Beggars Banquet founder and champion of the indies Martin Mills will be making the keynote address at Noorderslag-Eurosonic Jan. 9-12.
Mills, whose labels earned £41.7 million ($70 million) last year, much of it from the huge success of Adele, is a vociferous champion of the indie cause.
Apart from speaking out against the Universal-EMI deal, he was instrumental in setting up the UK’s Association of Independent Music in 1999, and subsequently co-founded IMPALA in 2000, A2IM in the USA, and most recently the Worldwide Independent Network.
His knowledge, experience and a refreshing frankness regarding the Universal-EMI merger will likely make him an engaging interview subject for industry journalist and blogger Emmanuel Legrand.
“Bollocks. We lost,” he said, when a recent interviewer suggested that the concessions the European regulators forced on Universal were a victory for the indie sector.
The acts Mills has worked with over the years include The Prodigy, White Stripes, Pixies, Radiohead, Interpol, Mercury Rev, The National, The Delgados, Basement Jaxx, Bon Iver and The xx.
The other keynote speakers will be Jeff Price, who in 2006 launched TuneCore, the world's largest music distribution and publishing administration entity.
It was the first time to allow all artists onto the shelves of the digital music services without giving up rights or revenue.
The keynote sessions will be backed by three days of conference sessions, plus evening gatherings such as The European Festival Awards and the European Border Breaker Awards.
More than 200 acts will provide the evening entertainment at the annual gathering at Groningen, The Netherlands.