International music convention WOMEX will be coming to Manchester next year after the city won its bid to host the prestigious global event on behalf of the UK and Ireland. WOMEX – Worldwide Music Expo – is the most international and culturally diverse music meeting in the world and the biggest conference of the global music scene.
Taking place each year in a different European city and featuring a huge trade fair, talks, films and showcase concerts, next autumn will see the expo head to Manchester. While the daytime activities are reserved for music industry delegates, the live night-time music events will be ticketed and open to members of the public as well as delegates.
The event is expected to attract over 2,600 music professionals and performing artists from around 90 different countries. Its musical spectrum covers everything from the most traditional of music forms to the latest local underground, embracing folk, roots, jazz and local cultures, alongside urban and electronic sounds from across the globe.
The convention will take place between October 23 and 27, 2024 at venues across the city centre – with Manchester Central hosting the main conference and trade fair. Venues including Aviva Studios, Albert Hall, Bridgewater Hall and O2 Ritz are all set to host live music showcases, alongside a programme of international films at HOME.
Debra King, Director of Manchester Music City, which led the Manchester bid, said: “As a city with music in its DNA, where better to host one of the most important international music events in the world. Bringing WOMEX to Manchester in 2024 demonstrates a strong commitment to the value of international music, and of being connected to the global music industry.
“Hosting WOMEX will help us to promote our incredible city region on the world stage, strengthen our reputation as an innovative, diverse and international hub for music, and channel our innovative and creative spirit into supporting new waves of talent. The impact of WOMEX 2024 will be made possible by the partnership with UK and Ireland, ensuring a cultural, social, and economic legacy resonating across the city region, the North and beyond.”
The economic impact of hosting the conference in Manchester is expected to be significant with an estimated total value of business generated at WOMEX 2024 to be around £28.3m. An estimated £5.6m will be generated by UK delegates as well as between £2.9m to £3.2m from the conference and related live events expected to provide a direct economic boost to Manchester.
Alex Walter, Director of WOMEX, said: “It is wonderful to be in Manchester, marking the 30th anniversary of WOMEX amidst the vibrant cultural boom and diversity of this city. Gathering the global music community in Manchester, alongside friends, collaborators and creative minds from the UK and Ireland and beyond, presents a remarkable opportunity for all. We are all very excited.”
WOMEX 2024 is being supported by Arts Council England, British Council, Greater Manchester Combined Authority, and Manchester City Council. WOMEX 2023 is taking place at A Coruña in Galicia, Spain. To find out more about WOMEX 2024 in Manchester head here.