Music-industry conferences offer bands networking opportunities, and the public a chance to see a lot of acts in a short time, but you have to know what you're looking for, among the workshops, ranging from building a press kit and booking to the legalities of getting your music behind film and TV.
New England Music Organization’s annual Boston-based music festival and conference, NEMO, is now accepting showcase submissions through Sonicbids, an electronic press kit setting industry standards.
“Of the showcasing bands (last year), only two were from Maine,” said Kristin Bredimus, spokesperson for NEMO. “Both artists made it to the finals.”
Tree By Leaf won the NEMO/Starbucks Singer Songwriter competition and created a slot for Emilia Dahlin who also competed.
NEMO offers workshops for performance and all types of music and sponsors the Boston Music Awards open only to music biz insiders. The NEMO festival is an opportunity for music lovers to check out a whole host of bands and venues; wristbands are now on sale for the September 28-30 shows.
Dahlin is also active in the National Association of Campus Activities, NACA.
NACA connects musicians to agents and gigs that book exclusively through them. She shares the $600+ membership fee with Portland hip-hop diva, Sontiago by forming the Maine Artists Collective. Additional fees to showcase, exhibit, attend workshops, and access contacts.
“It’s worth it!” says Dahlin. “They pay great as anchor dates and I fill in the tour with coffeehouses and smaller venues that don’t pay well but sell product and build a loyal following.”
Through the International Folk and Dance Alliance Jason Spooner entered and won the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival Emerging Artists Showcase. The competition is judged in part, by audience survey. Spooner knew winning meant exposure, but not how much.
One date, for the Association of Performing Arts Presenters in New York City, garnered offers nationwide including Boston rooms he hadn’t considered.
The Falcon Ridge buzz drew more attention to Spooner’s Folk Alliance presence and keeps building new opportunities.
Don’t think your music is folk? Maybe not, but the genre is bent, stretched, and twisted to include every conceivable type of music if you can track its roots. Unplugging isn’t always the answer. Dylan went electric at the Newport Folk Festival and last year The Pixies, Bright Eyes, and Elvis Costello were the biggest draw. Patti Griffin’s several Grammy nominations were in a genre she never considered, country.
Like Dahlin, Spooner has worked other avenues. He placed well in other competitions.
There are other vehicles to drive your music outside the Maine borders besides showcasing. Pete Kilpatrick recently recorded a music video, slated to run on a new national cable video channel coming thru your TV soon. He’s also beginning a non-NACA college tour.
"You have to work it like it’s your day job,” says Dahlin. “It is.”
On the Web:
New England Music Organization: www.NEMOboston.com
Sonic Bids: www.sonicbids.com/nemomusicfestival
National Association of Campus Activities: www.NACA.org
Falcon Ridge Folk Festival Emerging Artists Showcase: www.falconridgefolk.com
North Atlantic Blues Festival: www.NorthAtlanticbluesfestival.com
Saltwater Music Festival: www.saltfest.com
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