It is a venue with lots of space and dignity about it, and though many people loved the buzz of the old days the acres of room at the Barbican makes it a much better experience than playing sardines at St Helen’s. However, going for a well-used secular venue does have it’s difficulties. The Barbican had double-booked (with Sir Simon Rattle I was told) and so EMA had to be deferred two weeks from its original place in the calendar. This was reflected in the slightly fewer numbers who attended. That was a shame because these were great conference days.