Sound City Korea 2020: Free and online tomorrow!

Sound City Korea will be made available for more people than ever in 2020, with the pioneering programme for musicians and industry professionals being staged online for free.

The festival and conference event will be hosted on Sound City’s own Guest House video platform and Facebook page at 9:30 GMT and 18:30 KST on November 27, offering artists and execs in both the UK and Korea valuable insights and opportunities in both territories.

The move online of course comes as a result of current Covid-19 restrictions, but Sound City is pleased to extend the event’s reach to benefit more people than ever before.

As far as the UK music industry is concerned, there’s good reason to join the stream and get clued up on business and culture in South Korea. A rapidly emerging and increasingly important international market, with an annual spend of $53m on music and digital content, it is widely seen as a gateway to the wider Asian market.

In addition to daytime masterclasses, Sound City will be featuring a Zandari Festa showcase of artists in the evening. An annual highlight, it will also be available via Guest House for free for the first time.

Sound City is grateful for support from Arts Council England and CAPLL Ltd. to run the programme. In its first five years, it has supported more than 100 musicians and industry professionals to attend two leading Korean festivals: Zandari Festal and MUCON.

Sound City is also working with annual showcase festival FOCUS Wales this year - which has also had its own showcase of Welsh artists at Zandari Festa over the past half decade – as well as The BPI and the UK’s Department of International Trade.

Sound City is a trailblazer in the way it has established links between the UK and Korea. It was the first company to offer visits to the territory of this kind for emerging artists, and has a consistent track record of catalysing deals for UK artists and businesses in the Korean and wider Asian market.

We also have unrivalled links with China, thanks to our partnership with independent powerhouse Modern Sky Entertainment – the biggest indie label and promoter in the territory.

Not only did Modern Sky Entertainment invest in Sound City, but it also entrusted our team with taking the treasured brand and setting up Modern Sky UK, a label that has created valuable opportunities for Chinese acts in the West as well as developing exciting British talent.

All of this puts Sound City in a unique position in terms of its expertise and access in the Asian market, and we’ve been able to turn this into tangible rewards for artists.

Last year, for example, The Sherlocks played a show for Seoul Music Festival - which was broadcast on MTV in Korea - and The Tea Street Band embarked on a four-date Korean tour, both as a result of their successful showings at Sound City Korea.

“Over the past five years, we have taken over 100 artists to perform at Zandari Festa in South Korea,” says Sound City MD Becky Ayres. “Although we can’t go over in person this year, we’re delighted to host a series of masterclasses on how artists and industry can export their music to South Korea and for Korean industry and artists to export to the UK. We’re thrilled to be able to work with our long-term partners Zandari Festa, as well as FOCUS Wales, BPI and DIT to highlight the opportunities that exist for UK artists and industry to collaborate with their counterparts in the world’s fastest growing market for music.”

Sound City Korea 2020 timetable

9:30am GMT/6:30pm KST
Welcome & Korean Market Overview
British Embassy Seoul
Cindy Kim: Head of Trade - Strategy & Mike Welch: Director of Trade & Investment

10:15am GMT / 7:15pm KST

How To Tour South Korea
Like Japan was in the 80s, Korea is now an incredible market for UK artists to play in front of enthusiastic and devoted live audiences. Korea is the gateway to the rapidly growing Asian music market with the demand for western music increasing. As the UK’s lead festival for new music, Sound City pride themselves on their international reach and the ability to export new bands into different territories. Sound City has taken over 100 artists to play live in South Korea, China, Taiwan & Japan. Every artist wants to travel with their music and get it heard by as many people as possible, so if you want to know all about how to tap into the fastest growing music market, we have some super useful tips for you! 

Our panellists will guide you through how to make yourself as an artist appealing to Korean promoters and festivals as well as how to utilise local promoters across the country. 

Cecilia Yi - Zandari Festival
Emma Daman Thomas - ISLET (Artist)
Patrick Connor - Highjinkx
Sam Heaton - Eyre Llew (Artist)
Louisa Roach - She Drew The Gun (Artist)
Joe Fisher - Rainy Daze Recordings 

11:15am GMT / 8:15pm KST

How To Get Your Music Heard in South Korea
As global music fans hear more and more sounds from around the world, Asia is a huge territory that is seeking out Western music and the appetite for this is increasing. So how can you as an artist expand into Asia? Firstly, you need to be export ready - this means you need strong social media channels, an active team behind you and a desire to push your music. Everything from distribution, streaming and social media channels need to work in harmony for artists to achieve the most success when exporting their music internationally. Surprisingly to us, Spotify and Deezer are not the main channels for music consumption in Asia, this is just one of the many nuggets of information you will need ahead of any trip! There are huge amounts of opportunity that exist in live, digital, retail, publishing and streaming throughout Asia.
We will give you insight to how to grow internationally as an artist and expand your audience throughout different territories. This selection of panellists are experts when it comes to crossing international borders and will give you all the insight you need to aid your global growth.

Phil Patterson - DIT
Love Ssega - Artist
Nina Condron - Horus Music
Marty Ro - Sound Republica 
Jake Lee - Leeway
Umong Shah - Fortitude Music

12:15pm GMT/ 9:15pm KST
UK Market Overview
Chris Tams: Director, Independent Member Services BPI

12:35pm GMT / 9:35pm KST

How to tour the UK Music Circuit 
For Korean artists, the UK is one of the most sought after markets to enter. The touring opportunities in the UK are extensive with there being many opportunities in the festival circuit. 
Apply to play schemes are often used when curating showcase festival line ups; this opens up avenues for new emerging talent who yet don’t have a booking agent or a huge team around them. 

We will deconstruct the pre-tour plan to show you the steps needed to ensure you utilise your time and resources effectively when tackling the UK market.  

Anastasia Connor - Noise Unit PR 
Andy Jones - Focus Wales
Adam Ryan - The Great Escape
Sumi Choi - Say Sue Me (Artist)
Becky Ayres - Sound City

1:35pm GMT / 10:35pm KST

How To Get Your Music Heard in the UK
Publishing, distribution, record deals & playlists are the main goals of most artists, all of which differ across other territories. There is so much noise out there it’s hard to get your music heard, that’s why it is incredibly important to focus on creating your own buzz. Build your team, understand what the next crucial steps are and plot your road map. 

How do you get your music heard here in the UK? Our successful artist and panelists, will go through the means to take your music to the next level across borders.

Becky Ayres - Sound City
Hyunggun Kim - Jambinai 
Simon Raymond - Bella Union 
Sam Hinde - Freeman PR
Jerome Williams - Earthbeat 

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Sound City Korea 2020: Free and online tomorrow!