The band will be launching the new festival with an exclusive show at The Moody Theatre on 13 March, as part of South by Southwest (SXSW) festival, with support from The Orielles and fellow Manchester outfit Loose Articles.
Beyond The Music is both a live music festival – with a full line-up to be announced later – and a conference for artists, entrepreneurs and other creatives in the industry to gather and help find solutions to some of the key issues facing the industry.
In recent years, the UK music industry has been beset by a number of challenges, from the difficulties of post-Brexit touring, to the criticisms of unequal payments from streaming services, and the economic plight of grassroots venues.
The festival aims to bring people together to explore and help address such issues, as well as be reminded of its importance by the live music on display. Set in venues in and around Manchester, the three-day event is also being set up as a co-operative to help build on the initiatives discussed and raised there and create tangible actions.
New Order, the festival’s first ambassadors, have said of their backing of the event: “We’re supporting Beyond The Music to help change and innovation in the music industry, particularly in mental health which is something close to our hearts.
“Manchester is a place where this can happen, our home and the city of revolution, and we’re looking forward to the launch of Beyond The Music with a live show at SXSW and being a part of this positive movement for the music industry.”
The festival’s co-founder Oli Wilson, who’s played no small part in the scene himself as a producer, presenter and promoter, has said: “It’s a pivotal time in the history of the music industry and for Manchester, so it’s only right the two are coming together again to decide what the future is going to look like.
“Whether it has been with technology or creating new business models within the industry, from the very beginning of their career, New Order have always led the curve. Now in 2023 we are proud to have New Order as our first artists ambassadors, as they embody the spirit of Manchester and share the same commitment to innovation as Beyond The Music.”
Andy Burnham, Greater Manchester Mayor and a fellow founding ambassador for the festival has also thanked New Order, “the masters of musical innovation… for helping us put Beyond the Music on the global industry map.”
“Beyond The Music will be the most innovative new offering for the international music industry and a parliament for UK music,” he added. “Discovering new talent, breaking new boundaries and going beyond the conventional, it’s no surprise it’s formed in Greater Manchester, where tech meets content meets social reform.”