The One Dayer is back by popular demand, rammed full of new thinking to rocket-fuel your future. Last year’s delegates went home galvanized by what they’d learnt and inspired by the fresh ideas and brilliant mix of people they met.

So what’s new this year? Julia Payne explains why this year’s One Dayer is bigger, better and offers some vital insights into the changes ahead.


Well, slightly tongue in cheek, hopefully it’s a bit like when you’ve been to a really great festival one year, and had such an amazing time that you decide you have to go back! We had some really great feedback about last year’s programme – the stand out feedback was that people had really enjoyed the opportunity to meet new people they thought they’d work with in the future and that they’d gone home having learnt a lot about how to develop their audiences, better exploit the potential of tech and think differently about their income streams. One person said simply it has all been about ‘new people and fresh ideas’ which I think summed it up pretty well.

This year our programme is longer, we’ve got 30+ speakers booked – some of the most lateral thinking and straight talking people you’ll come across in independent music – and the pressures to find new ways to make a living from the music we make and love are bigger than ever. Why wouldn’t you come?


With the new government still in its infancy, we’re all set to host what’s shaping up to be the first music-focused political debate of this parliamentEd Vaizey MP, Minister for Culture & Digital Economy and Chris Bryant MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, will be giving their response to the results of our #VoteForMusic election campaign, before opening themselves up for questions from our audience.

If ever there’s been a time we need to speak as one voice – and a loud one at that – it’s now, so we’re really excited to have this opportunity to put the issues the sector says are important in front of these two senior politicians, and to give the OneDayer audience the chance to debate with them. Bound to be a feisty start to the day!

Aside from this major coup, we’ve added in a few new elements to the day, which I hope will make it even more inspirational and useful than it was last year. I’ve programmed it around what artists, promoters and other peers in the industry have talked to me about, as well as the issues that have come up over and over again in my own work.

The first of these new elements is our series of ‘Postcards from the Future’ – three 15 minute long incendiary, bound to get you thinking differently, provocations from:

Their brief? To send us a postcard from the future full of clues about the ways we’ll be doing (viable) business, using tech and engaging with our (massively increased) young audiences and fan bases in the future. This lot are all seriously smart, and having talked through their postcards with them, I KNOW they are going to set people’s thinking alight from the get go.

Also new this year are our Insight Sessions, which we’ve designed for people who are more about direct action, cutting to the chase and keeping it real. In a series of short and to the point, highly practical presentations, I’ve asked five of my favourite ‘doers’ to share their top 5 tips, top secrets or insights. Across the day, they’ll be talking fan engagement, using data more smartly, social media, fundraising trends and what’s coming on the digital horizon. Result? You’re likely to leave knowing 25 things you didn’t when you arrived….


This year the event is bigger and better – a whole day in fact! We kick off at 10am and run through till around 6.45PM. The programme is extended with even more brilliant speakers taking part. I’ve had a ball programming it – the speakers we’ve booked are just some of the most inspiring, lateral thinking but straight talking, people I’ve come across. Having talked through their ideas with them over the past few months, I can’t wait to hear what they have to say on the day!

We listened to what people who came last year said about how we could make it better, so we’ve built in a more loads more networking time (there were a LOT of people there last year who didn’t know each other and who found it really valuable meeting potential collaborators etc). We’ve added a lunch break, and we’ve extended the panel sessions so that there’s more time for the discussions to really bed in. Hopefully, it will feel more like a gentle jog in the park this year rather than a sprint, with plenty of pit stops for networking, food and drinks.


I’m really chuffed that Arts Council Chair Peter Bazalgette is kicking us off with a keynote. I’ve seen him speak a few times, and each time have been massively inspired by the way he thinks, the new ideas he brings to the table, the possibilities he grasps. And with ACE making ever bolder decisions about how it can best support artists and arts organisations, including artists working specifically in rock and pop, I think what he’ll be saying will be real food for thought.

And of course there’s the Joining the Dots Fringe – four one-year-on ‘Show and Tell’ sessions from the 4 start up platforms and services we’ve funded: Eventbox (the listen to listings app that’s now live), Duel (the photo challenge app that’s just launching), Off Axis (the online gig swap platform that’s now live) and Café Oto’s digital membership scheme, which is due to launch any day now. Each of our four will be hosting informal sessions where you’ll be able to try out for yourself the things they’ve built, get inside their learning, and prod them for insights into where things are headed.

Then, rounding the whole thing off in gloriously anarchic fashion, our Joining the Dots pitch party – this year moving to a bigger room (more elbow room for the pint drinking that’ll be going on by then!) and featuring new prototypes developed during our recent hack weekend. On the hustings for you to vote for – interactive tickets and books, a digital alternative to the clipboard mailing list we’ve all filled in at gigs, a Bluetooth sound system that can transform public spaces into pop up venues and software that encourages people to not experience the entire live gig from behind their phone camera.


Three questions sit underneath the whole of the  programme –how can we develop our audiences (particularly younger people); how can we use tech to increase live audience numbers and the amount people spend at our gigs; and what are the new business models we need to develop if we’re to make a living from the music we love – are perhaps even more important this year than they were last year.

It definitely feels to me like venues and promoters are feeling the pressure even more, being forced to take fewer risks on the box office. And with the argument about the money artists make from streaming still raging, artists need to be smarter than ever about looking at how they can build relationships with their fans and monetise those, and where else they can get money from. And the pace of change in the tech world is just so fast, it’s hard to keep up.

In the independent sector, venues are finding it harder and taking fewer risks, which translates into fewer gigs for artists – or fewer interesting ones perhaps? Live is increasingly important as an income stream to artists, and venues (and the promoters working in them) are the life blood of thousands of careers, they’re where artists hone their craft, where millions of people congregate each year; they are, in fact, the cultural life blood of the country. Yet, they’re finding it harder and harder every year to make ends meet, fight on all fronts. We’re in danger of losing all bar a few of them if we don’t find new ways of making our business work. What’s the answer? Do we just need to get smarter, more entrepreneurial, or is the answer to call for and make more systemic change happen?

New financial models are emerging – as they always do at points of crisis in particular. But are they enough? Or right for those of us who work in independent music? There’s a trend towards traditional funders match funding what people have raised through their own crowdfunding efforts (witness the new relationship between Pledge Music and Help Musicians); there’s the Impact Fund which is taking us one step closer to funders being investors who seek a return on their investment, but how useful is that to small businesses working in music? As promoters or artists, what other sources of income are there out there? Is it time for the big guns – the people at the top – to reinvest in the bottom? Some think it is, but how do you make that work? What about the ticketing industry, those secondary ticketing sites, is there a way that these businesses can be persuaded to reinvest, and if so, what would that reinvestment look like? Is now the time for the fair trade ticketing agency? These are some of the ideas I’ve heard surface in conversations with colleagues and friends over the past few months…

And with all this talk of discovery in terms of digital platforms, how can we exploit the latest tech to persuade and convince online consumers, browsers and adventurers to come to more live gigs, and spend more when they are there, develop a relationship with us that we can continue to monetise in the future? How do we encourage more young people to build live music into their lives more regularly? What’s the role of data in all this? What’s the tech that we should all be looking at, what do we need to be smarter at, how do we convert a Facebook ‘like’ into that person actually parting with their cash? Where do we need to be ‘hanging out’ online to tap into the right conversations and communities? Or to build them ourselves? How do we convert a RT into a repeat attendance? What can we learn here from other parts of the creative industries? From the gaming sector?


What’s exciting about this year is that we have the big guns in the room – senior politicians and the Chair of the Arts Council. Let’s take advantage of the fact that this year’s One Dayer gives us the chance to lobby them, to make sure they shape policies that genuinely support us to do what we all do best – make and present amazing music that has earned the UK its enviable reputation as one of the major musical forces in the world.

We’ll have the politicians and policy makers there. We’ll have some amazing thinkers and doers in the room – people like Pat Kane, like Tim Plyming, like Brittney Bean, like Steve Lawson, like Karim Fanous and Nick Sherrard – and we’ll have an audience full of curious and generous people from across the industry. Let’s blow the doors off conventional thinking!

The One Dayer is on 1 July at Cecil Sharp House, Camden, 10am-7pm. Tickets are £40, with discounts available for PRS for Music and MU members, and Under 21s.


For the full #OneDayer programme go HERE