photograph Industry mogul rules 'record labels should live' plus Convocation Weekend round-up


Tony Wadsworth names Static Soul winners of the Battle of the Bands event following a heated music debate on record labels’ role in the music industry.

As part of Newcastle University’s Convocation Weekend, Tony Wadsworth CBE, former Chairman and CEO of EMI UK and Ireland, chaired the controversial ‘This house believes record labels deserve to die’ debate and judged the region’s most gifted musicians in the Battle of the Bands.

The debate saw industry experts including Kerry Harvey-Piper of Red Grape Records and Management, and Newcastle University’s Dean of cultural affairs, Professor Eric Cross, dispute their opinions in a bid to sway the final verdict.

The majority of the audience voted in favour of the notion that ‘record labels do not deserve to die’ after being presented with a convincing argument from the expert panel.

Claire Schofield, member of the winning debate team, sealed the victory by putting forward an exceptionally good argument, she commented:

"We are very glad to have convinced the audience to side with us because our panel believed strongly that record labels still play a vital role in the music industry. They enable less mainstream music, like classical and folk, to be heard by a wider audience and provide that initial investment that is required by new emerging bands."

Following the debate, five unsigned bands took to the stage to entertain the audience in the Battle of the Bands event.  The gig was made up of: Static Soul, Sceptics, Revolver, Columbus Dixon and Young Urban Professionals.

Judged by Tony Wadsworth, the groups exchanged riffs and beats for over an hour; in what was a display of serious home-grown talent. 

After a difficult decision, Static Soul clinched the prize of two days of free studio time with a sound engineer and a gold disc momento. 

Tony commented:

“There was a brilliant atmosphere throughout the competition and it was great to see talented bands emerging from the North East.

“Well done to all five of the bands who I enjoyed listening to - I wish them all the best of luck in their music careers.  I hope they continue to play and make music for as long as they have the passion and enjoyment for it.”

See Tony's interview with Sky Tyne and Wear by clicking here>

The winning band commented on their evening:

“We were absolutely delighted to take part in and win the Battle of the Bands.  Being first up and overcoming a technical difficulty was nerve-racking, but seeing the audience dancing to our music gave us the buzz to play and sing better.

“Thank you to all of the other bands who we thoroughly enjoyed listening to, I hope this can be a stepping stone for us all to share our music with a wider audience.”

The two music activities were part of the Business School’s jam-packed Convocation Weekend (14 -16 June), which attracted over 300 music lovers, entrepreneurs and sports fans.  The weekend has been created to unite and celebrate Newcastle University’s alumni. 

Other Convocation Weekend 2012 events...

Preceding the music events was a discussion with Will King, founder of male-grooming high street brand King of Shaves.  Will gave a special insight into how his personal experience enabled him to put his products on the shelves of Harrods and Boots within three years of launching his business. Full report >

And with the London Olympics fast approaching, the weekend also included a lecture from Managing Director of Nova International, David Newton.  Nova International, the company behind the Great North Run, has had global success in the promotion of a variety of events, including the Great Swim and the Great City Games.

David presented an inspiring talk about the creation of the ‘Great’ brand and how the world-renowned name and business has progressed over time to become one of the largest events in the sporting calendar for the UK.

Newcastle University Business School’s alumni relations manager, Tristan Alltimes, commented on the success of this year’s Convocation Weekend:

“This year’s Convocation Weekend celebrations were the biggest to date for the University, and the Business School has contributed a variety of high profile and exciting events as part of the celebrations.

“This was a weekend for former students to come back to Newcastle and enjoy a variety of interesting, engaging and fun events as they reminisce about their time at the University. It is also a special opportunity for the Business School to open its doors to the wider business community so they, too, can join in with the celebrations.”


Photos of Will King event>
Video of Will King event> (coming soon)

Photos of Music debate event>
Video of Music debate event> (coming soon)

Photos of Battle of the Bands event>
Video of Battle of the Bands event> (coming soon)

Photos of Business of Sport event>
Video of Business of Sport event> (coming soon)

Convocation Weekend 2013 information>

Graduate of the Business School? Get involved in the global alumni programme>

published on: 18th June 2012