The future of the music industry starts here.

FastForward is a boutique music business conference aimed at, but not exclusive to, under 35s, that exists to help lay the foundation for a sustainable career in the modern music industry.

Following the sold-out success of the flagship conference in Amsterdam over the last 2 years, London will play host to our first international expansion of the FastForward event series in September 2017.

The conference model offers a combination of keynote speeches, interactive panel discussions, and rapid-fire ‘FastFifteen’ specialist presentations that explore the latest trends to emerge in the music and media industries today.

While FastForward is aimed at under 35s, there are no strict rules as to who can attend. By limiting the attendance numbers, our events allow for deeper networking. For FastForward, it’s about meaningful discussion. Those establishing themselves in the industry who want to expand their network, rather than those who are fully established already, will find it most valuable.

FastForward also exists to highlight emerging talent so that when other conferences are looking for someone different who is really good at marketing, management, music tech, or in the gaming space and beyond, our line-up can be a point for people to call upon, and to showcase some of the excellent talent that is out there.

“The vision for FastForward was not only to bring together a group of young people, innovative people, the next generation of leaders in the music industry, but to break down industry silos, and build a community of people who want to see a different future to the past we’ve had.” 

– Chris Carey, Founder of FastForward

Year One: 2016

On 4-5 February 2016, the debut FastForward conference was held at the Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ in Amsterdam, NL, bringing together over 140 music industry executives from 16 different countries. The idea behind this event is to get bright, like-minded people in the same room to talk about the future they want to see for an industry they are going to be in for another 25- 30 years, and meet those at a similar life stage while they are establishing themselves and building their network.

The conference, curated by Media Insight Consulting, consists of keynote presentations, future-focused panels, and ‘FastFifteen’ seminars, with a large focus on networking. The purpose is to provide a diverse and exciting range of topics and speakers offering a fresh perspective on the modern music industry, and to encourage free-thinking, positivity, and a free flow of new ideas to move our industry forward.

“We brought people together from across the globe for a dynamic conversation about the future of the music industry. By keeping the event small we have been able to cultivate an environment where everyone felt they could talk to everyone, with a number of these conversations leading to closer connections between different industry sectors and deals being done.

– Chris Carey, Founder of FastForward

Year Two: 2017

The second edition of FastForward was a rousing, sold-out success, thanks to a host of positive, enlightening conversations, and an inclusive and friendly atmosphere amongst those who’ll be leading the future of the music industry.

“I really enjoyed the atmosphere and camaraderie as friendships from year one continued into year two and everyone welcomed new people in. People left their ego at the door and were very happy to get to know each other. It felt good to have the same inclusive atmosphere we enjoyed last year.”

– Chris Carey, Founder of FastForward

This year’s FastForward was a broad fusion of ideas, solutions, explanations, and collaboration that is paving the way for future events. FastForward returned to Amsterdam on 23-24 February 2017, rallying against plane-and-train stopping storms to deliver another few jam-packed days of music industry insights and tight-knit networking opportunities. Those who braved the elements were greeted with a strong yet intimate social ecosystem, with the events’ conversations allowing for a real no-holds-barred exchange of concepts from both our speakers and audience.

For our second time around, we made sure we packed more into the conference in running two full days of content, including two more panels, and a wider speaker line-up of 49 people on stage. We also kept in our FastFifteen format that features experts on a specialist topics (for example, Rob Hampson on Facebook Messenger Bots; Craig Fletcher on Gaming Superfans; Jo Young on Ticketing; and Kate Holder on Getting BBC Radio Play) talking from an intermediate level through to an expert level very quickly, which worked well last year and was one of the big things we do differently to other conferences.

Different backgrounds bring different points of view, and that enriches the conversation. By bringing together a diverse crowd, we’ve tried to expand the conversation, because we believe we have been missing by not hearing these voices. A few people remarked on things they haven’t heard before, and we think that is down to having fresh voices, and a welcoming atmosphere, which encourages everyone to share their opinion and ask questions that make you sit back and think.

There is a lot going on in the world at the moment, and a lot of uncertainty exists. To be immersed in a crowd of people that not only want to make their own future better, but that of those around them, was genuinely refreshing and makes us feel very confident and positive about what lies ahead.