1.4 Available Networks and Networking Events



1. Export Strategies

1.1  Marketing Primer

1.2   Online Tactics

1.3   Image Consultation

1.4   Networking

1.5   Tricks of the Trade

2. Digital rights
3. Support and Funding
4. International 101
5. Conclusion


1.4 Available Networks and Networking Events

This section provides a list of useful networks and events at which you’re likely to meet interesting contacts. Although many of the opportunities are London-centric, listed below are also some regional opportunities. Many events and opportunities are listed through Sound and Music’s listings service The Sampler, which you can sign up to for free.

Meetups and Networking

Don’t be scared off by ‘industry’ events, as they can be a great way to meet new composers, sound artists and people who may want to perform or present your work.  Many networks, and organisations such as Sound and Music, present events across the country which provide networking to those working across the industry. Below are a few examples:

AORTAS Songwriters Workshop

Aortas (Association for Oral Traditions and Songwriting) is a company based in the South Midlands set up to teach and promote songwriting and traditional music. They run songwriting workshops and retreats in the UK and across Europe, in addition to 'open mic' events in and around Milton Keynes.


Karousel Music is a collective of musicians, composers and music industry professionals that run showcase nights in London. They are a non-profit organisation dedicated to promoting a better environment for artists in all genres and budding music business pros.

London Songwriters Meetup

London songwriters meetup is a free workshop aimed at songwriters and composers from a range of musical styles. The sessions and held monthly in Central London and allow participants to network, share compositions and collaborate. This is a more informal meetup, rather than industry focused.

Sound and Music: Sounding Out

Sound and Music regularly present events that aim to give expert insight into different aspects of new music, artistically and professionally. These happen at different locations around the UK.

Sound and Music: Creative Data Club

A fun and informal networking event for anybody using data in a creative way, be it as an artist or composer, or as a tech startup. Free for anybody to sign up to.


Un-Convention is a UK based global music network and development agency. They run events that bring together artists and practitioners to share knowledge and expertise, in order to build sustainable careers.

Young Guns Network

This is a networking group aimed at 18-25 year olds who are working in the music industry. Each monthly event is hosted by a different music company and features a talk followed by networking session. With a different focus each month, it is worth keeping an eye out for any events related to songwriting and composition.

You Should Go!

The most important (and enjoyable) way to network is to go and see other like minded artists perform, anywhere and everywhere. Networks are developed in the bar after the gig as much as at music conferences or association gatherings. Here are some UK examples - we want to keep expanding this list so please send us further examples.

●     Future Everything

●     Club Inegales

●     London Contemporary Music Festival

●     Aldeburgh Festival and Faster Than Sound

●     Bristol Proms

●     Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival

●     Cafe OTO

Music Associations

Here are some of the key music associations, some of which host events or can provide opportunities for growing your network.

British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors

BASCA supports and protects the artistic, professional, commercial and copyright interests of its members, provides information through publications, websites and seminars, and celebrates excellence through recognition and awards ceremonies.

Diverse Music Solutions

DMS offers publishing opportunities to independent music-makers as well as affordable music business advice and consultancy, creating a connected, engaged and supportive community of like-minded individuals.

Incorporated Society of Musicians

ISM provides the UK’s only online directory of music professionals who have proven professional credentials. It is a Music Journal that reports news across the full spectrum of music-making, and provides legal advice for its member artists.

International Association of Music Information Centres (IAMIC)

Sound and Music is an active member of this global network of over 45 national music centres. If you are visiting or researching a particular country, it’s possible for Sound and Music to connect you with the corresponding local IAMIC member who may be able to offer advice about who to visit, how to approach them, etc.

International Society for Contemporary Music

Sound and Music administrates the British section of the ISCM, a global network promoting contemporary music and culture in all its varied forms principally through the organisation of an annual ISCM World New Music Days festival (which presents music from each of its member sections, and showcases a diversity of talent).

Musicians' Union

The Musicians' Union represents and negotiates on behalf of musicians with all the major employers in the industry, offering the expertise of specialised officials to tackle issues from copyright protection to contractual advice.

Music Producers Guild

MPG is a support network that promotes expertise, creativity and skill that exists among its members, providing resources and industry knowledge, a forum for the exchange of ideas, and opportunities to meet other members.

Music Publishers Association

MPA provides information for composers concerning publishing, offering advice on whom to send music to and providing details of MPA member publishers in its directory.

Tenso - European Network for Professional Chamber Choirs

The Tenso Network represents the achievements of the most prominent European chamber choirs and promotes within the context of a growing European network. Members collaborate in developing choral repertoire, coaching young performers and composers, and presenting new choral music to large audiences in the Tenso Days festivals.

The British Recorded Music Industry

BPI (British Phonographic Industry) provides a forum for individuals interested in the record industry to learn from others, meet colleagues in the business and help to shape the future of the industry, as well as a comprehensive range of services and benefits to its members.

UK Music

UK Music is a campaigning and lobbying group that promotes the interests of songwriters, musicians and producers, by organising events, drawing up policy to deal with issues impacting the industry, and providing its members with the range of opportunities and challenges facing them in the future.

Ulysses Network

The Ulysses network is a European network of bespoke opportunities that are curated by a number of advanced sound and music composition networks.  They update regularly and all offer paid commissions, if successful. It is Brussels and Paris based, but serves UK composers (via its UK member Aldeburgh Music) as much as other European composers.

Other Places To Meet People

Below are some other potential places frequented by music presenters, artists, international visitors and composers, including venues and education establishments. Again, this list is just for starters: please send us your further suggestions.



This large multi-arts centre offers a large programme covering a range of genres. In the past, they have also hosted composers workshops, discussions, open rehearsals and artist conversations and events with the LSO.

Beatabet nights

Beatabet is a collective of musicians, visual artists, video directors, actors, writers, artists, and dancers who curate experimental AV nights in London, Oxford and Edinburgh. They also run residencies to share their practices. 

Café OTO

Cafe OTO in Dalston is a great place to meet other musicians and composers and their programming covers a diverse range of genres. The nature of the venue allows for informal conversation with performing artists and audiences - conversations and meetings occur here which would not elsewhere.

Club Inégales

Inégales was set up by composer Peter Wiegold to encourage improvisation as well as written music, and to enable devising new works with other composers/artists in addition to the performance of contemporary repertoire. Guests are invited to perform their own work and there are improvisatory sessions as well as an ongoing series of ‘Rants’.

Cody Dock

This social enterprise in Newham offers cultural facilities including studios and workshop spaces, and hosts live music events.

The Forge

The Forge is an award-winning venue, home to London’s most diverse musical talent. Its amazingly flexible building is reflected in the great breadth of the programme, which ranges from high-class concerts mid-week to pulsating live music club nights at the weekend.

LSO St Luke’s

Located in Old Street LSO St Luke's plays host to a diverse range of concerts and workshops, alongside LSO rehearsals. It is also the ‘home’ of LSO Sound Hub. They also offer venue hire for rehearsals, recordings and chamber music performances.


This live music event has helped develop a network of artists, programmers and researchers, working in the areas of noise, experimental, exploratory, and outsider arts. They host regular workshops promoting noise, experimental computational arts and DIY outsider electronics.

Southbank Centre

Check out the wide range of cultural events at this world famous arts centre on London’s South Bank. They offer performances, workshops and Q&A’s.

The Old Dentist (33 Chatsworth Rd)

A fledgling East London venue offering a vibrant programme of experimental music, alt folk and Fahey-inspired guitarists all in an informal and intimate setting.

Vortex Jazz Club

The Vortex in Dalston is a not-for-profit organisation that offers a space for artists and audiences to share and learn from each other. The nearby Dalston Jazz Bar is also worthy of a mention, with live music Thursday-Sundays.


Here is a small selection of venues and networks useful for composers, suggested by composers and artists in touch with Sound and Music. Keep the suggestions coming!

East of England

Colchester - Colchester Arts Centre

A hub for experimental music in the East of England. They offer a diverse programme of contemporary music, theatre, dance and performance in the heart of Essex.


Dublin - Project arts centre www.projectartscentre.ie

Dublin - Whelans www.whelanslive.com

Dublin - Button Factory www.buttonfactory.ie

North East


Generator is a music development agency that helps individuals to develop, whether an established music business or just starting up, with services that include business coaching, artist development, digital literacy, and touring network mapping.  N.B. Generator is only based in the Northwest and Northern Ireland.

Gateshead - Sage Gateshead

This large concert venue and music education centre focuses on performance, learning and participation projects. 

Newcastle - Star & Shadow www.starandshadow.org.uk

Sheffield - Showroom Workstation www.showroomworkstation.org.uk

North West

Liverpool - Mello Mello www.mellomellojazzcafe.tumblr.com

Manchester - Fuel www.fuelcafebar.co.uk

Salford - Islington Mill www.islingtonmill.com

South East

Brighton - New Music Brighton www.newmusicbrighton.co.uk

Oxford - Audiograft Festival www.audiograft.co.uk

Southampton - Turner Sims www.turnersims.co.uk

West Midlands

Birmingham - Custard Factory http://www.custardfactory.co.uk/

Birmingham - The Rainbow www.therainbowvenues.co.uk


Cardiff - BBC Hoddinott Hall  www.wmc.org.uk

Cardiff - St David’s Hall  www.stdavidshallcardiff.co.uk

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