The most inspiring, concrete, energising music conference ever: Fast Forward 2016

by FABIO MARTINELLI

Life in Music attended the first edition of this brand new conference held in Amsterdam on February 4/5.

The idea is simple: put together the most motivated, music-loving, creative, smart, expansive misfits of the music industry and let them do their thing. Millennials with a clear view and many ideas to share and turn into reality.

The mastermind behind Fast Forward is the founder and CEO of Media Insight Consulting, Chris Carey.

Here are my highlights from two very intense days:

  1. Conferences do not have to be dull. I have been to conferences of all dimensions and at all latitudes, and they feel similar: no matter how networking-friendly they might be, it is hard to really get to meet people. Fast Forward is limited to less than 150 people, including speakers, and the perfectly crafted get-together moments allow everybody to walk up to anyone and be sure to be greeted with an open heart, an open mind and a big smile. Making new friends has never been easier. On top of that, the program was interesting, well paced, lively and delivered in an authentic fashion.
  2. Energy, energy, energy. There was something palpable in the air, and it gave everyone present a special brightness in their eyes. I think it was originated by the purity of the intent of the founders of this event and the participants. Virtually everyone made the comment that Chris is naturally attracting nice people, and I agree 100%: everyone was nice and full of life and readiness to share as well as to listen.
  3. Women. Among the delegates and the panelists were many females, and this played a key role in the overwhelming success of the event. Most industry conferences are dominated by males, and the energy, the depth, the compassion and the creativity are simply completely different.
  4. Solutions over problems. Can you believe that at a music industry event there was no moaning? Really, there was no sign of it! There actually were so many positive, constructive, brave and bold accounts of how many things can be done to turn things around big time, to the benefit of artists, fans and other music stakeholders. That’s the only way forward, and it can only be powered by youth!
  5. Blockchain and gaming industry. In terms of contents, even though the overall level of each speech/panel was totally amazing, the peak was probably reached when the stage was hit by Benji Rogers (founder and CEO of Pledge Music) and Craig Fletcher (founder and CEO of Multiplay). They showed us the future, or rather: how to successfully and concretely think about the future. Benji explained with passion and drive how to use technology to make the music industry fair and create a system that will guarantee instant payment of royalties to right-holders of creative works. It is called blockchain and you can find more informations here. Craig showed us how the gaming industry has re-invented itself and not only wiped away piracy, but succeeded in creating value in a breath-taking number of ways that were unimaginable just a few years back (gaming events, digital items, merchandising and much much more). This was a glimpse into the future, into what is possible and can be indeed achieved.

Connections have been made, seeds have been planted, now the conversations are continuing and it is all very exciting.

I just can’t believe a whole year needs to pass before we all can meet again. Chris?


Originally published at lifeinmusic.co on February 17, 2016.