Musician Imogen Heap is addressing her audience from a stage in a giant tipi set up on the grounds of her home for an event to unveil the latest steps in her Mycelia project, which aims to use blockchain technology to solve some long-standing music industry problems.
“We could have a Napster times a thousand if we get it wrong with blockchain. If we don’t come up with solutions, somebody else will, and they won’t be on our terms.”
After Heap’s keynote, the attendees listen to talks and a panel session about blockchain. They also get a guided tour of her home studio and demos of technologies — including the Mi.Mu gloves that Heap developed — and then watch her play a concert in her nearby barn.
Why are 200 music and tech folk — from the CEO of the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) to the founders of startups like TheWaveVR, Jaak, and Blockpool — sitting in a big tent on the outskirts of London, on a day so cold that many are huddled under blankets supplied by Heap’s Mycelia colleagues?