R.E.M. manager Bertis Downs and former Warner Music chairman Rob Dickins have been confirmed as keynote speakers at this year's In The City music conference, to be held in the U.K. city of Manchester, Oct. 13 to 15.

Downs has handled R.E.M. since the band's formation in Athens, Georgia and is credited as being a highly influential factor in the group's rise. He will be appearing at the long-running event in conversation with Rob Dickins, who has formerly held the posts of Warner Bros. Music Publishing managing director and chairman of Warner Music U.K. - a tenure he held for 15 years before establishing his own entertainment company Instant Karma in 1999.

In a statement, ITC director Yvette Livesey said: "In the City is really excited that Bertis Downs is coming to speak at this year's event alongside our friend Rob Dickins."

She continued: "Both of them have overseen the careers of some of the biggest bands in the world for decades and are uniquely placed to talk about how the music industry has changed and is changing."

Other guests newly confirmed for the U.K. industry showcase and convention includes Jasmine Skee, O2's head of music sponsorship and Ted Cohen, managing partner at TAG Strategic.