In October 2024 Manchester will host WOMEX (Worldwide Music Expo), the biggest conference of the global music scene. Each year the event brings together over 2,600 music professionals (including 260 performing artists) from 90 different countries.

WE, THE LEADERS is the WOMEX 24 legacy programme. With its overarching theme of ‘New Voices, New Work, Next Steps’, the programme will animate the city during WOMEX 24 and ensure a long-lasting impact beyond the event. It includes:

  • Showcases
  • Leadership training
  • Commissions
  • Industry roundtables
  • TED-style leadership lectures
  • A supplementary schools programme for Manchester’s young diaspora communities
  • A youth-led music conference for 16-30’s

The programme has 3 phases of delivery:

  • A pre-WOMEX programme running until October 2024
  • Activity in and around WOMEX itself (23-27 October)
  • A post-WOMEX programme running through to 2025

Benefiting thousands of young people, music creators and professionals, WE, THE LEADERS will support and champion the new and emerging trailblazers in the music industry – both in Manchester and across the UK & Ireland.

So far we've done open calls for young producers, creative commissions and music industry leaders to take part in the programme. More information about the successful participants, along with further opportunities and events will be announced very soon.

Join us

If you'd like to get involved and support the programme, we'd love to hear from you.

Please contact [email protected] to arrange a chat.

“Hosting the biggest conference of the global music scene in Manchester is an incredible opportunity for our city region and the UK & Ireland more broadly. However we know the industry can be a tough place, particularly for those from marginalised and underrepresented groups. Working closely with our amazing partners and with thanks to our supporters, we will work to ensure a broad range of people at different stages of their music career can make the most of this major event coming to the city, and that the legacy of WOMEX 24 is felt for years to come.”

Kate Lowes, Director, Brighter Sound

Manchester Welcomes the World - WOMEX 24

Partners and supporters

Manchester Music City (MMC) is the local host partner for WOMEX 24. 

For WOMEX 24, the key MMC organisations are Manchester City Council, Brighter Sound, English Folk Expo and Marketing Manchester.

In partnership with Piranha Arts, Horizons, British Council, Black Lives in Music, Attitude is Everything and Young Manchester.

Supported by Arts Council England, Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), Manchester Airport Group and Contact.