While early season festivals like SXSW tend to get the most airtime, the second half of the year is chock full with a variety of incredible conferences for those steeped in major music industry happenings. Here Angela Mastrogiacomo looks at ten that are essential to attend.
Guest post by Angela Mastrogiacomo of Soundfly's Flypaper
The springtime is kind of music conference mania, isn’t it? You’ve got SXSW in March, Launch Music Conference in April, Canadian Music Week in May, and the list goes on. But what about all the incredible conferences coming up in the second half of the year? If you totally snoozed on sending in applications for those other ones (or buying affordable early-bird passes), you can still finish your year strong before it’s too late.
There are still tons of North American conferences to check out in 2019. Here are 10 to put in your calendar right now.
CD Baby DIY Musician Conference
Austin, Texas | August 16-18, 2019
The fun thing about CD Baby’s DIY Musician Conference is that it’s always changing cities. In its first year, it landed in Chicago, and for the next two it made Nashville its home. Now it’s heading over to Austin for its fourth trip around the sun. They go wherever the scene is strong, and the people follow!
Having grown exponentially each year, the CD Baby DIY Musician Conference is a great place for independent emerging artists to not only get tons of valuable advice, but to network in an environment that’s the perfect balance of diverse and plentiful. And it’s still intimate enough to allow you access to panelists after the talk (and for you to actually have a shot at talking to them) — not to mention to allow you to network with other musicians and industry pros as well.
Coast 2 Coast Convention
Miami, Florida | August 31-September 1, 2019
One of the only of its kind, Coast 2 Coast is a hotbed for DJs, producers, and independent artists. This year’s panelists will include Success (VP of A&R for Atlantic Records), Kate Loesch (A&R for Capitol Records), Ashley Calhoun (VP of PULSE Music Group), and more. But the events also include networking evenings and performances from tons of up-and-coming artists from around the country. If you’re a hip-hop or electronic producer or artist, everything here is an opportunity to learn more and gain an edge.
Nashville, Tennessee | September 10-15, 2019
The Americana Music Festival and Conference is celebrating its 20th anniversary. This edition, appropriately centered in Nashville, will feature tons of live performances across the city, as well as panels and seminars catered toward the independent Americana artist. This festival-like conference will do a deep dive into the changing needs of artists from the perspectives of national industry pros, making this one of the broader conferences on the list.
Nashville, Tennessee | September 21, 2019
A full-day event that gives you access to Grammy Award-winning producers, engineers, and a variety of industry professionals, the Music Expo Nashville conference covers beat making, engineering, mastering, and includes speakers from all corners of the industry. This conference is associated with the impeccable Sound on Sound magazine, so you know the quality will be high.
Nashville, Tennessee | September 22- 23, 2019
Los Angeles, California | December 2-3, 2019
Did you know there’s an entire conference all about sync licensing? You bet there is! While the New York edition of SyncSummit has already passed, there are ones coming up in Nashville in September, and Los Angeles in December, so you still have an opportunity to get your sync on and your music in front of powerful change makers.
Music-preneur Mindset Summit
Long Island, New York | September 26-28, 2019
The third annual Music-preneur Mindset Summit is coming to Long Island this fall. This highly interactive, intimate gathering will include three days of getting clear on your goals, finding your footing, and getting to know your fellow industry pros as they go through the process with you. There will be yoga-ing, vision board-ing, financial planning, and, most of all, a heavy emphasis on getting rid of (and avoiding) burnout.
New York City, New York | October 15-18, 2019
Covering both music and technology as well as focusing on the innovative space between, Mondo is unique among its peers in that it brings together two giant wells of opportunity. The conference also serves as an incubator for the industry side of things, while bringing together emerging artists to perform in New York City. Panels and workshops include those on touring, independent booking, blockchain and frontier technology, podcasting, playlists, gender equality, and more.
Taxi Road Rally
Los Angeles, California | November 7-10, 2019
A 100% free conference, Taxi Road Rally helps independent artists get their music in front of labels, music and film supervisors, publishers, video game companies, and tons more, with panels and workshops on everything from licensing to labels, and even cash prizes for musicians.
Toronto, Ontario | November 13-17, 2019
What I love about Indie Week is how informative and intimate it is. The panels are plentiful but small; it’s not crowded with thousands of people like SXSW or Canadian Music Week, so you can actually get to know the people around you and build some pretty meaningful relationships. In fact, I met someone during my time speaking at Indie Week that ended up helping transform my career for the better, and they ended up becoming one of my best friends. Not to mention, I made tons of connections in just a few short days, and the immersive nature of the experience proved incredibly valuable.
Women in Music
Chapters in Los Angeles, Nashville, New York, Boston, Canada, and more | All year round
It’s the conference that never ends (nor should it)! With chapters throughout the world, Women in Music is constantly putting on mini-conferences made up of panels and showcases on a variety of topics from booking to PR to licensing. Follow them and get involved with your local chapter to make sure you don’t miss the next event. Help this industry support and champion the women musicians around you.
Angela Mastrogiacomo is the founder of Muddy Paw PR, where her artists have seen placement on Alternative Press, Spotify, Noisey, Substream, and more, as well as the Director of Community and Events for Music Launch Co. Her free training ‘Reaching a Wider Audience Without Spending A Dime’ helps emerging artists cut through the noise and get in front of fans and industry influencers in just a few steps. She loves baked goods, a good book, and hanging with her dog Sawyer.