From the rise and rise of vinyl sales and what that means for artists, to lessons from those who make big bucks without ownership, to why staying healthy on the road isn’t just an artist issue, FastForward was successful in its goal to tackle some of the music industry’s most pressing issues.

FastForward launched in 2013 in Amsterdam when its founder Chris Carey wanted to create an event which nurtured meaningful connections. The select 150 delegates who made the trek back to its origin city for the now global conference were not disappointed.

What’s next for vinyl?

The music industry is still riding the high of vinyl sales being the highest since early ‘90s, and as the first panel of the conference outlined, the format’s popularity isn’t going anywhere but up.

Giancarlo Sciama, a Catalogue Marketing Consultant, said consumers are obsessed with the format because so much of the nostalgia-inducing music we love was put down in vinyl. More than that though, the physical experience of handling vinyl rather than just hitting shuffle can’t be replaced.

“So much work was done on the artwork; it was this beautiful tangible thing,” said Sciama. “[…] And every 20 minutes you’d have to get up and flip it over so there was that physical interaction with it.”

Claire Pace, VP of People & Culture at Discogs offered insight into vinyl consumers via Discogs data. She said consumers of the world’s largest online music database (which sold almost 11 million records in 2018) are predominantly male, with the average age having dropped from 35-44 to 25-34 in recent years.