In the run up to #IVW21 we’ll be featuring stories from people in our community about how they have found the last 12 months, what they’re looking forward to in the next year & how live music can only thrive if everyone survives. 

Today we chatted with the wonderful Tony from Come Play With Me, a social enterprise based in Leeds that help local artists with opportunities to develop their creativity who have some exciting things planned for the week as well as a Women and Marginalised Genders Event in the run up to #IVW21.

“This was originally intended to be our 4th consecutive annual all day event with a series of workshops, panels and a keynote speaker ending with a gig with IVW – all aimed at women and people of marginalised genders seeking careers in music. For obvious reasons, we can’t do the usual physical event so have decided to take the event online – but rather than a 6+hr event (which would be a lot for anyone to sit through) we’ve broken it out to provide 3+ consecutive evenings of free information/entertainment! 
There will be a panel aimed at Early Careers professionals, chaired by Esta Yemaya (Female Magik), a panel aimed at offering advice around managing mental health in challenging times, chaired by Dr Melanie Grundy (Help Musicians) and a panel offering good advice and suggestions around what other careers exist right now in music beyond being a musician, chaired by Becky Ayres, CEO of Sound City Liverpool.
We’re always proud at our events to have an opportunity for participants and panellists to network after – we’ve heard of good collaborations and projects being born this way – but have struggled to replicate that in our Zoom/Microsoft Teams world, so we’ve added a 4th date where we’re adding an online networking event using a new app called ‘Wonder’ which replicates that whole dropping into a new room and mingling around different tables vibe!
To end the week we are just about to announce details of a very exciting ‘part performance / part interview with some bonus activities’ event to close the week on Saturday 23rd January in partnership with those lovely people at Independent Venue Week and a local promoter called Grrls Do That Too! Details here:

Community is everything to us and the reason we do the things we do. We work closely with a lot of good people, especially in/around Leeds – musicians, venues, labels, managers, stores, journalists and so many more. But we really value working closely with the communities we support – in this case women and people of marginalised genders. The programme is all designed using feedback from the Music:Leeds GREAAT (Gender Rebalance Equality Action & Advisory Team) which is managed largely by Eva Davies and Emily Marlow of CPWM.

This year we’re hopefully looking forward to some gigs, it would be nice if that didn’t involve staring at screens! We have a couple of new singles arriving in the spring and a new album landing around May – with another following early in the summer. So we’ll be doing lots of shouting about all the talented folks doing great stuff in Yorkshire! But more than anything, a return to a world where musicians and other music freelancers can genuinely make money from their art would be nice!”

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