The Great Escape Convention sits at the heart of the festival, with 3500 music industry professionals from across the world amassing for three days of learning, debating and networking.

There are various elements to the TGE Convention…

This is the core conference that takes over Dukes @ Komedia on both the Thursday and the Friday of the festival. CMU Insights @ TGE is distinct from most other music industry conferences in that it puts the spotlight of four specific areas of the business, and then invests a whole day to delve deeper into each of those four topics. This year the four strands are as follows…

Transparency! Data! Blockchain! Let’s make buzzwords happen!
Thursday 19 May, Dukes @ Komedia 1
There has been much talk about ‘data’ in the music industry in recent years, while in the last year the big buzzwords have been ‘transparency’ and the ‘blockchain’. But what data are we talking about, and how can it really drive the business? And who needs to be transparent about what, exactly? And what the hell is the blockchain?
We explain the concepts and ideas behind the buzzwords, and assess the challenges that must be met to make ambitious plans about a more efficient and fairer digital music industry a reality.

What if YouTube actually is the future?
Thursday 19 May, Dukes @ Komedia 2
Given that it’s arguably the music industry’s biggest platform and most important marketing channel, there has been a lot of hate for YouTube in the music community this year. We review the issues, consider the solutions, and explain how artists, labels and publishers can get the absolute most out of their YouTube presence and all their video content online. Meanwhile, the YouTubers are taking over the world. Who are these people? And how can the music industry work with
them: as media, licensees, content partners and festival bookings?

CDs! Vinyl! T-shirts! Who the hell is buying this stuff?
Friday 20 May, Dukes @ Komedia 1
CD sales are holding up better than most people expected, in the UK and worldwide. So who, exactly, is buying all these CDs? Is the record industry really managing this declining but significant revenue stream in the most lucrative way? And as physical becomes a premium product, what is possible, through retail, pre-order and direct-to-fan? What other physical products can artists sell to engaged fans, and through what channels and at what price? And who should lead on D2F sales:
labels or management? CDs, vinyl, merch and the direct-to-fan business, all put under the spotlight.

What has the music industry ever done for you?
Friday 20 May, Dukes @ Komedia 2
The music industry is notable for its high number of freelancers, entrepreneurs and SMEs. This makes it an exciting and dynamic place to be, but throws up a number of unique challenges. How can the industry better train its people – both on and off stage – about an ever-changing business? How can we foster a more diverse music community? And what responsibilities does the industry have to safeguard the wellbeing and mental health of its people? We’ll present case studies, ideas and proposals for how we can better support the music makers.

CMU Insights is the training and consultancy business of leading music industry news service Complete Music Update.


Alongside CMU Insights @ TGE, some of the convention’s partners also present their own panels in the Old Courtroom, covering a wide range of topics and issues. Look out for details on what partners are involved this year, and what debates they will be instigating, online here in late April.


In addition to the talks and debates, TGE delegates have access to a wide range of networking events and parties. Full details of networking opportunities and the parties schedule will go online here in late April.

To get access to all this – plus priority access to the TGE festival – you need to get yourself a delegates pass


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