Melita Dennett, BBC Introducing the South; Lara Baker, Songtrust; Ed Frith, Head of Live at DLWP; Stuart Belsham, PRS (Performing Rights Society); Sally Greig, director of Eggtooth and Incubat; Yair Katz, music therapist; Jeff Thompson, Un-Convention; MC Deezer, artist; ARXX, artist; Tasha Bloom, artist and #OKAYMovement; Siddy Bennett, singer-songwriter; and Elisha Edwards, singer-songwriter.

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Day tickets cost £10 (under 18s free with promo card). Visit to find out more.

Under the Radar

Four stages are hosting the best emerging young talent from across the UK at Hastings Fat Tuesday’s Under The Radar day on February 23.

The event is curated by BBC Introducing, Academy of Contemporary Music, Incubate (from The Eggtooth Project) and the Joe Strummer Foundation.

ACM, The Carlisle: 2pm Nella, 3pm Lost Near Blue Ape, 4pm Chaos In The Teahouse, 5pm Celine & The Blue, 6pm The White Lakes, 7pm Liza Lo.

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BBC Introducing The South, The Carlisle: 2.30pm Sydney Rutherford, 3.30pm Lime, 4.30pm Kudu Blue, 5.30pm Georgia Meek, 6.30pm Beach Riot, 7.30pm Starz N Deeza.

Incubate, Printworks: 5pm-11pm (stage times TBC). Captivated, Kathleen, General Disobedience, Kalopsia, Bozos Band, Georgia and Agatha, Coldhearted, Izzy Withers, Connor Spencer, Bellza, Theo – aka DJ Galaxy Wolf.

The Joe Strummer Foundation, The Printworks: 5pm-11pm. The Froggs, Lyza Jane, TDK.

Hastings cinema listings, Friday to Thursday, February 14-20. Click here to read more.

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Four great shows to see in the Eastbourne area. Click here to read more.

Four things to do in Hastings, Rye and Bexhill. Click here to read more.

An interview with Baxter Dury ahead of Hastings Fat Tuesday’s launch night. Click here to read more.

Inspiring workshops with Claire Martin and Guy Chambers: Hastings International Piano Festival. Click here to read more.

Eastbourne entertainment listings, Friday to Thursday, February 14-20. Click here to read more.

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