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Interview: Stewart Baxter – 53 Degrees North 2017 Launch

We sat down with Stewart Baxter, 53 Degrees North organiser to get the skinny on how it went?

Where: Hull Truck Theatre, Hull.

When: 4th August 2017.

How did 53 Degrees North even come about? You said it was something you wanted to do for a while why now?

This event was always gonna happen, it was just a matter of waiting for the right time, and thanks to Hull 2017 it was the perfect time.

Music industry is something I have been building on for many years within my role at The Warren and Warren Records, so it has always been an inevitable part of our growth.

This is just the beginning.

We caught a couple of The Warrens’ acts playing today Fiona and Jack (awesome!) how did that come about? As in them playing?

Fiona at 53 Degrees North
Jack Conman at at 53 Degrees North

We always wanted a small musical element at the conference,

1. To use the platform to showcase local music, and
2. To link the conference to The Humber Street Sesh.

Most of the artists showcased are young artists like Jack and Fiona who have come through the Warren Records development programme and we are currently, or were previously supporting.

Fiona is at the beginning of that journey, Jack has flown the nest and thriving (click to see him playing at 53 Degrees North) on his own terms following our work together.

We’re proud to see them up there.

With every event you organise you end up running around firefighting more than appreciating the action but is there anything that stood out to you from the 1st day?

You’re right, when organising any event your job is to always be on your toes making sure every second is going as planned, as well as keeping things moving to make sure the attendees and guests are comfortable and all is going smoothly.

For me just getting to the first day was a huge achievement, we pulled the whole thing together very quickly but still managed to make sure it was very professional , high quality and slick.

So I was extremely impressed with how our team handled it and feel proud to be part of such a great team.

53 Degrees North

How do you think it all went being the 1st 53 degrees north event?

I think it went brilliantly.

Even leading up to the event I was clocking ways we could improve and grow next time, as you always do, but I think we really pulled off something very special.

This was confirmed through the feedback from attendees and industry delegates who said some amazing things about the conference and how great it was for them.

We noticed a few people talking to you, young and “older”, is there anything that stood out from those chats?

I had a huge amount of interesting conversations with guest who i had not met before.

What stood out to me was the fact we had a huge chunk of music industry in that room, and every one of them wanted to be there, brought an amazing energy, and inspired artists and music workers to want to be a part of the industry.

Coming from the more DIY punk background I haven’t had huge faith in the industry or what it stands for, but through this event and these people I have realised there are a hug amount of really sound and genuine people putting new energy into the industry, and also empowering people to do it themselves.

Its inspiring.

Sadly we couldn’t make the after party at Adelphi with some of the warren acts playing but how did that go?

The after party’s were amazing!

We had to make sure the visitors came to Adelphi while in Hull, it had to happen.

And they all loved it. Bands IDLES, LIFE, False Advertising, Billionaire, Fonda 500 and Chiedu Oraka all played for free to support the Adelphi.. an example of true solidarity.

So yeah it was ace.

Is there anything else you would like to say and is this amazing event going to be an annual event? We think so!

Just thanks to all who supported it and yes we hope to do more but just have to weigh up this one and see where it leaves us.

Thanks guys

It was great talking with Stewart and we would love to hear how you thought the event went?

Feel free to leave your comments below and share this with your friends and family on Facebook, Twitter and other social media.

Here are a few photos from the day

Photo Credit – Lindsay Melbourne
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