Tuesday officially kicked off the IBMA convention and once again, participants were greeted warmly by Raleigh which once again did a nice job of setting the atmosphere for the week with their Bluegrass-izing of the famous bronze statue of Sir Walter Raleigh. This year Deering banjos made the Sir Walter statue a huge banjo of his own, adding to the theme that surrounded him last year made from normal-sized discarded parts from Deering “Good Time” banjos.
Inside the conference hall, Tuesday was full of of new information to be learned and music to be heard. There were seminars on many types of issues that might be of help to a musician, a festival promoter or organizer, a radio or internet broadcaster, or other folks affiliated with the business. Topics included legal issues of the business, traveling domestic and internationally with instruments and equipment, booking bands, making recordings, and more. Some of the expert panels not only instructed during the seminars, but also offered helpful resources that could be used at home. Those interested in learning more about legal issues that might be involved with playing music, over the internet, live, or on radio etc can check out David Oxemford’s blog.
One of the fun and potentially helpful events of the day was the “Gig Fair,” which is a lot like speed dating for touring bands, meeting up with folks looking to hire bands for festivals and venues. With tables set up around the room, a timer is set and the bands, or their representatives hop among the tables talking about their bands, and also asking the festivals or establishments about their venues. Many of the nations biggest festivals were represented.
There was also the Keynote address and get together followed by loads of showcase bands performed all over the convention center and the downtown area of Raleigh. Musicians, event organizers, music broadcasters, record label owners and representatives have been showing up from around the globe to take part. A lot of networking will be going on in the convention center this week during allotted times, as well as music, but also all around town as people have a wonderful opportunity to make connections and new friends from around the world.
Here is a fun young band from Toronto, Canada…
..and Jim Hurst’s band at their showcase.