A raft of music legends and industry leaders join the line up as keynote speakers for the newly revamped conference, including Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker, Warner Music UK EVP Darcus Beese OBE, and Tom Gray and YolanDa Brown OBE DL, Chairs of the Ivors Academy and BPI respectively.

Jarvis Cocker will present ‘Biophobia’, a special climate-themed talk about getting to grips with nature. Taking place on Saturday 18th May, the session will be presented by EarthPercent – the charity founded by Brian Eno to help the music industry support the most impactful organisations addressing the climate emergency.

Giving the conference’s opening keynote conversation on Wednesday 15 May, Darcus Beese OBE will reflect on an incredible career as the UK’s first black record company CEO and one of the greatest A&Rs of his generation, having signed and nurtured venerated artists like Amy Winehouse, U2 and Florence and the Machine. This conversation will come soon after the publication of his upcoming memoir ‘Rebel With A Cause’.

Providing one of the keynote conversations on Thursday 16th May, which is curated by conference collaborator The Council of Music Makers, will be Tom Gray, Chair of the Ivors Academy and Labour Party PPC for Brighton Pavilion, and YolanDa Brown OBE DL, musician, broadcaster and Chair of the BPI. Representing songwriters and record labels across the UK music industry, both are also successful artists in their own right. The session is set to cover what the industry needs to do to protect music copyright and culture on a legislative level.

They join two previously announced keynote speakers: Lauren Mayberry, the lead singer of CHVRCHES, and Sacha Lord, Chair of the NTIA, co-creator of Parklife Festival and the Warehouse Project and Night Time Economy Adviser for Greater Manchester.

Also announced today, The Association of Independent Music (AIM) joins as our newest industry collaborator, representing the independent music sector with three sessions taking place on the beach on the opening day, Wednesday 15th May.

Dozens more speakers are joining the event’s packed schedule, which will feature experts from EarthPercent, Music Support, BBC Asion Network, BBC Introducing, PPL, PRS for Music, AIM, NTE Advisor Bristol, Kuvo, DJ Monitor, GAY Times, Inferno, THE FUTURE IS, AudioActive, AWAL and many more.

The Great Escape Conference will take place from Wednesday 15 – Saturday 18 May 2024 in Brighton. Delegate tickets and conference-only tickets are available now: