FastForward is a boutique music business conference aimed at connecting the next generation of music industry leaders, to help lay the foundation for a sustainable career in the modern music industry.
Following the sold-out success of our flagship conference in Amsterdam over the last 2 years, and our first international expansion to London in September 2017, we’re packing our bags and heading down under for our newest expansion, FastForward: Sydney.
FastForward returns in 2018 for its third edition in Amsterdam on 15-16 February for two days, offering a combination of ground-breaking keynotes, panel discussions, our specialist ‘FastFifteen’ mini-keynote presentations, cutting-edge tech activations, and intimate networking opportunities with delegates and speakers from across the music, media, technology, and entertainment sectors.
Our events are different from the ‘standard music conference’ in three ways. Firstly, it is forward facing. There is no time spent yearning for years gone by, but rather FastForward gathers a dynamic group of future leaders who want to shape the future of the industry now. Secondly, it is a deliberately small event, designed for more meaningful networking & discussion, with an event capacity of 180 people – around 50 of whom will speak across the two days. As such there are no showcases, with the focus on connecting with business and creative talent. Thirdly, the highly specialized ‘FastFifteen’ sessions allow speakers to explore complex topics, ensuring that experts can learn from their peers in a more intimate setting.
Whilst the conference has a reputation for attracting young industry attendees, the overall ambition of the events is to gather forward-thinking people of all ages. By limiting the attendance numbers, our events allow for deeper, more meaningful networking. 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 industry business and creative talent 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.
I think it’s a really good opportunity to bring like-minded, smart, interesting people into one room, and have them share ideas that they don’t necessarily get an opportunity to share elsewhere.
FastForward has genuinely created an atmosphere where anyone here can speak to anyone else and approach them. Everyone’s very friendly. Everyone seems to be on the same wavelength and crucially there seems to be a lack of ego.
This is a really incredible conference that brings together really diverse people, and people who have a really open mind, to create the future of music.
The vibe of the whole conference is like: actually make connections with people who are in it together, who have similar struggles and similar interests as you, and collaborate as a team there; try to help each other.
The thing about FastForward is that it just worked. It wasn’t so much about out with the old but a shifting changing of the guard. It was about people keen to make a change and not afraid to be the catalyst for that change… there was dialogue without borders or boardrooms.
What was refreshing to see at FastForward was a solid degree of pragmatism. Not companies with sales pitches, nor blind acceptance of models that might be presented as “the next big thing”; just a clear and intelligent appraisal of what is there now and what could be there in the future to better service the artists and their fans.
It’s a really nice opportunity to be able to network with the industry people in London, and also with other artists. I think that’s what is so unique about FastForward compared to other events; they get artists involved and you don’t feel like there’s this big divide.
There’s a great community of young people here, from the music industry, in Europe, and being able to come together regularly, to exchange ideas, feedback and experiences, it fills me with energy and excitement – it’s great to be back at FastForward
FastForward has put together a great lineup of conversations, panels, and opportunities to get people together, with a lot of good ideas and conversations. It’s great, really vibrant, I’m loving being here.
What I think sets FastForward apart is its broad spectrum of programming. You can see lightbulbs going off in peoples’ heads when people are talking. This is how music conferences should be and it’s what FastForward is achieving.
It was incredible. It’s one of the best conferences, if not the best conference that I go to. For the fact that everyone is under 35 and everyone gets on really easily, everyone shares the same values and has a lot of things in common so it’s really easy to talk to people and to build genuine relationships.
I love being able to hear so many different elements of the music industry. There were points raised here that actually aren’t raised in other conferences, and are more about what the future will bring.