Tuesday at IBMA started out as a day of setting up for the week ahead, folks getting registered, before the learning and picking started. Industry professionals shared all sorts of information to help musicians, event planners, broadcasters, and all sorts of industry-related folks learn the most modern and best practices. There were representatives from major streaming sites like Spotify and Pandora, and professionals working within that world of streaming platforms.
Rooms filled with artists, songwriters, and DJs of all kinds were sharing information, asking questions, and hearing the latest information of what artists can do, and should do online these days. There was also an interesting talk by Bart Herbison from Nashville Songwriters Association International about the legal issues for protecting songwriter and musician rights in the current market, and recent legislation that has been passed that will affect writers and performers in the near future.
One of my favorite things to watch is Gig Fair, which is a lot like speed dating for bands, but with bluegrass festival organizers and musicians meeting each other in 5 minute shifts in a large room with lots of tables. The musicians switch at the 5 minute mark, and move to the next festival table. There was an impressive selection of festivals from all over the world there looking for talent to book for their upcoming events.
The Keynote Speaker this year was Alison Brown, who also addressed the realities of the changing world for musicians and record labels over the last couple of decades, and touching on what our community may discover as we look into the future.
In the evening, downtown Raleigh came alive with the sounds of bluegrass music as the conference center, the Marriott, the Lincoln Theater, and various bars and restaurants were host to a succession of bands showcasing their skills and material.
Here are some sights and sounds from Tuesday, September 24.