Geoff Travis  ©

Photographer: Jeannette Lee

Thursday, October 17, 2019 to Friday, October 18, 2019

Geoff Travis, Founder and A&R Director of Rough Trade Records, talked about the past, present and intriguing future of his legendary indie label, which has influenced the evolution of 20th-century indie music and has become a prominent symbol of the independent music scene. Geoff also discussed the process of discovering new artists and enabling them to reach their target audiences within the current era of digital technologies and streaming. 


17 October, 19:00 – 20:00, Moscow
Dom Kultur, Sretenka, 25
Doors open 18:30
Registration link

18 October, 19:30 – 20:30, St Petersburg
New Holland Island, Pavilion
Admiralteysky Canal Embankment 2
Registration link


The discussion in Moscow was moderated by the entrepreneur and promoter Igor Tonkyh, one of the main cultural promoters of the 1990s: back then, he founded Feelee where he combined a concert agency and a label. Thanks to him, Kave, Dead Can Dance, and Warp label releases were produced in Russia and soon the musicians started to visit Moscow.

He became the first independent professional promoter and brought the most significant heroes of foreign underground here, including Sonic Youth and Einstuerzende Neubauten. In the 2000s he decided to gain experience in Economics and received an MBA in Strategic and Corporate Management. In 2006 he founded the “Ikra” club in Moscow, which rapidly became the city’s most interesting concert platform and which lost its popularity soon after Igor left it. Right now he is working on the Glavclub in St.Petersburg and Moscow, with the potential to develop it across the country. Igor has fully satisfied his own educational ambitions and is now trying to realise a Western club business model in Russia.

About Rough Trade Records

Rough Trade Records grew out of the Rough Trade Record Shop, which Geoff Travis opened in Ladbroke Grove, 1976. One year on, the Rough Trade Shop became an epicentre of the ever-growing punk and DIY culture, acting as a hub for various bands and labels, destined to make history. In the first decade of its existence, the label released records with artists who later became international icons: The Fall, Scritti Politti, Robert Wyatt, Aztec Camera, Cabaret Voltaire, The Raincoats, Swell Maps, Go Betweens, and The Smiths.

In 1999, a few years after the collapse of the Rough Trade large-scale distribution network, Geoff Travis resurrected the label in partnership with Jeannette Lee, with whom he had collaborated since 1987. From then on, the label's catalogue featured a new generation of artists who set the tone for independent music of the next century: The Strokes, The Libertines, Sufjan Stevens, Antony & The Johnsons, The Hold Steady, Arcade Fire, The Decemberists, British Sea Power and many others.

The Rough Trade Records headquarters remain in Ladbroke Grove where the label was born, but new offices have opened in London and New York, with  Geoff and Jeannette keen to keep helping their favourite music and artists gain maximum recognition.  New heroes of the Rough Trade label include Amyl and the Sniffers, black midi, JARV IS ..., Girl Band, Goat Girl, Lankum, Parquet Courts, Starcrawler, Josienne Clarke amongst others.  And Rough Trade is one of the most renowned music stores in the world, with branches in Bristol, Nottingham and New York Most.