Photo credit: Alice Kanako

Manchester Music City, the host partner for this year’s WOMEX (Worldwide Music Expo), has today (23 May 2024) announced further details of its legacy programme, WE, THE LEADERS, which will include showcases, leadership training, commissions, industry roundtables, TED-style leadership lectures, a supplementary schools programme for Manchester’s young diaspora communities, and a youth-led music conference for 16-30’s.

Produced by Brighter Sound, WE, THE LEADERS will run alongside the main WOMEX 24 schedule with a focus on supporting and championing the new and emerging trailblazers in the music industry – both in Manchester and across the UK & Ireland.

With its overarching theme of ‘New Voices, New Work, Next Steps’, the programme will animate the city during WOMEX 24 and ensure a long-lasting impact beyond the event, benefiting thousands of young people, music creators and professionals, with a focus on supporting those who are currently underrepresented within the music industry.

With support from Arts Council England, Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and British Council, WE, THE LEADERS has 3 phases of delivery; a pre-WOMEX programme running until October 2024, activity in and around WOMEX itself (23-27 October), and a post-WOMEX programme running through to 2025.

The following opportunities are now live on Brighter Sound’s website:

  • Global Music Leaders in partnership with British Council - an ambitious leadership programme that will upskill, profile and connect a cohort of emerging industry leaders and change makers from the UK & Ireland with their international peers
  • Creative Commissions - for Greater Manchester artists and collectives to produce new work that examines or challenges the future of the music industry
  • Young Producers Training - which will culminate in a youth-led music conference for 16-30’s in partnership with Young Manchester and supported by Contact

In addition, an open call for artists and bands from Greater Manchester to showcase their music at the prestigious opening event of WOMEX 24 at Bridgewater Hall on 23 October is now live on Manchester Music City’s website.

WOMEX 24 will take place in Manchester between 23-27 October with 2,600 of the world’s music industry from 90 different countries expected to attend. The five-day event is being produced by Manchester Music City partner, English Folk Expo. Manchester Central will host the main daytime conference and trade fair, with live music showcases, club nights and films at Albert Hall, Aviva Studios, Manchester Central, O2 Ritz and HOME.

Black Lives In Music and Attitude is Everything have been added to the list of collaborators and will be working closely with Manchester Music City, Brighter Sound and English Folk Expo to ensure the programme and wider event is accessible and inclusive. This includes resources for people attending WOMEX for the first time.

For the latest news about WOMEX 24 and the legacy programme, visit Manchester Music City’s website where you can sign up to their mailing list, or follow on Instagram.