PPA Blog

Magfest 2019 launches with star-studded line-up of speakers

By Laura Dunlop

25 Jun 2019

PPA Scotland’s flagship event, Magfest 2019, launched today with a star-studded line-up of speakers from titles including The Atlanti_c, _Stylist and FourFourTwo.

This year’s Magfest will be held on September 20 in Central Hall in Edinburgh. The theme is Game Changers, and the speakers represent a dynamic industry taking advantage of the trusted benefits of print whilst harnessing the opportunities of digital platforms to forge a new golden age for magazines.

The Atlantic’s Global Editor Prashant Rao (below) will discuss the magazine's successes in taking a legacy brand into a digital future, whilst maintaining the value of the print product. A journalist who has been Deputy Europe Business Editor for The New York Times, Baghdad Bureau Chief for Agence France-Presse, and a correspondent and editor at Bloomberg News, Rao will also talk about the power of trust for magazines.

A passionate advocate for gender equality in the UK, Stylist Group CEO Ella Dolphin (below) will talk about the recent business transformation she took on in pivoting Shortlist Media to become The Stylist Group, focusing entirely on women, at a time when feminism and the united force of women has never been more relevant.

After a break of almost 20 years since his last full-time editing role, Loaded founder and former British GQ Editor James Brown will sit down with PPA Chief Executive Barry McIlheney to discuss why he decided now is the time to return to magazines as Editor-in-Chief of FourFourTwo.

Also already announced for Magfest 2019 are gal-dem Editor Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff (below), Inside Housing’s Art Director Sonny Dhamu and Emma Miller, who is the Publisher of new Scottish women’s magazine Hood. More speakers are set to be confirmed in the coming weeks.

For the first time this year, Magfest will be part of the brand new Edinburgh International Magazine Festival, which will run across the city from September 16-22. The rest of the festival programme will launch early next month.

Edinburgh International Magazine Festival Director Laura Dunlop said: “Yet again, Magfest is privileged to attract a world-class group of speakers, with real insight into the industry and a boundless passion for magazines. I look forward to seeing what amazing ideas and innovations are inspired by Magfest 2019.”

Now in its eighth year, Magfest brings the Scottish magazine industry together to hear about the latest ideas in the world of magazines. It is a fulcrum for discussion and collaboration. Past Magfest speakers have included comics impresario Mark Millar, best-selling author Ian Rankin, Twitter’s Director of Curation Joanna Geary, Radio Times Editorial Director Mark Frith, Empire Editor Terri White, and many more.

Ian Rankin said: “Magfest was great fun and also fascinating to be part of – I’m more consumer than contributor when it comes to magazines, and judging by the number of titles available out there I'm far from alone! But Magfest, as well as being a celebration of an exciting and successful industry was also a chance to be made to think about which magazines work and why, and to question how magazines can stay relevant and desirable to readers amidst the challenges of the years to come.”

Radio Times Editorial Director Mark Frith added: “It’s rare that an event can say it is the central meeting point for an entire industry. Magfest can do that. Once a year the entire Scottish magazine world comes together to celebrate this incredible industry of ours – I was so proud to be a part of it. It really is a wonderful event.”

Magfest 2019 is proudly supported by Acorn Web, Dawson Media Direct, YM Group, Primitive Media and Evessio.

Tickets for Magfest 2019: Game Changers go on sale tomorrow morning (June 26) at 9am. Book before July 24 to take advantage of our special early bird discount.


For more information about Magfest and the Edinburgh International Magazine Festival, including sponsorship opportunities, please contact Laura Dunlop at laura.dunlop@ppascotland.co.uk