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Punk legends Jah Wobble & Hugh Cornwell Headline Manchester Music Journalism Festival (November 15-17)

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“I don’t disagree that some traditional forms of journalism and some aspects of the music business as we once knew it are in decline but that’s not a reason to ignore the rich plethora of words available to us.”


Louder Than Words (LTW) creator Jill Adam from Level Partnerships chatted to Skrufff this week about the upcoming ‘genre-based literary Festival celebrating words associated with the music industry’ she’s presenting with co-curators John Robb and Simon Warner and insisted she’s bullish about the prospects for the inaugural event.


“Having seen and been involved in other literary festivals, it became increasingly clear that there isn’t a focused festival of this type for this industry – yet it’s an industry full of interested and interesting people associated with words – just look at the programme for our inaugural Festival. . . . Club Culture, Post Punk, autobiography, spoken word, poetry, journalism, rock, bloggers . . ,” she enthuses.


While Stranglers original frontman Hugh Cornwell, PIL bassplayer Jah Wobble, Charlatans singer Tim Burgess and 70s Dr Feelgood guitarist Wilko Johnson provide LTW’s standout speakers, the supporting cast of writers and artists includes a broad cross section of influencers, artists and authors who’ll be gathering at the Palace Hotel from November 15-17.


“We’re hoping Festival attendees will stay and share in a host of Festival events throughout the day and beyond,” Jill explains.


“At the launch event for example, Co-Curator John Robb will be raising the challenge to all with his late night music quiz, but for those who wish to sample something different – the hotel is ideally located to take advantage of Manchester’s eclectic and electric night-scene.”


Though LTW is supported using public funding by Arts Council England she’s evangelical about persuading as many young- and not so young- music journalists to buy a ticket for the first event.


“As well as giving access to big names in the industry – including some who have changed careers from performer to writer -  Louder Than Words also provides a platform for topical and pertinent debate on such matters,” she says.


“For example, has the rise in academic courses in music journalism ultimately contributed to its decline?”


In addition, an important ambition of the Festival is to encourage new writers and new platforms for writing to be considered and taken seriously, so we’re delighted to launch the first Wilko Johnson Writing Award, targeted and young writers aged 25 and under, in partnership with Rock’s Backpages.


So what does LTW offer than other music conferences won’t?


“We’re distinctive in that we’re a Festival solely dedicated to words associated with the music industry,” she promises.


“Sure, you can go to other Festivals and enjoy single, one-off sessions but this is a dedicated weekend of top quality guests, top quality insights and top quality engagement. We offer the opportunity to get beside those at the top of their game, in sessions and informally at the single location over the course of a weekend.


Anything else to add?


“This is our inaugural event – the programme is terrific, the location impressive and we hope you can join us for the duration.” (Skrufff chief Jonty Skrufff speaks on Simon Morrison’s club culture panel on Saturday November 16).










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