President of Island Records to Give Keynote at Music Cork

Darcus Beese

President of Island Records to Give Keynote at Music Cork

New music industry event also features Mike Smith of Warner/Chappell, Annette Donnelly of Sony Music Ireland, and Ken Allen of Faction Records.

The first Music Cork industry conference will take place on 10–12 May at the Clayton Hotel in Cork City. The conference will include a wide range of speakers from record labels, management agencies and practising musicians, as well as showcase performances by Irish acts and networking events.

Music Cork is organised and managed by a team headed by Shane Dunne, promoter of the Indiependence Festival, with Ger Kiely, owner of Cyprus Avenue venue; Alexis Vokol, founder of the Delphi record label; Jim Lawless, manager of The Coronas; and music lawyer Willie Ryan.

The keynote speaker for the inaugural event will be Darcus Beese of Island Records who began as teaboy with the label and is now President, signing Amy Winehouse, Florence and the Machine, and Mumford & Sons along the way. Also speaking are Mike Smith, Managing Director of Warner/Chappell Music UK; Geoff Meall, Head of Music UK at United Talent Agency; Rob Stevenson, Executive VP, of Universal Republic/Casablanca; Adam Barker, Director of Business Affairs at Universal Music UK; and Annette Donnelly, Managing Director at Sony Music Ireland.

Speakers across the three days of the conference will take part in discussion panels such as ‘Meeting the Publishers’ with representatives of B-Unique and Locomotion, and an agents panel featuring Steve Zapp (ITB), Geoff Meal (UTA) and Josh Javor (X-Ray).

Other speakers include Sarah Casey, who currently works as an agent with Leighton Pope in London, and who in the past has worked with Aiken Promotions in Dublin; Ken Allen of Faction Records, whose roster includes James Vincent McMorrow; blogger and DJ Niall Byrne; publisher and MCPS Ireland Chairman Peter Bardon; and Sarah Desmond, who leads the brand partnerships team in Universal Music UK. 

The three-day conference will also feature live showcase performances, for which only three acts have been announced so far. These are Cork-born solo pop singer/musician Lyra, electro-pop duo Le Boom and Dublin singer-songwriter Ailbhe Reddy. 

For further details, visit

Published on 5 April 2017

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