ERA saw the largest ever number of shops and suppliers attend ERA's annual independent conference which took place this week.

The growing strength of both the independent sector and physical media was highlighted in a significant increase in attendees to ERA's annual independents conference which took place this week.

The morning was themed around “From Artist to Store” and saw several supplier panels covering manufacture, distribution and sales as well as fireside chats with NewDad and Helen Kennedy.  The afternoon saw "speed-dating" sessions between stores and labels where over 20 labels and distributors got a chance to meet the shops face to face, something the shops find hugely valuable.

The event culminated in a fantastic performance by Island Records artists, English Teacher ahead of the release of their UK tour and debut album This Could be Texas on April 12th.

ERA indie board chair Alan Jordan of Newcastle-upon-Tyne record store Reflex said, "The real value in a day like this is networking. With the huge spread of indies across the country the opportunity to meet with labels face-to-face is rare. The reps and other suppliers were booked back-to-back all afternoon and everyone made new contacts, cemented relationships and above all learnt something new."

ERA CEO Kim Bayley said, "It was great to see the indie shops come together. There was a real sense of community in the room. We are massively grateful to all of those companies, sponsors and particularly English Teacher and NewDad for making it all possible."

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