KEYNOTE: STEPHEN BUDD (UK PRODUCER, MANAGER, AFRICA EXPRESS CO-FOUNDER)
Stephen Budd is one of the main people behind the groundbreaking Africa Express project, formed in 2007. Its goal is to bring African music into the mainstream through musical collaborations between African artists and well-known western artists, as well as by staging innovative concerts at prominent music festivals.
In addition to his involvement in Africa Express, Stephen Budd is a successful manager (he has managed artists ranging from Gang of Four to Songhoy Blues), and has helped to develop festivals including the NH7 Weekender Festival (India), the OneFest Festival (UK), Passport to BRITs Week (UK, a charity concert series). Artists who have performed at his events include Paul McCartney, Amadou & Mariam, Franz Ferdinand, Salif Keita, Seun Kuti, Brian Eno, Thievery Corporation, and many more.
He is also a founder of Music Managers Forum, and has sat on the board of the Palestine Music Expo, chaired Eurovision Song Contest selection panels, and even accompanied David Cameron on a trade mission to India (which led to the NH7 Weekender Festival).