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YGN Event Round Up: 5th Birthday and Event Series Launch, 3 October 2018

Speakers at YGN Launch Event Sam Wolfson (The Guardian), Sam Potts, Remi Harris, Danny Desai (nowherenear)

Wednesday 3 October 2018 saw the launch of a new series of Young Guns Network (YGN) events. To coincide with our 5th birthday, friends and members of the vast YGN network were invited to new private members club The Ministry (founded by Ministry of Sound), to mark the milestone and introduce the partners and program planned by the YGN team.

Having 5 years under its belt, YGN has now produced over 30 events with in excess of 1600 Young Guns attending over the years. You just have to take a read of the recent feature on Music Business World Wide to see the power of the network.

After a quick welcome from Jen Needham, the Marketing Manager on behalf of The Ministry, YGN co-founder’s Remi Harris and Sam Potts took to the stage to hey were joined by host and journalist Sam Wolfson (The Guardian), an alumni of YGN having spoken at two of the network’s previous events at International Music Summit (IMS) in Ibiza, and Danny Desai, a founding member of YGN who utilised the network to help secured his first job at Virgin EMI and is now a successful artist and songwriter manager. The aim of the panel, Sam Wolfson said was to look back at the past 5 years of YGN, whether it had achieved what it set out to do, and what lay ahead this year with the new event series.

YGN – the past

YGN was founded in 2013 by Sam Potts and Remi Harris, but Sam explained that they had first met about 15 years ago when he was a student researching his dissertation on electronic music labels and called AIM, the Association of Independent Music where Remi worked to get some help with his research. Over the years they’d kept in touch, as Sam progressed through his music career with stints at Warner and Sony Music and Remi progressed to GM at AIM, and on to UK Music. Then in 2012 Sam suggested setting up a seminar targeted at young professionals.

Together with a group of young people including Danny Desai, Andrea de Leon, Sharon Matheson, Stacey Uwimana, Derek Ojo, David Olusegun, Liz Stokes and others they volunteered to create the Young Guns Network with the aim of creating events that were professional and desirable whilst being friendly and inclusive. The initial events took place in the offices of some of the UK’s most prominent creative companies such as Spotify and Sony Music.

With the topics of YGN events wide-ranging, everyone has their stand out. Remi mentioned hers as the event about entrepreneurship held at start-up incubator MeWe360 which featured entrepreneurs giving an insight into how to start a company in your twenties. Danny mentioned IMS, for the last 5 years Young Guns Network has partnered with the Ibiza Music Summit hosting innovative panels. Sam’s favourite- that was met with a chuckle from the crowd, was the ‘Guide To Visual And Audio Storytelling’ event which took place last year at radio production company Somethin’ Else. Love Island producer Andy Cadman shared some interesting facts on how the show operates, at one point, highlighting just how much social media impacts the show with the producers throwing scenarios discussed by fans online into show the next day.

YGN’s Impact

Sam Wolfson introduced the topic of YGN’s impact, asking the panel what they thought YGN had achieved. Danny highlighted the importance of networking events such as YGN saying,

‘if you just take your experience of a job and you rely on that as a network, you can become one-dimensional. Coming to events like this, you meet people and you connect with someone else’s perspective and suddenly your awareness becomes multi dimensional’.

Remi said that she felt that the events had achieved their goal of bridging the gap between prexisting events for people who wanted to enter the industry and were at a very basic level or those for people were already very established. She also felt proud of the diversity of the events and felt that both the organising team and the audience were more diverse than most industry events and organisations and that this was reflected also in the guest speakers. Sam Wolfson said that although the level of experience of YGN members was high, they still benefited from being part of the network:

You can be at quite a high level, you can have your own label, management company or be quite a successful artist and still feel that you’re on the outside, there’s still a barrier to entry.

Sam Potts reflected on how many ‘Young Guns’ had gone on to success in different areas of the music industry and beyond, and that YGN had been able to attract and support really talented young professionals and provide a space for them to meet their peers.

YGN – Future Plans

Remi introduced the industry partners that YGN will be working with for the upcoming series of events, who were all attending the launch evening including Leo Nicholas, Head of Industry Liaison & Careers at BIMM London, Handle Recruitment’s Executive Director David Johnston, London Official from the Musicians Union, Sam Jordan and her own company Remi Harris Consulting. She also thanked The Ministry, the event partner who provided the venue and refreshments. She said that the next few months would see seminars and networking events about Networking, Live Music, Music Publishing and Resilience along with online content that aimed to support Young Guns to develop their careers, grow their businesses and thrive in a competitive and demanding industry.

Sam Wolfson then chaired a Q&A with the audience.

The event ended with some birthday cupcakes (what’s a birthday without cakes?!), and finished pretty late in The Ministry’s fabulous members’ bar said to be the longest bar in London.

Be sure to follow YGN on all the socials, and we look forward to seeing you at the next event!

Words: Meenal Odedra

Photograph: Nicholas Taghavi, Entervision

And here's what our partners said:

Leo Nicholas, Head of Industry Liaison & Careers, BIMM London, said:

BIMM are extremely happy to confirm our new partnership with the Young Guns Network (YGN), supporting their 2018/19 series of events. These expertly curated events, will not only allow our final year and graduate students the opportunity to gain invaluable knowledge, but also network and develop relationships with future industry-leaders.

David Johnston, Executive Director, Handle Recruitment, said:

We admire YGNs commitment to diversity and share the same principles on delivering support, industry insight, real work/life advice and vitally, presenting opportunity to our audiences.
Over 40 years, Handle’s success boils down to the long term relationships we nurture with our candidates, providing support as their career evolves.
YGN offer a fresh perspective on the music industry and will help us stay connected with a brilliant and diverse network of talented people. We look forward to working together.

Sam Jordan, London Regional Officer, MU London

We are delighted to partner with the Young Guns Network for their 2018/19 season. The Musicians' Union represents over 30,000 members, including 5000 young musicians. We share YGN's passion for supporting young creators and future leaders in the music industry. The musicians that we represent will benefit hugely from their upcoming events programme, and we look forward to working together.

Jen Needham, Marketing Manager, The Ministry said:

We are thrilled to be able to host Young Guns Network at The Ministry. As a workspace and private members club for creative industries, we proudly support initiatives such as Young Guns Network and are excited about working together in the future.


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