Tuning into tourism

Press release   •   Nov 02, 2016 11:06 GMT

The world’s first music tourism summit, set to take place in Glasgow later this month, could provide a platform for the ‘limitless’ possibilities of music tourism in Scotland.

The Music Tourist Summit (18-19 November) will bring together a diverse range of Scottish and international businesses from across both sectors, establishing a forum for closer collaboration.

With recent research revealing that 928,000 people attended gigs and festivals in Scotland in 2015, generating £295 million for the nation’s economy and supporting 3,230 jobs, the opportunity to capitalise on music tourism has never been greater. Glasgow, host city of the convention, is estimated to account for £105m of the total amount generated (UK Music).

The summit will hear from leading music tourism figures from around the world including Johannes Everke (Hamburg Marketing), Robert Holan (Nordic Choice Hotels), Jan Struve (ICS Festival Service GmbH) and Julia Jones, whose Found In Music agency has developed numerous partnerships between entertainment and hospitality businesses.

Closer to home, the conference will focus on the rise of The SSE Hydro and how Kirriemuir is building on the legacy of original ACDC frontman, Bon Scott, who spent the first seven years of his life in the Angus town.

Scotland gave birth to three quarters of ACDC’s original line-up, with Bon Scott living in Kirriemuir until his family emigrated to Australia. For the past decade, the small town has hosted Bonfest, which in April attracted fans from 27 countries and funds the local DD8 youth music group.

Bonfest, supported by VisitScotland events directorate EventScotland, also saw the unveiling of a crowd-funded bronze statue of the rocker, which swiftly shot to number 2 in Trip Advisor’s attractions for Angus (the county). As DD8’s development worker, Graham Galloway has been instrumental in promoting the Bon legacy and will outline his ambitious ideas for how it could be further developed at the summit.

Organised by Olaf Furniss, also behind Scotland’s award-winning music business conference, Wide Days, The Music Tourist Summit will kick off with a day conference at the Drygate Brewery. This will be followed by a civic reception at the City Chambers and then music and networking at the Citizen M Hotel.

Day two will focus on developing ties among delegates and speakers, as well as providing a showcase for local music acts, businesses and attractions. Delegates will also be offered the opportunity to take part in a Glasgow Music City Tour, taking in key music locations, from grassroots venues to The SSE Hydro, which became the world’s second busiest music arena within 18 months of opening in 2013.

Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop said:
 “The Creative Industries are a key growth sector for Scotland and this event will bring together tourism and music entrepreneurs, increasing the opportunities for collaborative partnerships.

“Scotland is renowned as a world-class events destination and I’m sure that all those attending this event will receive a warm Scottish welcome.”

Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said: “Music events and festivals don’t just provide great entertainment – they represent a multi-million pound benefit to Scotland – both urban and rural – year round.

“The Music Tourist Summit is a fantastic opportunity to bring the tourism and music sectors closer together, forging new partnerships and exploring unique collaborations.

“Innovative businesses such as Glasgow City Music Tours are already tapping into interest from visitors in Scotland’s rich music heritage but there are many other ways we can grow this further and The Music Tourist Summit offers a perfect stage to do just that.”

Olaf Furniss, founder of the Music Tourist Summit, said: “There are almost limitless opportunities for Scottish companies in both sectors to be collaborating with each other, as well as establishing partnerships and exchanging know-how with organisations from abroad. Our goal is for the Music Tourist Summit to provide an ongoing international forum for exchanging ideas, which places Scotland at the heart of the discussion. We are delighted to be hosting it in the UK’s first UNESCO City Of Music.”

For more information about Music Tourist Summit, visit

To register to attend the Music Tourist Summit, visit

Notes to editors:

The Music Tourist Summit is the world first international event to bring together the music and hospitality sectors and features presentations, workshops and networking opportunities. It aims to generate ideas and recommendations for future partnerships and collaborations, by strengthening mutual understanding between the industries.

The summit will serve as the foundation for an international network, and will lead to the establishment of a consultancy to assist with the development of music tourism initiatives. It is sponsored by the Scottish Music Industry Association.

Music Tourist founder, Olaf Furniss, is behind the award-winning Wide Days conference and showcase event, which won the Best Networking Event 2014 at the Yearly Music Convention Awards. He has extensive experience working for some of Europe’s largest music industry events, has been a member of the Scottish Tourist Guides Association since 1995 and as a journalist has reported from a range of exotic locations and events for the BBC, The Guardian, The Scotsman and the Press & Journal.

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