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I'm an arts journalist & PR consultant living and working in Scotland. I've been a journalist for more than 25 years. I write a regular column for Scottish quality newspaper, The Herald. I deliver a PR service with an arty bent and work on a consultancy basis with arts organisations, including Scotland's leading creative industries festival, XpoNorth & broadcast support body, ScreenHI. I am currently co-writing a book about the celebrated Scots artist, George Wyllie, with his daughter Louise. Instrumental in making a celebration of his life's work happen in 2012. For more information, see www.georgewyllie.com When I'm not being a mum/working, I talk to my dog. He laps it up. Contact me on janpatience@me.com (All work © Jan Patience)

Monday, 3 June 2013

If you want to get ahead... GoNORTH

Hobbit actor Billy Boyd and his band Beecake playing semi acoustic session during a networking drinks session at goNORTH 2012. This year's special guest at the networking drinks event on Wednesday has been confirmed as Carrbridge singing sensation, Rachel Sermanni, who got her big break thanks to goNORTH


A two-day festival devoted to kick-starting the careers of budding musicians, filmmakers, writers, TV hopefuls, gaming whizz-kids and fashion designers takes place in Inverness this week.

goNORTH Festival, which is being held on Wednesday 5 June and Thursday 6 June in venues across Inverness, is the biggest, most wide-reaching festival of its kind in Scotland.

This free festival began 13 years ago as a showcase for musicians and bands in the north of Scotland. Today it is  a two-day creative extravaganza featuring performances by up-and-coming bands, on-the-job radio and television training, film premieres and screenings, as well as masterclasses from top names in the creative industries.

Major industry players taking part this year include:

Mamie Coleman: Vice president of Music and Production with the FOX network, recently voted one of the 30 most powerful women in the music industry by Billboard Magazine
Daniel Savage: As general manager of Madonna’s Maverick Records, worked with artists such as Alanis Morissette and Deftones
Doug Johnson: Hugely influential director of Summerfest in Milwaukee, the best attended festival in the US, attracting 900,000 visitors over 11 days 
Emma Hogan: A key player with ITB, the world’s largest booking agencies. Responsible for live bookings of superstar acts including; Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Mumford & Sons, Biffy Clyro and Rage Against The Machine. 
Mat Whitecross: Multi-award-winning director of films, commercials, music videos, including the hit BBC series, Spooks and the hard-hitting docudrama, The Road To Guantanamo
Brian Baglow: A games industry veteran who has worked with most of the country’s game developers and some of the world’s largest video games companies, including Grand Theft Auto

Highlights of the music showcase include sessions by; Fat Goth, Alarm Bells, Casual Sex, Book Group, Roman Nose, Garden of Elks, Woodenbox, Three Blind Wolves and Plastic Animals.

A handful of acts will get the chance to play on the goNORTH Festival Tour, which will see them playing at the Wickerman Festival, Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival and Loopallu.

goNORTH’s screen and broadcast programme will welcome a cross-section of Scottish and international documentary and film makers, who will provide insight into their work and the creative processes involved. 

One of the highlights from the screen and broadcast programme is a BAFTA Masterclass with Mat Whitecross, co-directer with Michael Winterbottom on award-winning 2006 film, The Road To Guantanamo.

Whitecross went on to direct Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll, the 2010 biopic about Ian Dury and Spike Island (2012) which depicts a rising indie band travel to Spike Island in Cheshire to see The Stone Roses. 

Spike Island will also be shown as part of the goNORTH film showcase on Wednesday night.

The world premier of crowd-sourced tartan-noir feature-length film, Timelock, shot in Glasgow and Dumfries on a micro-budget will take place on the evening of Thursday June 6. 

Earlier that day, director David Griffith and producer Inge Sørensen will lead a discussion on how to make a feature-length movie on a shoestring budget. 

Anthony Baxter, whose award-winning documentary, You’ve Been Trumped told the story of a group of Aberdeenshire home-owners battle with billionaire businessman Donald Trump, will be screened on the first day of the festival. 

Baxter and Inge Sørensen will also take part in the discussion on crowd-sourced funding for films on the second day of goNORTH.
DIY is Dead session from goNORTH 2012:  l-r: Vic Galloway (BBC Radio Scotland), John Robb (Louder Than War), Robert Hicks (Beyond Promotion, Manager of Rachel Sermanni) 

On-the-job training is a key element of goNORTH and the festival will be documented by trainee film-makers and, for the second year running, Radio goNORTH.

This team of trainee radio broadcasters will end an intensive two-week stint of practical hands-on learning delivered by partner organisation, ScreenHI, by running an online radio station.

Their course includes masterclasses from the likes of Jeff Zycinski, Head of Radio at BBC Scotland and Ally MacCrae from BBC Radio 1, as well as Jim Gellatly from In:Demand (broadcasting across Scotland via the Bauer Radio Network).

In addition, there will be one to one sessions, key digital, publishing and fashion seminars from market leading individuals and companies across all of these creative industries. 
Amanda Millen, director of goNORTH Festival said: “At goNORTH, we give hands-on practical advice and helping people on the ladder to success in the creative sector.
“Thanks to funding from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), we are able to pass on expertise from those working at the highest level in the music business, in screen and broadcasting, publishing, gaming and fashion.

GoNORTH tackles head on the feelings of isolation that creative individuals and groups can can sometimes experience, particularly in the north of Scotland. What we do best is make connections for people by giving advice and introducing them to the right people in their creative field.

“A recent survey on the economic impact of goNORTH and other creative activities found that £3.5m the creative networks funded by HIE generate an estimated £3.5m for the local economy, with a further £5.5m predicted in the future.
“We’re not just taking the best advice out to the creative community, we’re making a difference to the whole economy of the Highlands and Islands.”

Notes to editors:
  • goNORTH Festival takes place on Wednesday 5th & Thursday 6th June  across Inverness city centre. All elements at goNORTH festival can be accessed FREE by registering at www.gonorthfestival.co.uk/register
  • goNORTH was launched in 2001 to provide a platform for artistes from the north of Scotland to showcase for music industry and media representatives.
  • Originally hosted across Aberdeen’s Belmont Street, goNORTH briefly relocated to Dundee, before settling in Scotland’s most northerly city, Inverness
  • Now covering a wider remit including screen and broadcast, designer fashion and publishing, goNORTH has become firmly established as Scotland’s leading Creative Industries Festival
  • Amanda Millen, Director of goNORTH Festival and Music Project Manager, Alex Smith, are available for interview. 
  • goNORTH is funded by Highlands and Islands Enterprise and the European Regional Development  Fund (ERDF)


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