Spotlight On… Pitch – The Skinny

The Skinny: You ran your inaugural event online last year under the moniker HANG, changing the name to Pitch this year, in tandem with a move to an IRL format. What was the reason for the name change? And did you always plan to run as a live event at some point when you first launched?
Richy Muirhead: Hip Hop Aimed Networking with Grime (HANG) was a pilot event created by SAMA (Scottish Alternative Music Awards) during the lockdown. Our ambition was always to run live events – it’s where connections are made, conversations take place and memories are made – so coming out of lockdown it made complete sense to scale up what we are doing by using multiple venues (Saint Luke’s, BAaD, Many Studios, The Space), creating international showcasing opportunities (FOCUS Wales / New Skool Rules Rotterdam) and shining a spotlight on artists, creatives and Scotland as a whole. In the end, our 2022 event evolved into something with a very distinct identity and direction of its own, so we felt that a new name was an essential step forward. 
With regards to the event, I think a lot of people just immediately think, ‘oh, this is a music event about hip-hop and grime’, but Pitch isn’t just about the music – you’ve got graffiti, exhibitions, dance and spoken word all happening as well. What are you hoping to achieve from bringing all of these different aspects together?
Pitch is a music conference, a festival, and a celebration of the art form. It’s all of those things together. By bringing all of these seemingly different elements together we want to encourage collaboration, inspire audiences and showcase the scale and size of hip-hop across Scotland. Our ultimate goals are for Pitch to create a stronger infrastructure across Scotland, to encourage entrepreneurship and new ideas, to build confidence within rap in Scotland, and to create significant artist development opportunities.

For a one-day event, you’ve got so many speakers, musicians and workshops happening. I know this will be hard, but can you pick out a few highlights from this year’s programme that you’re particularly excited about? And tell us why you’re so excited about them.
Yes, the programme is packed! We are really pleased to have London rapper and Top Boy actress NoLay coming to be part of an exclusive In Conversation [panel]. NoLay is known for her gritty rhymes and wordplay. She will bring stories about her career in music exploring success, touring, collaborations, living in London, and being a woman in the music industry and within hip-hop. This unmissable conversation will be moderated by Bash the Entertainer. I also think the dance performance by THREE60 will be incredible! It draws on the evolution of hip-hop tracking the journey of hip-hop culture and its influences.
As part of the event, you’re hosting a live evening showcase at St. Luke’s, with AiiTee, MC Salum, LOTOS and Mace the Great all playing. You also had an open call to artists to apply to play the showcase – did you have a lot of applications? And how did you end up selecting ID and Vagrant Real Estate & Namesbliss to join the bill?
The call out for artists to join the bill/artist development at Pitch had over 60 applicants. The Pitch team worked together to make these difficult decisions that were based on music quality and ambition reflected in the application. We are really pleased ID, Vagrant Real Estate and namesbliss will complete the programme, and that each artist on the showcase will receive a performance fee, artist development grant, photography and videography supported by PRS Foundation.

Pitch should be embraced by artists, creatives and fans. An event like this is ambitious and covers a lot of ground with dance, spoken word, performance, panels, graffiti, networking, DJ sets, open mic – there will be something for everyone to dive into! Unlike other events, Pitch is free to attend, and we have a mix of indoor and outdoor venues which are all fully accessible. If someone is a little shy I’d encourage them to pop by any of the trade tables and introduce themselves, or drop Pitch a DM and we will do our best to help signpost!
Pitch takes place across various venues in Glasgow, 27 Aug; find more information on the programme and how to register for tickets here: