The inaugural Liverpool Sound City conference and music showcase event has been declared a "massive success" by its organizers, following the confab's culmination last weekend.

From May 27-30, more than 200 bands staged concerts in the northern U.K. city made famous by the Beatles. Eighteen venues ranging in size from the 1,200-capacity Carling Academy to the 300-capacity Zanzibar hosted performances.

"We're really pleased," reflects festival director David Pichilingi. "You sit down and have these little visions about what you'd like to achieve and it's just surpassed all of those visions in every way."

The first in what organizers hope to become an annual event, Liverpool Sound City was part funded by the EU to mark Liverpool's year as European Capital of Culture. A decision has yet to be made concerning its return in 2009, although Pichilingi is optimistic about the event's fate.

"It all comes down to funding but our sponsors are all very happy, so we're hopeful," says Pichilingi.

According to organizers, the event drew more than 250 delegates and 30,000 individual concert-goers to the city and generated an approximate revenue of £2,000,000 ($3,910,000).

Live performers over the four days included the Whip, Santogold, Reverend and the Makers, Hadouken, Hercules and Love Affair, Laura Marling and the Wombats, as well as 96 unsigned acts predominantly drawn from England's North West.

Running alongside the live artist performances was a series of industry seminars, which attracted a small but steady stream of delegates and music execs to the austere surroundings of the recently-opened Hard Day's Night Hotel in Liverpool city center.

Key speakers throughout the three-day industry conference (May 28-30) included Steve Purdham, CEO of ad-funded music website We7, singer-songwriter/Band Aid Trustee Midge Ure and Brent Grulke, creative director of South by Southwest.

Bypassing any talk of crisis in the industry, We7's Purdham used the platform of the conference to highlight the number of different music distribution outlets available in today's digital world.

"Advertising models are just one of the delivery mechanisms," summarized Purdham on day one of the industry conference. "It's not: 'either/or' anymore. It's 'as well as'. I'm a big believer in the spectrum of deliverance - the situation where everyone will pay a price. We just have to work out what that price is. Is it £100 ($195) for the latest Ting Tings album because it comes with a signed T-shirt? Or actually is it 79p ($1.54) for a track that happens to be in the charts at the moment? Or is it 60p ($1.17), 50p ($0.97), 30p ($0.58), or nothing?"

Ure's keynote speech on day two, meanwhile, formed a retrospective examination of his 30-year music career, encompassing the bands Slik, Rich Kids, Ultravox, as well as his involvement with Band Aid and Live Aid, both of which he helped instigate alongside Bob Geldof.

Ure recalled an approach in mid-1970s Glasgow by Malcolm McLaren, who asked him to join a band the manager was then putting together.

"He was asking me to join this band but he hadn't asked if I was a musician," explained Midge, "so I declined the offer. Six months later The [Sex] Pistols appeared."

In another anecdote, Ure told the audience that he had to get a personal bank loan to fund the ground-breaking video for Ultravox's 1980 single "Vienna" and that he has spent the past ten years without a publishing deal or record label. The fifty-four year-old singer-songwriter also stated that he has recently finished recording a new solo record.

SXSW's Grulke discussed the history of the famous Austin, Texas festival and stated that the acts that create the biggest impact at SXSW use the event "strategically as part of a larger plan."

Citing U.K. bands the Darkness and Franz Ferdinand as two recent examples, he went on to say that: "the U.K. does it the best. Usually there's a rare degree of thought that's put into how to make SXSW work." In summary, he also offered an insight into what continues to make SXSW work.

"The thing that really is motivating all of us is that we just always felt that we were going to fail," he stated. "We didn't ever have much of a vision about what we wanted. Instead, we knew what other people didn't want and listened as much as we could to what people said we were doing wrong and tried not to make the same mistake twice."