SMIA Launches Advisory Group Amid Coronavirus Crisis

The Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA) today announces the appointment of its inaugural Advisory Group having met remotely yesterday for their first meeting. Made up of music practitioners operating across different sub-sectors of Scotland’s music industry, a selection panel made up of Robert Kilpatrick and Blue Kirkhope from the SMIA Executive Team, Fiona Ellis (DF Concerts and Events) and James Bruce (City of Edinburgh Council) from the SMIA Company Board and external assessors Caroline Sewell (Musicians’ Union) and Jamie Houston (Creative Scotland) reviewed all applications and selected the 19 successful candidates who will form the inaugural group.

The newly-appointed Advisory Group of the not-for-profit organisation – which exists to represent and develop Scotland’s music industry – is made up of the following individuals:

Members of the newly appointed Advisory Group will meet twice a year and give the SMIA perspectives from their experience and the organisations and the sectors in which they are active. Supporting the work of the SMIA Executive team and Company Board, the new group met for the first time yesterday – facilitated by remote video conferencing software (pictured) – to discuss the impact of Coronavirus on Scotland’s music industry. As well as highlighting the key challenges across the industry and the sub-sectors that make it up, the group came together to discuss creative problem solving and opportunities for innovation for artists and music businesses. 

The SMIA Executive Team has streamlined operations and are in the process of reshaping budgets and programmes to maximise services, projects and digital events; providing key support and information as the situation continues. The Advisory Group’s insights will inform SMIA policy and ensure that the organisation’s response throughout the crisis remains needs-led.

Speaking of the new appointments, Dougal Perman, Executive Chair of the Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA), said: “We’re excited about the launch of our advisory group. Now — amidst uncertainty, severe economic hardship and overwhelming public health concerns — they will be a sounding board for how our actions respond to the needs and wants of people working in music in Scotland. The members represent an interesting, diverse cross section of the music industry. This inaugural group forms a strong foundation upon which we can build a meaningful, mutually beneficial relationship with the industry. Our company board respects the advisory group members’ experience and opinions. For the benefit of our members, and the wider music industry, searching for answers to coronavirus questions, we welcome their input and recommendations for SMIA policy.”

Following years of successful pilot developmental projects, as well as attracting a growing base of active paying members and establishing the Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) Award in 2012, it was announced in January 2018 that the SMIA was successful in joining Creative Scotland’s Regular Funding Network for 2018–2021. The Regular Funding Network is comprised of organisations that make a vital contribution to the current health and future development of the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland, and as part of the network, the SMIA is tasked with delivering a pioneering, innovation-led development programme, designed to help nurture business talent and build infrastructure in Scotland’s music industry. 

With yearly activity including industry training (workshops and masterclasses), networking opportunities, research projects, The SAY Award, resource development and the Music Business Innovation (MBI) programme (a consultancy programme for Scotland-based music businesses which launched in 2019), the SMIA delivers a wide range of services, projects and events for anyone working in – or wanting to work in – music in Scotland. Thanks to the funding support from Creative Scotland, the SMIA was able to launch a Basic Membership in 2018, which is free for all and provides access to activities delivered as part of the publicly funded programme. Since its introduction, over 3000 music practitioners from across Scotland have joined the association, bringing the industry closer together and stimulating increased opportunities for collaboration. The SMIA is soon to relaunch two paid tiers of membership – Student and Core – which provides access to additional services and benefits to help music practitioners based in Scotland excel at every stage in their career.

In October last year, the SMIA announced seven new appointments to its Company Board. The now 11-strong Board of Directors provide strategic direction for the company and support the work of the Executive Team. Last year Tommy McCormick joined the SMIA in the new position of Development Manager, with Blue Kirkhope also having been promoted to Communications and Events Executive. Dougal Perman works part-time for the company as Executive Chair, with Robert Kilpatrick being the General Manager and overseeing company operations. 

The SMIA aims to retain more musical intellectual property and conduct more business in the music supply chain in Scotland, including record labels, publishers, legal, finance, artist management, booking agencies and publicity. It aims to develop the wider music industry in Scotland by championing creativity, building infrastructure and evolving business models.

For more information on the Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA) or to join as a member, please visit

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