KEVIN MCMANUS, Head of Liverpool UNESCO City of Music, the man behind Liverpool’s successful bid for UNESCO City of Music status, will be exploring how a heritage brand can boost an industry and act as an economic driver. Kevin, will be joined by Craig Pennington, Editor-In-Chief and Publisher of music magazine Bido Lito! and co-founder and Director of the Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia, and representatives from the British Music Experience and the Liverpool International Music Festival. The panel will be discussing how the UNESCO City of Music status will help Liverpool’s flourishing music and creative community and exploring why the city should make the most of the legacy created by its musical heritage. The panel is being held as part of the festival’s Blue Skies Sessions, entitled The Business of Music. Taking place on 14th June, on the Blue Skies stage in the Liverpool Exhibition Centre, the session will explore the wider benefits of a City of Music accolade and how this can be an economic driver. On 28th June at the Exhibition Centre Liverpool, The IFB2016 will also be staging an international ‘Music Day’ with Liverpool Sound City. In partnership with UKTI the day will offer an insight into the opportunities that exist for UK music companies in Japan, China, Korea, Taiwan and India. The IFB2016 Music Day, primarily aimed at industry professionals such as music managers, publishers, labels, tech companies and festivals, will feature high profile companies from each territory and UK companies who have done business in the region. Kev McManus said: “Liverpool is synonymous with music and that is a great asset for any city in the world to have. We have a buoyant and constantly evolving music scene and a fantastic and growing creative industry in Liverpool that will only benefit from the city’s UNESCO City of Music status. “We already hold brilliant events like Sound City, Psych Fest, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon, Africa Oye and the Liverpool International Music Festival. We have great music businesses like Ad Lib, and Sentric, and world class talent and new attractions like the British Music Experience to add to our already strong music tourism offer. To take advantage of this we need to get better at using our city’s musical heritage to drive economic growth and at the same time nurture and develop new talent and improve access pathways for people to come into the industry. “The IFB2016 is a great example of how culture and business can come together to spur on economic growth and discussing the merits of Liverpool’s music offer during the festival will be a fantastic way of highlighting that music and music tourism are significant industries in their own right.” Festival Director Ian McCarthy said: “Blue Skies is inspirational, challenging and free to attend. We want members of the public as well as our diverse, international business delegates to come along and engage in debates and share their views. We want them to be inspired to continue the tradition of free-thinking and creative vision for which the region is renowned. “The programme is all about challenging the role of business in society and debating how we can all come together to shape its impact on culture, the environment and the way we all live. It is a genuinely exciting programme that will truly bring IFB2016 to life.” Blue Skies Sessions cover everything from artificial intelligence and debates on how the development of robots could impact jobs, panels on virtual reality and theatre, debates on smart cities and the future of ‘place’, talks about employing ex-prisoners, the circular economy, the business of science, the arts, ethics and much more. The Blue Skies programme is completely free and it will deliver a unique, innovative and inspirational festival experience. It is the part of IFB2016 that truly is for everyone. To attend or to find out more, simply join the International Festival for Business Club via the website www.ifb2016.com.