Innovation, revolution and the future of entertainment
in Manchester from 18th to 20th July 2019.
Tech. Music. Creativity. Summit & Showcase.

Distractions is a three-day summit in Manchester that debates the future of entertainment – a long weekend of debates, talks, panels, content and new music showcases with some of the world’s leading tech companies, artists and producers. Presented by Sound City, Manchester International Festival and FutureEverything, with the support of the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham and Greater Manchester Combined Authority – the recreational future starts here. 

Liverpool’s innovative music and arts festival, Sound City, are incredibly proud to be part of the agenda-setting programme at Distractions on Friday July 19thin Manchester, along with FutureEverything on July 18thand Manchester International Festival on July 20th.


Distractions is held in Manchester, a place where technology, innovation and radical thought have shaped industry, politics, music and culture. Factory Records turns 40 this year and its ethos – of enabling self-expression and unfettered experimentation from unproven artists – lives on across Greater Manchester. 

Distractions has been created by FutureEverything, Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Manchester International Festival, the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Modern Designers, Rose Marley Management, Peter Saville and Sound City.

Bringing their expertise in music festival and conference delivery, Sound City have joined forces with Distractions to create Manchester’s newest, music and tech focussed conference.

Tech is driving the future of entertainment. AR, VR, MR, 3D immersive, facial recognition in stadiums, ticketing and social media, global entertainment is bigger and more innovative than ever. The new talent of the future is as likely to be a digital designer as much as a DJ or performer. It all raises questions and invites opportunity. These topics and more will be debated with some of the world’s leading tech companies and artist managers through panels, in conversation sessions and a key-note speaker.

Alongside the conference will run a diverse and exciting music program at Festival Square in collaboration with MIF, curated by an independent A&R panel made up of some of Manchester’s most influential in the music industry.

Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, said ‘Distractions is everything Greater Manchester is about – innovative, forward thinking and radical. We have a pioneering digital, technological and music history. Whether that’s building the first computer, the birthplace of the industrial revolution and the Spinning Jenny, or the home of Factory Records; our progressive past should be seen as a great foundation for the future. Distractions is all about showcasing the future of Greater Manchester and asking the moral and ethical questions about how technology is both a fantastic opportunity, but also a distraction from reality in an increasingly troubled world. In Greater Manchester, we don’t want to just imagine what the future of entertainment might look like, we want to lead it’. 

Liverpool’s innovative Sound City features on July 19th

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