Monday Town Hall seminar

John Lawless of Bluegrass Today at IBMA 2009 - photo by Ted LehmannMonday morning, I was honored to participate in an IBMA seminar entitled State Of The Industry: Open Forum. It was moderated by Archie Warnock, and the panelists also included Brandi Hart of The Dixie Bee-Liners and Ronnie Reno, founder of Blue HighwaysTV.

Each of us spoke briefly about ways we have seen the industry change over the past 5 years, which led to some very interesting questions and comment from the folks in attendance. One remarkable thing about World Of Bluegrass is seeing prominent artists, record company heads, print publishers, major festival producers, entertainment attorneys and PRO reps sitting in the gallery taking it all in – and giving some back as well.

I sensed a major change in the pulse of the group from when a similar discussion was hosted two years ago. At that time, the notion of free distribution of recorded music raised the hackles of most of the artists and songwriters, whereas now they are eagerly seeking other ways to monetize their music. It is a very unsettling time in the music business, with long-established models falling left and right, and I’m encouraged to see our little piece of the industry actively embracing and researching new methods and modalities.

The audio from this seminar will be made available, as will all held during this week, shortly after the World Of Bluegrass concludes. Information will be found on the IBMA web site.

Ted Lehmann was also in the audience, and he has a number of photos on his site.

After the session concluded, I had a chance to speak with Alan Munde about the discussion. Alan was also in attendance, and suggested that he had the perfect solution for monetizing free content.

“What I would do is have a form they had to fill out before anyone can download free music online. I would have them put their address, when they are least likely to be home, and where they hide their spare key.

Then I can burgle their homes.”

Better head back to the chalkboard, Professor Munde.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.