Fresh from delivering a keynote speech at the PPL annual general meeting this week, Britain's culture secretary Andy Burnham has confirmed his participation at this year's In The City music convention.

Burnham joins former Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham as key speakers at the annual conference in Manchester, which will be held Oct. 5-7 under the banner "It's All About The Music, Stupid."

According to organizers, Burnham will discuss his position on some of the key challenges the U.K. business is currently facing, and he will take questions from delegates.

"We are very privileged to have Andy Burnham from the DCMS, the key person in the current government as far as the music industry is concerned, coming to In The City 2008 to outline his vision for our business," comments ITC director Yvette Livesey, who co-founded the event in 1992 with the late British independent label pioneer Tony Wilson.

"It is a measure of just how important a platform In The City has become that we are able to attract speakers of this calibre and we will be announcing a number of other great keynotes in the near future," she adds in a statement.

Burnham addressed the PPL collecting society's annual meeting this Wednesday, his first such presentation to the wider British music industry.

Loog Oldham becomes the event's first "official host". "After much discussion we have decided to create this new position of 'official host' and our long time friend and loyal In the City supporter Andrew Loog Oldham was our first choice to take up the mantle," comments Livesey. "His infectious enthusiasm will, I am sure, inject some real energy into this years proceedings."

The schedule of ITC, now in its 17th year, will include keynote speeches, celebrity interviews, masterclasses, panels, seminars and its cornerstone live music program for both new and established acts.

ITC's night program has a reputation for making and breaking unsigned and fringe acts like the Darkness and Placebo, and hosting early-career gigs by the likes of Oasis and Coldplay.

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