The forthright Mother of Invention Frank Zappa once declared that —

Most rock journalism is […] people who can’t write, interviewing people who can’t talk, for people who can’t read…

We would like to strongly challenge that belief wouldn’t we?

But let’s face it : Since Frankie uttered those opinions — things have only been getting worse

But now ROCK PEN in partnership with Ramzine and XL Music Promotions has announced a conference for rock journalists.

The New Conference will focus on preserving the wit, the pith and the remarkable commentary of conscientious rock journalism.

The ROCK PEN conference will be an exciting networking event that offers a day of panels, key notes and other interesting activities for anyone involved in the business of rock journalism — whether in print, online or in the broadcast media.

The conference — the first of its kind —will take place on January 20th 2018 in Reading, Berkshire, UK

Event organizer, rock blogger Neil Mach said this,

Today it’s harder than ever for a new band to get noticed — that’s despite musicians having direct access to fan-bases. However, a typical music fan is flooded with distractional material. Some listeners report they feel dizzied by the torrent of free music that gushes at them...”

And that’s why the critical ear of a respected rock critic is more important now than ever.”

But, like everyone else in the music business, rock writers are struggling. While publications feel the pinch because their advertising revenues are in decline, readerships are dwindling at an alarming rate. That’s because reading habits have changed so much — now most consumers are browsers & scanners rather than painstaking researchers. Naysayers suggest that traditional rock criticism is on track for extinction. Consequently those who write for rock feel undervalued, under-appreciated and over-stretched...”

That’s why this conference is crucial. Our goals are to build and strengthen links within the industry so we can revive enthusiasm for our profession and discuss new formats for storytelling.

Because, far from being superfluous, we believe those who write for rock — who give up experienced opinion and unbiased analysis — are an integral part of the rock ‘n’ roll experience.

We want journalists to go on providing their wit, pith and remarkable commentary — because they provide vital support and encouragement to musicians — as well as motivating and encouraging the public to buy their music.


The first ROCK PEN Conference will take place January 20th 2018 at the Face Bar in Reading.

Delegate tickets will go on sale from June 2017 and tickets will be keenly priced [less than £20] for a full day of activities that will include a networking lunch, an appreciation awards ceremony and an evening concert.

Speakers and volunteers are still required.

Twitter @rockpencon

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