A Both Sides Now Leadership Retreat Information

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We’re pleased to announce our first ever Both Sides Now Leadership Retreat, aimed at supporting women and people from marginalised genders to build their knowledge, confidence and leadership identity. 

A Both Sides Now Leadership Retreat Information
2nd November 2021

We’re pleased to announce our first ever Both Sides Now Leadership Retreat, aimed at supporting women and people from marginalised genders to build their knowledge, confidence and leadership identity. 

We’re pleased to announce our first ever Both Sides Now Leadership Retreat, aimed at supporting women and people from marginalised genders to build their knowledge, confidence and leadership identity. 

A free 4-day Retreat for people who are a few years into their leadership journey in the music industry in the North of England.

Part of our Both Sides Now Leadership Programme, a dedicated investment into emerging women leaders, which has proven to develop resilience, improve confidence and empower people to influence change in the music industry.

“I was never aware of different leadership styles and of different strengths a leader could have. It has really opened (and blown) my mind.”

What’s involved

Developed in partnership with industry agitators the hub, the Retreat will take place between 17-21 January 2022 at Gradbach Mill in the Peak District. 

It will give you the chance to:

  • Hear from inspiring leaders in the industry
  • Get inside the DNA of authentic leadership in the industry
  • Understand what’s important for you as an emerging leader
  • Develop new leadership-related skills and understanding
  • Set some intentions for your growth and development as a leader
  • Reflect and renew; feel and be more resilient, personally and professionally
  • Become part of a supportive peer cohort; to inspire and be inspired

“Finding your way as a leader in the music industry can be hard. In fact, even starting to think about yourself as a leader is difficult for lots of us, especially if you’re short on role models locally and regionally. It can also be difficult to connect with others going on their own leadership journey, especially when you’re new to leadership, or if you’re making your own way in the industry.”
Julia Payne, the hub

Who it’s for

Women and people from marginalised genders are hugely underrepresented across the music industry, particularly in leadership roles. At Brighter Sound we’re passionate about addressing the gender gap and the regional divide within the music industry, so this project is open to:

  • Cis and trans women, as well as non-binary people who are comfortable in a space that centres the experiences of women
  • People who are based in, or have strong links to, the North of England (by the ‘North’ we mean the North East, North West and Yorkshire regions)

Some other criteria to bear in mind:

  • You’ll need up to 3 years’ leadership experience, but this doesn’t need to look like ‘traditional’ leadership. We know that industry leaders come in all shapes and sizes, and with all kinds of experiences. From individual activism and freelancing, to running your own startups and social enterprises, to playing a part in leading larger organisations. It’s this diversity that we want to celebrate
  • You should be collaborative, curious and ready to reflect and build on their own leadership approach and ambitions
  • Places are open to people aged 18+, but there is no upper age limit

Practical information

The Retreat will run from early afternoon on Monday 17 January 2022 to late afternoon on Thursday 21 January 2022. 

It will take place at Gradbach Mill, a former Mill that combines state-of-the-art conference and outdoor facilities with lovingly restored rooms, and that sits on the western edge of the Peak District National Park.

We’re committed to supporting and meeting the needs of people with caring responsibilities or those who are disabled or neurodiverse. There’s an additional access bursary available to enable your full participation in the project. For an informal, confidential conversation with one of the team and to find out more, get in touch with kinaya@brightersound.com.

Thanks to support from Arts Council England, this project is free for participants. Accommodation, travel expenses and meals are also covered. 

There will also be an initial online meet-up on Zoom with all participants and Retreat facilitators on Friday 10 December, 1-3pm.

How to apply

If you think you fit the bill, and would like to be considered, all you need to do is complete an online application form* by 5pm on Tuesday 23 November. You can either apply in writing, or by submitting an audio or video file.

*If you are unable to apply online, or have any specific access needs relating to the application process or the project itself, please let us know. You can contact us at info@brightersound.com or 0161 546 5334.

In your application we will ask you for the following questions:

  1. Please tell us about your professional experience in the music industry, including any relevant leadership experience and any achievements you’re proud of.
  2. What challenges do you currently face as an emerging leader in the music industry, and how will being part of this Retreat help you overcome these?
  3. What do you think you’ll bring to the Retreat cohort?
  4. How will being part of the Retreat help you achieve your longer term leadership ambitions?
  5. Tell us a bit about how you’ve invested in your own professional development so far.
  6. Finally, we’d love to know how taking part in the Retreat could help you have a lasting impact on the music industry.

“Leadership isn’t passive or given – it is an active process that needs to be worked on from within.”

Nominate someone

If the retreat isn’t for you, but you know someone who you think would be great, you can also nominate them. 

Please send an email to kinaya@brightersound.com and include the person’s name and email address. We’ll make sure to forward them the application details. 

Find out more

If you have any questions, or need any more information, please contact kinaya@brightersound.com or call 0161 546 5334.

About the hub

the hub have 20+ years’ experience of developing truly impactful support programmes for individuals working in the music industry.

Julia Payne has a long track record of supporting individuals across the music sector, and is an ILM accredited action learning facilitator and coach. During the pandemic, she led the hub’s work on its Balance programme, which supported creative freelancers to balance their minds and ‘their books’, and was recently awarded the 2021 IPSE Wellbeing Award. Prior to co-founding the hub, she was marketing manager at several music venues, including London’s Barbican, worked as a fundraiser in a music charity and as a touring officer at Arts Council England.

Jenny Harris is a freelance music programmer and producer based in West Yorkshire with many years experience working on large scale cultural programmes and commissioning artists to create ambitious and boundary-breaking new work.  She is currently the programmer of the Howard Assembly Room in Leeds. With Julia she has developed and run a series of specialist residencies and professional development programmes for creatives, and currently mentors and supports emerging artists and producers through Bradford Producing Hub.


A Both Sides Now Leadership Retreat is supported through the Arts Council’s Transforming Leadership fund.