Hello world! I’m Kelsey, FMC’s Policy Intern for fall 2015. I’m so excited to be coming on board with the 15th annual Future of Music Policy Summit less than 2 months away on October 26 and 27 here in DC. As always, we have two packed days of keynotes and panels that will help you navigate the Wild West of today’s intersecting music and tech industries with an eye towards the policy issues that influence it all. Now we all play favorites, so here are some of the talks I’m looking forward to the most. (Check out the full lineup; more speakers are added daily!)
The Modern Music City is Everywhere
Monday, Oct. 26 4:45 PM - 5:45 PM
What cities do you think of as musical hubs? Probably places like Nashville, New York and Los Angeles. But with technology roping us all closer together, perhaps physical boundaries don’t matter as much. This panel will explore how scenes become mainstays and what role governmental bodies play. It’s like an ant farm guide for the music fan who wants to turn their ho-hum town into a burgeoning Music City. Hey Sleater-Kinney, maybe there are cities to love after all!
Moderating this super interesting panel is Shain Shapiro, co-founder of Music Cities Convention (fellow co-founder Martin Elbourne will be one of the four panelists) and Managing Director of Sound Diplomacy, a global leader in music market development consultancy. Alongside Elbourne will be David Grice, Managing Director of Musitec, an Australian nonprofit music think tank of sorts. Also paneling will be Stacie Freasier, founder of c3 Catalyst Consulting, which looks to provide nonprofit management for a variety of music and social justice projects, and the City of Toronto’s Music Sector Development Officer Mike Tanner.
I’ve always been fascinated by the development of a city and its particular culture. So much of what makes a place like Athens, Georgia different from D.C. is in the physical details: climate, terrain, diet and political leanings. Athens is known for breeding warm, heavy, experimental psychedelia that matches the brain-numbing humidity; D.C. is a cultural tossed salad and political epicenter, helping to produce bizarro genres like Go-Go on one hand and rage-fueled social justice punk on the other. What will the music cities of future America look like, and what if every city had the ability to become one?
The Managers Session
Tuesday, Oct. 27 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Sometimes putting a few brilliant people in room is all you need for a dynamic discussion. Enter The Managers Session, a 5-person freeform chat with some bright minds in management and talent representation. The joke about management is that calling yourself a manager subsequently turns you into one, so we’re sure to be treated to a variety of perspectives and methods, from indie upstarts to global superstars.
Moderating will be Emily White of Whitesmith Entertainment, a full service entertainment agency representing artists like Fox Stevenson and The Autumn Defense. The four panelists will be Christen Greene (Head of Talent and GM at Onto Entertainment, manager of the Lumineers), Peter Jenner (Sincere Management), Jason Burns (Burnt Tree Entertainment, ) and Brian Message (Founding Partner of ATC Management and co-manager of unknowns like Nick Cave, PJ Harvey and Radiohead).
I’ve kicked around the idea of management as a career path for myself, centrally because it seems like a good way to dip toes in everything. And it’s almost never boring (although minutiae can be somewhat meditative for me). So who better than folks like Message or White, who have carved out extremely successful management careers, from whom to get the inside scoop?
Panel: Cracking the Streaming Code
Tuesday, Oct. 27 2:45 PM - 3:45 PM
Despite all the controversies over equity stakes and eency-teency per-play rates, it still feels as if on-demand streaming could ultimately be part of how musicians can make a decent and earned living. Perhaps it just needs a little tweaking? If you have questions about streaming and its place in music’s future, and what it’ll take to envision fairer models (and who doesn’t!), then this panel is for you.
We’ll also have representatives of two indie label powerhouses: Darius Van Arman of Secretly Group (Secretly Canadian, Jagjaguwar, Numero) and Simon Wheeler of Beggars Group (XL, 4AD Matador) , Sharky Laguana from Bandango (author of that streaming critique that launched a thousand facebook arguments), and Melvin Gibbs, an extraordinarily talented bassist, and president of Content Creators Coalition. Dick Huey, CEO of digital marketing agency Toolshed, will serve as moderator.
I’m interning at FMC because I’m driven to finding a fairer landscape for musicians in this brave new world, and I think it’s possible. In my semi-professional opinion, streaming may present some of the strongest opportunities artists have had in decades — but without some policy tweaks and unprecedented transparency, the opportunity could be lost. Hopefully this panel will provide insight into the data, the rates and the possibilities… and perhaps help assuage my guilt as a Spotify user?
There’s also going to be an array of exciting evening events for networking, and of course, some great live music. Register today!
Remember, if you’re a musician on a tight budget, we have a limited number of scholarships available on a sliding scale, starting at just $25. We want to make sure that musicians themselves get a place at the table in the debates that impact them the most.