We are very pleased to announce two new keynote speakers with long-time R.E.M. manager Bertis Downs appearing in conversation with former Warner Music Chairman Rob Dickins.
Bertis Downs has represented R.E.M. since their early days together as a band and has been instrumental in the band's career ever since. He has served as R.E.M.'s attorney and manager and is usually credited as simply their "Advisor" although he has also been called the "fifth member of the band."
When he is not travelling on band business, Downs makes his home in Athens, Georgia and has maintained a longstanding relationship with the University of Georgia Law School, where since the 1980s he has taught occasional courses on Entertainment and Music Law.
Working with the most original and distinctive of artists, Downs has been involved with R.E.M.'s greatest triumphs and successes and has helped the band navigate their biggest challenges throughout their career, from touring to recording and related projects, and in the past decade the incorporation of new media forms of expression.
Downs has also led the band's organization in its charitable and philanthropic endeavours, which range from local and grass roots efforts to major domestic and international campaigns.
His appearance at In The City 2010 will give delegates his unique and provocative insights into what it is like to manage one of the world’s biggest and most enduring bands and how the role of the artist manager has changed over the years.
A veteran of music conferences such as South By Southwest and the Future of Music Coalition, Bertis Downs provides a candid and thoughtful point of view on the dynamic roles of musicians, labels, managers and the other players in the music business paradigms as they evolve and mutate before our eyes.
Bertis Downs will be in conversation with Rob Dickins who at 24 became managing director of Warner Bros Music Publishing and subsequently went on to become a hugely successful chairman of Warner Music UK, a tenure he held for 15 years and the company with which he had huge success with R.E.M. throughout the 80’s and 90’s.
In 1999 Rob founded his own entertainment company, Instant Karma, alongside Dharma Music, his own independent music publishing company. He has chaired the BPI Council a record-breaking four times and is also a trustee of the Brit Trust, the record industry's charitable organisation.
Rob Dickins is a visiting Professor in Music and Popular Culture at the University of the Arts London and a Visiting Professor of Music & Media Management at London Metropolitan University. He is also a Fellow of The Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce.