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Wednesday 26 May 2021

World’s first academic conference to examine phenomenon of Queen

Free online event for all to mix academic discussion with special guest interviews

In what is thought to be a world first, the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) with support from Arts Council England, is to host an academic conference dedicated to the study of Queen.

Taking place on Thursday, 27 May between 1.00pm -5.00pm online, the conference will present a selection of academic papers and a series of interviews with special guests who have unique insights into aspects of the band.

One of these is Tim Staffell who was lead vocalist and bassist in the band Smile who, alongside Brian May and Roger Taylor, provided the basis from which Queen evolved. His departure from Smile to join a band called Humpy Bong, depicted in the record-breaking 2018 biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, in part paved the way for Freddie Mercury and later John Deacon to come together as Queen.

Other speakers include guitar expert Phil Hilborne who, amongst other Queen-related activities, was one of the guitarists from the Queen musical We Will Rock You. Additional insight will be provided by Simon Bradley, who collaborated with Brian May to write a book dedicated to the instrument known as the Red Special, the guitar that Brian May built with his father, which became a key element of the distinctive sound of Queen.

"Although it’s billed as an academic conference, anyone with an interest in Queen is welcome to watch. There is much to explore and while we can only really scratch the surface, I’m confident we will uncover some valuable insights."

Conference co-organiser UCLan's Tony Rigg

Co-organiser Tony Rigg, a music industry consultant who helped set up UCLan’s MA programme in Music Industry Management, said: “Clearly the members of Queen have had long and remarkable careers. The band is arguably more popular now than ever before, so we’ll be discussing how this legacy was created and how others could possibly follow in their footsteps. These topics and many more will be debated in what we think is the world's first academic conference dedicated to the study of Queen.

“Although it’s billed as an academic conference, anyone with an interest in Queen is welcome to watch. There is much to explore and while we can only really scratch the surface, I’m confident we will uncover some valuable insights.”

The conference is in two parts, the first consists of academic papers and the second featuring interviews with the special guests.

The conference will be available to watch on YouTube live giving audience members a chance to ask questions through the comments section.

On the day anyone can access the conference at the links below:

Part 1 – Academic Papers: https://youtu.be/CC-bMBz20kE

Part 2 - Interviews: https://youtu.be/BvdG-tNEYy4

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