Music is more than just an art form; it is an intricate, ever-changing business and industry.
Behind all the concerts, albums and artists there lies a complex and inclusive network of marketers, promoters, agents, talents buyers and other professions that make the music world run. The Associated Students Productions Pop Music Industry Conference is designed to give students and community members a glimpse of that network.
The third annual Pop Music Industry Conference will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 25, in the Viking Union. Tickets are $10 for students and $20 for general admission.
“Battle of the Bay,” will take place after the conference at 7:30 p.m. at the Old Foundry on 100 E. Maple St. The battle is jointly organized by ASP Pop Music and the Old Foundry, and features local bands Heist, Eagle Teeth, Prime Time Band, The Vonvettas, CandySound and The Endorfins. Tickets for the show are $3.
The conference will begin with a brunch provided for the first 80 attendees. After brunch, B.J. Olin, manager for Seattle-based soul musician Allen Stone, will present a keynote speech to kick off the conference.
The next four hours will consist of three sessions of panels that will be in various VU conference rooms. The 13 panels make up the heart of the event. Attendees will be able to choose a panel of interest for each session from a multitude of different topics paneled by music industry professionals.
“We try to bring together a bunch of music industry professionals and give students the opportunity to get some insight from them, to network with them and just overall have a really beneficial learning experience,” said Craig Gorder, ASP assistant director for marketing and assessment.
Among the panels, ones such as “Rising Above The Rest: How to Make your Blog Stand Out” and “Dive Bars and Broken Cars: Planning a Successful Tour on a Budget” provide insight for artists and musicians wishing to advance their music career, while panels such as “Risky Business: Talent Buying and Promotion” and “Put a Label on it: Behind the Scenes of Working for a Label” gives prospective attendees a feeling for the business end of the music industry spectrum.
“It’s great to see what a wide variety we have and how it really is all encompassing of the music industry,” said Ryan Gallagher-Burkholder, ASP marketing coordinator for music and entertainment.
Some notable panelists attending the event are Chris Porter, the programming director for Bumbershoot, Seattle musicians Kris Orlowski and Scribes, and Hunter Motto, former Pop Music coordinator and current talent buyer for The Crocodile in Seattle.
“Putting yourself out there and getting to know people of a particular scene is critical,” Motto said. “How do you interact and work in a particular industry if you don’t know the people and how they work and what they’re like? The conference achieves that in a way. It gets you to shake hands with people.”
Motto said the most beneficial aspect of the event is the possibility for networking with the professionals and panelists face-to-face; an opportunity he said is a rare one.
“I’ve spent time cold emailing and cold calling people and sending out resumes without any real connection to people and it’s not effective,” Motto said. “It doesn’t get you work or find you a job. It’s really tough for someone who doesn’t even know you to give you the time of day when all of these people are getting 8,000 emails a day.”
The conference will conclude with, “Getting Your In: Internships and Entry-Level Positions in the Music Industry.”
For this panel, all attendees and panelists will congregate into one room to discuss some of the opportunities to gain entry into the safeguarded world of the music industry.
“I think this is huge for students who are looking to get into [the music industry] because it is so inclusive it seems that there aren’t many opportunities, especially for students, to get their foot in the door,” Gallagher-Burkholder said. “I think it’s huge. It’s not something that you see many places.”