With the roll-out of superfast broadband set to transform the Highlands and Islands, Scotland’s largest and most ambitious creative industries event is offering its widest ever range of activity, with digital at its core.
Leading industry figures from around the world, will be in Inverness for goNORTH 4-5 June to discuss and share experiences on how increased access to high speed broadband and mobile services have changed the way people watch film, listen to music and read.
The festival’s opening speech will be given by Neil Cartwright, former Head of New Media at Sony Music UK and now Managing Director of digital marketing agency Million Media, whose clients include Jamiroquai, Channel 4 and The Prodigy. Neil will focus on the 10 key digital issues that will affect everyone over the next 10 years, whether a sole trader, a multi national company or a community company.
The two-day festival is supported by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and delivered by Creative Highland, offering dozens of high quality workshops, conferences and live showcases completely free of charge.
Taking place across several venues in Inverness, the event aims to highlight the best emerging talent from Scotland, the rest of the UK, and a selection of international contenders in music, fashion, crafts, digital media and publishing. Artists and specialists from across the world will be brought together to share creative business ideas.
HIE’s Head of Creative Industries, Iain Hamilton said: “We are expecting more than 1,000 people to attend goNORTH in this, its fourteenth year. HIE recognises the important contribution that this industry brings to the economy and cultural life of the community. This year, the region’s flourishing creative industries will be showcased at the biggest goNORTH festival in history.
“The sector is diverse and fast-growing and this is a fantastic opportunity to bring together local national and international experts to share ideas on developing their skills and growing their businesses.
“As a £146m fibre broadband project, led by HIE, rolls out across the region we want to help those working in the creative industries make the most of it.”
Other programmes at goNORTH will focus on music and publishing and top highlights include a series of fashion and textile and trend workshops and one to one consultations which are free of charge to companies in the Highlands and Islands.
Over the two days, speakers from companies such as MJ Online (Michael Jackson’s online estate), BT Sport, O2 and Spotify will explore licensing, protection of digital rights and piracy as well as how revenue gets generated from streaming platforms.
The festival originally focused on music but has diversified and now brings together specialist artists from across the world to share creative and business ideas from music, screen and broadcast, fashion, publishing and for the first time this year – gaming. The popular live showcases will continue to be offered.