What is WOMEX? Manchester to host international music event with concerts at Aviva Studios and Albert Hall

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Manchester will be hosting WOMEX 2024, a global music conference of over 2,000 industry professionals

Manchester has been selected to host the world’s largest global music conference in 2024, which will include a series of concerts across some of the city’s favourite music venues.

WOMEX 2024 involves musicians from around the world and music from a range of genres. It will take place over five days in October 2024 and is expected to be a huge economic and cultural boost for Manchester.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The successful Manchester bid to host such a prestigious event was put together by Manchester Music City, a partnership of organisations that includes the city council, Brighter Sound, English Folk Expo, the hub and Factory International. Supporting partners include Horizons, British Council, Arts Council England and Marketing Manchester.

What is WOMEX?

WOMEX takes place every October in a different European city, bringing together musicians and industry professionals from all over the world to take part in huge trade fairs, talks, films, as well as showcase concerts that will be open to the public.

WOMEX is coming to Manchester in October 2024. WOMEX is coming to Manchester in October 2024.
WOMEX is coming to Manchester in October 2024.

Music of all genres and cultures will the represented, including folk, roots, jazz, as well as underground music scenes and electronic music. Over 2,600 music professionals are expected to be attending the Manchester conference, with artists from around 90 difference countries.

The event will take place 23-27 October, 2024 – when the conference will also be celebrating its 30th anniversary. The venues hosting the showcase concerts open to the public include  Aviva Studios, Albert Hall, Bridgewater Hall and O2 Ritz. Film screenings will also be held at HOME.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

More information and updates can be found via the Manchester Music City website and Instagram.

What does this mean for Manchester?

The conference is set to be economically beneficial for Manchester. WOMEX 2024 is expected around £28.3m, with a direct boost to the city region expected to be £2.9m-£3.2m, based on figures from previous conferences.

Brighter Sound, a Manchester-based organisation that supports young and emerging artists and professionals in the North of England, is working to make sure that the event also leaves a lasting legacy on the Manchester music scene.

Social justice and sustainability are important factors of the conference and it is hoped that the conference will also help musicians make a sustainable living in the industry locally, nationally and internationally.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

While many of the conference’s events will only be open to industry professionals, the night-time program of concerts will be open to the public so there will lots of opportunities for Mancunians to get involved.

What have the organisers said?

Councillor Bev Craig, Leader of Manchester City Council, said: "The figures speak for themselves in terms of the economic impact that hosting WOMEX 2024 on behalf of the UK will have.  But this isn’t just about the numbers.  Just as important will be the real opportunities it will give our musicians and other professionals working in the music industry to network and do business on their own doorstep with their peers from around the globe.

WOMEX is coming to Manchester in October 2024. WOMEX is coming to Manchester in October 2024.
WOMEX is coming to Manchester in October 2024.

"In Manchester we’ve long recognised the powerful role that music and culture can play in regeneration, creating jobs, and other opportunities, and are determined to do everything we can to support the sector and the people who work in it."

Alex Walter, Director, WOMEX, said: "It is wonderful to be in Manchester, marking the 30th anniversary of WOMEX amidst the vibrant cultural boom and diversity of this city. Gathering the global music community in Manchester, alongside friends, collaborators and creative minds from the UK and Ireland and beyond, presents a remarkable opportunity for all. We are all very excited."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Kate Lowes, from Brighter Sound, said: “Brighter Sound is delighted to be leading on the legacy programme for WOMEX 2024. We’ll be working collaboratively to do this and bringing our passion for inclusion and equality into the heart of the work we deliver. We’re looking forward to working with communities of young creatives, artists and independents from across the region, in partnership with the UK and Ireland, to amplify the amazing work that is already happening and to have a long-lasting impact on the sector for generations to come.”

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.