The Guardian Podcast


It turns out I’m presenting a new podcast for The Guardian this week and a very happy and proud man I am too.

It’s their Social Enterprise 2011 summit on Tuesday at The H.A.C. Armoury House in London. I’ll be there to find out where the sector is now and where it might head across a whole range of different subject areas. From funding to regulation. New markets to growth strategies.

And the winner is…

We’ll also hear from the winner (to be announced at the summit) of The Guardian Social Enterprise Award 2011. They will receive all kinds of goodies but we’ll get to that on the podcast or click here if you want to see now. You can check out the finalists too here.

Nick Hurd MP, Minister for Civil Society

Speakers and stuff

I’ll try to grab some keynote speakers <– they are there… and ask them some searching and intelligent questions. Well I’ll try.

If you have any questions you might want to ask Nick Hurd The Minister for Civil Society then please fire them my way on twitter. You can find me here – @seanamcginty

You probably do so already but if not please follow @guardiansocent too.

Where will I find this podcast?

Good question at the back there… well it will be on The Guardian Social Enterprise Network

You’ll be able to subscribe through iTunes and other places as yet unheard of probably.

Hope you can find the time to have a listen and if you’re running a social enterprise or thinking of setting one up please get in touch I am really interested in hearing from lots of new people about their experiences.

Unconvention22: Where are Lancashire’s music blogs?

So a few weeks ago Unconvention22 happened in Preston.

A very inspiring experience for me but scary too because there’s a lot to do now to unite this county of musicians, promoters, venues and music lovers!

On the last session of the day we tackled this panel discussion title: “Local scenes; collaboration, co-operation and ways to make things happen.”

A few points came out of it but mainly that in Lancashire, music and creative businesses are in different towns and not in one place like Manchester with the obvious geographical consequences and pitfalls.

This area will be looked at shortly in terms of meet ups and possible online assistance too.

Some similar points came up at BBC Introducing’s break out meeting the Thursday after where, with two days notice, more than 60 people came to exchange ideas, to talk and to try and make Lancashire better.

It turns out that most people think blogging about the local music scene is a really positive idea for everyone. The blogger, the bands, the venues and the whole scene.

So armed with only a popular search engine and a laptop I went in search of Lancashire’s music blogs.

There must be more than I am finding surely! The obvious searches reveal… well some blogs but not very much. (I know people do blog but if they are not in the first three pages of a search then they are hard to find.)

Best of the blogs

So last week on Twitter and Facebook I asked who wanted to get involved with BBC Introducing Lancashire in a music-journalism-type way. I had a ton of responses and this is my response to those people.

The BBC Lancashire website has a BBC Introducing section and on there I’d like to feature the best writing about music across Lancashire.

So who is out there doing this already? Do you want to do a blog? Would you be interested in meeting up and discussing how we make something really inclusive and positive happen here in Lancashire?

If so please email and let us know. Or if you’re in touch with me via Facebook or Twitter just let me know there too.

My plan is in the next couple of weeks to set up a meeting or even two in a town somewhere yet to be organised and see how we can kick start the music blogging scene in the county.

Sorry in advance

If you are a music blogger already and are wondering why we have not been in touch it may well just be that we haven’t found you! We are going to do some hunting in the next week and will tell you more about what we have found and how we think we can make stuff happen around music blogs on the programme next week.

This blog thing is only the starting point. There were other ideas which we’ll explore in the coming weeks but if you have an idea that would link us all up more and make the music and creative scene better just get in touch.

Sean McGinty presents the BBC Introducing Lancashire programme on BBC Radio Lancashire from 8pm each Thursday.

Get up to £2,000 With Live UnLtd in partnership with SPACE Blackpool

You have a good idea that would be good for you and your friends… you need some money… come to Baristas Coffee Shop Next Tuesday 3rd May at 6pm and apply… read on…

Get up to £2,000 With Live UnLtd in

partnership with SPACE Blackpool

Live UnLtd and SPACE are on the hunt to find some
young people who want to make a difference.

Live UnLtd are offering awards of up to £2,000 to help
11-21 year olds in Blackpool to create positive change in
their community. You will be given help and support to
develop your idea from and Live UnLtd and SPACE (run
not for profit rehearsal studios and events.)

What is it you want to do that would make
a difference to young people in Blackpool?

This is a GREAT opportunity to apply for this grant and to meet
UnLtd and SPACE in preparation for a Dragon’s Den Style
event where eight to ten young people will get the opportunity
to pitch their amazing ideas to a panel.

Applications forms will be provided on the day as well as all the
help you’ll need. You just need to get to

Tuesday 3rd May 2011

Barista’s Coffee Shop

Birley Street, Blackpool, FY1 1DU

At 6pm

For further information about the project please refer to the FAQ
section of our website here:
faq or email

Please share this around so anyone who might be interested gets a chance to see it!

Email me if you have any questions please.

In the meantime here are some cakes.

Muchos grassiass,


mmmm cakes

My birthday, John Peel and his memory

Today is my 46th birthday… it is also the day 6 years ago we lost John Peel.

In his latter years I enjoyed John Peel more for his radio 4 outings and the lovely random, “I don’t give a shit that this is tele” broadcasts too. The way he undermined Top of the Pops and the cheesy DJ’s he worked with.


I could cliche this and wax lyrical about what his radio programme did for generations of young musos and creative types but every man and his dog does that.

But since his parting the world of new music has lacked a voice. A detached. Uncommercial. “I’m not trying to make a career for myself, I just like the music” type voice.

The reason John Peel was a legend is that not only did he pick up on some pretty good music in his time but the way he went about it was such a good example to all of us involved in whatever way in new music. You don’t like bands because it could be good for your career. You don’t hurl yourself at passing bandwagons in the hope of some reflected glory. Or book acts because it improves relations with a record company or manager you want voice over work from.

BBC Website for John Peel

So I look for BBC website stuff on John Peel… (click on heading above to see the site) how do we celebrate the man that brought this whole concept to the BBC?

The site that is his home (I think) hasn’t been updated since 2007… there is other stuff from BBC Introducing programmes, sessions, BBC 6Music etc around the BBC but the site really looks uncared for and this is a shame.

So wouldn’t it be lovely (as some of us think of him today) if he had a proper home that celebrates his life fully on the BBC website?

Also, I’d really like it if all people who work with new music would take a look at what John Peel was and understand it’s not about them and their career path it’s about the bands and the music.

Too many journos, presenters, wannabes and DJs now look at new music as a vehicle for them. Like it’s a staging post to a career on ITV 4.

It’s about the music… man

The music and the bands are the thing. It was for Peel and it should be for you if you are lucky enough (as I am) to get sent new music and have the privilege to play it on the radio.

So come on new music practitioners. All of you. Cut the crap and remember the opportunity here is for the artist not you.

Just press the buttons, support the music and occasionally talk some crap in between.