Michael Diamond (L) and Adam Horovitz (Center) of Beastie Boys speak at SXSW 2019
Photo: Mike Jordan/Getty Images for SXSW
Learning In Quarantine: 5 Virtual Music Industry Conferences To Enhance Your Career
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to halt the global live music industry, the concert business and artist community have shifted toward a novel online business model via livestreaming and digital concerts. Music industry conferences, too, have had to rethink their approach in the era of quarantine and stay-at-home orders.
Luckily for aspiring music industry heads and artists alike, many conferences are going fully digital this year.
Below, we've compiled some of the free and low-cost virtual music industry conferences worth attending to enhance your career and craft in 2020.
When: Beginning May 28, every Thursday from 3-6 p.m. EST through the end of July
Cost: Registration is free and open to the public
ASCAP, one of the leading performance-rights organizations (PRO) in the U.S., this month launches ASCAP Experience: Home Edition, a virtual version of their premier music industry conference, ASCAP Experience. The newly announced long-term digital initiative brings the best of ASCAP Experience—industry insight and firsthand know-how from executives and thought-leaders across all sectors of the music biz—directly to your home. Each week, the digital conference will tackle real-time industry topics, including monetization, music publishing and mental and physical wellness, and will feature leading songwriters, producers, music publishers and members of the ASCAP team.
The inaugural ASCAP Experience: Home Edition kicks off next week (May 28) with a stacked guest lineup featuring: two-time GRAMMY winner Shaggy alongside his manager and Cherrytree Records founder Martin Kierszenbaum; songwriters Whitney Phillips and Gian Stone, who will discuss "Stuck With U," the chart-topping super-collaboration from Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber; hit songwriter Priscilla Renea; and others.
Most programming will be available on-demand after each session for those unavailable to attend the live webcast.
Success With Music Virtual Music Conference
When: May 29-31
Where: Modern Musician website
Presented by music industry resource website Modern Musician, this three-day online conference is inviting 15 experts who'll discuss a wide range of topics geared toward artists looking to attract and grow their fan base and make a sustainable living out of their art.
Billed as "the biggest online music conference in the world," the 2020 Success With Music Virtual Music Conference will feature Taylor Swift's former manager Rick Barker and Bandsintown CEO Fabrice Sergent, as well as multiplatinum songwriters, producers and more.
Topics will include music licensing, content marketing, social media, email marketing, brand marketing and more.
Virtual Music Conference
When: June 4
Cost: £20 per ticket (approximately $24)
Billed as the "world's first online dance music conference," the aptly titled Virtual Music Conference is a brand-new online event focusing on the issues and topics affecting the global electronic and dance music world. Geared toward music biz newcomers and those looking to advance their careers, the one-day interactive event will comprise live and archived keynote speeches, panels and discussions with some of the leading artists and industry figures within the genre.
Topics at the inaugural Virtual Music Conference will include live touring, monetization, social media, music rights, promotion, record labels and more. Confirmed speakers and guests include artists like Louie Vega, Mark Knight, Sacha Robotti and Judge Jules, as well as representatives from labels and companies like SoundCloud, Mixcloud, Beatport, Toolroom, Anjunabeats, BBC Radio 1 and Defected, among many others.
Virtual Music Conference, presented by house and techno imprint Toolroom Records and digital label services company Label Worx, will donate all profits from ticket sales to charities supporting the music industry during the COVID-19 pandemic.
All sessions will be recorded and made available for online viewing for those unable to attend the live webcast.
Latin Alternative Music Conference (LAMC)
When: June 9-13
Where: LAMC website
As the leading music conference specializing in Latin music and culture, Latin Alternative Music Conference (LAMC) has helped elevate the genre from a once-alternative scene to a global mainstream movement. Originally scheduled for July, LAMC 2020, which marks the conference's 21st annual installment, is going fully digital next month due to the coronavirus pandemic.
This year's panel discussions will explore a number of pressing topics impacting the Latin music industry and artist community, including mental health for artists and creators, playlisting, music publishing, finance for musicians and entertainment companies and more. LAMC 2020 will also feature a special conversation with and celebration of the women making a difference in the Latin music industry.
In addition to the panels, LAMC 2020 will also feature workshops, showcases and networking opportunities. While no artists have been announced yet, past performers include Julieta Venegas, Natalia Lafourcade, Ana Tijoux, Mon Laferte and others.
International Music Education Summit
When: June 11-13
This three-day online conference and clinic is geared toward practical learning and applicable professional development for music educators and K-12 teachers. International Music Education Summit (IMES) livestreams workshops, clinics, performances, presentations and product demonstrations from music education experts from around the world.
Topics will include copyright, adaptive music instruction for learners with disabilities, educational and music technology, ensemble recording and much more. The conference will also include livestreamed performances, including student performances and student ensembles.
IMES offers on-demand viewing of all the 2020 sessions for at least one year after the event as well as networking opportunities with other attendees via a private Facebook group. All attendees will also receive a professional development completion certificate after finishing the conference.