Project of the Day: the Un-Convention global music community

Excerpted from Ruth Daniel:

“Un-Convention is a grassroots, DIY and independent global music community and a series of events and initiatives crowd sourced from its community. It is based inside The University of Manchester. It is un-conventional in its approach, locally driven and globally connected. It seeks to inform, empower and reach those with the least opportunity. The community is driven by a not-for-profit initiative that sees opportunity for the grassroots in changes to the way that music is being produced, consumed and sustained. Un-Convention understands that the most interesting stuff happens on the margins. Un-Convention doesn’t believe in ‘do it yourself’. We believe in ‘do it together’. We facilitate and support music as a tool for social change.

Over the past 4 years, Un-Convention has delivered 52 major events around the globe, spanning 6 continents and 22 countries and has another 20 events planned for 2012-13. Un-Convention happens over five continents and in cities from Swansea to Sao Paulo. Un-Convention annually involves 1,500 artists and bands, 16,400 participants, 36,000 gig goers and 140,000 people online. Of those attending Un-Convention, 40% of people are from disadvantaged backgrounds. It happens in some of the most amazing spaces including The Roundhouse, Auditorio Ibirapuera, and Rusholme’s Curry Mile; and as part of some incredible festivals like Primavera Sound, Eurosonic and MICA.

We have just formed The Global Music Network with Fora Do Eixo, an organisation that organises Brazil’s music infrastructure, mobilising 33,000 bands a year. 30 countries will partner in the initial stage of the network.

Building on the networks that already exist and helping develop infrastructure in places where it does not, The Global Music Network is the creation of free source digital tools to share with local networks, that facilitate the organision of` the local music infrastructure and link back internationally to networks around the world to enable:

– The mobility of bands around their home countries and international touring and festival opportunities. – The mobility of ideas, free source digital tools and best practice. – The promotion of working together.

We also develop educational initiatives in some of the most marginalised and vulnerable communities in the world. Along with this, we create and share open source digital tools to help mobilise bands and artists around the world.”