Learning In Quarantine: 5 Virtual Music Industry Conferences To Enhance Your Career

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

The Recording Academy has compiled some of the free and low-cost online music industry conferences worth attending to help elevate your career and craft in 2020

GRAMMYs/May 25, 2020 - 01:19 am

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.

ASCAP Experience: Home Edition

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

Where: ASCAP Experience: Home Edition website

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.

Read: Performing Rights Organizations ASCAP, BMI & SESAC Join In Support Of MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund

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

Cost: Free

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)

Where: Virtual Music Conference website

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. 

Read: How Will Coronavirus Shift Electronic Music? Maceo Plex, Paul Van Dyk, Luttrell, Mikey Lion & DJ Manager Max Leader Weigh In

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

Cost: Free

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.

Read: WATCH LIST: Online Concerts From BTS To COASTCITY To Catch During Coronavirus Quarantine

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

Cost: $97

Where: International Music Education Summit website

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. 

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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. 

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Pearl Jam Named Record Store Day 2019 Ambassadors

Pearl Jam

Photo: Kevin Mazur/


Pearl Jam Named Record Store Day 2019 Ambassadors

Pearl Jam's Mike McCready says "if you love music," record stores are the place to find it

GRAMMYs/Feb 13, 2019 - 04:05 am

Record Store Day 2019 will arrive on April 13 and this year's RSD Ambassadors are Pearl Jam. Past ambassadors include Dave Grohl, Metallica, Run The Jewels (Killer Mike and El-P), and 61st GRAMMY Awards winner for Best Rock Song St. Vincent.

McCready was also the 2018 recipient of MusiCares' Stevie Ray Vaughan Award

The band was formed in 1990 by McCready, Jeff Ament, Stone Gossard, and Eddie Vedder, and they have played with drummer Matt Cameron since 2002. They have had five albums reach No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and four albums reach No. 2.

"Pearl Jam is honored to be Record Store Day's Ambassador for 2019. Independent record stores are hugely important to me," Pearl Jam's Mike McCready said in a statement publicizing the peak-vinyl event. "Support every independent record store that you can. They're really a good part of society. Know if you love music, this is the place to find it."

With a dozen GRAMMY nominations to date, Pearl Jam's sole win so far was at the 38th GRAMMY Awards for "Spin The Black Circle" for Best Hard Rock Performance.

Pearl Jam will be performing on March 3 in Tempe, Ariz. at the Innings festival, on June 15 in Florence, Italy at the Firenze Rocks Festival and at another festival in Barolo, Italy on June 17. On July 6 Pearl Jam will headline London's Wembley Stadium.

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Original Misfits Unleash One Night Only L.A. Reunion Show

Glenn Danzig

Photo: Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images


Original Misfits Unleash One Night Only L.A. Reunion Show

Dark punk legends to play first show with Glenn Danzig and Jerry Only since last year's Riot Fest reunion

GRAMMYs/Aug 22, 2017 - 05:28 am

There's big news today for punk-rock fans aware that the Misfits made much more than just T-shirts.

The massively influential punk band announced a special show touted as the "only 2017 performance in this world… or any world" and billed as "The Original Misfits" in Los Angeles at the Forum on Dec. 30.

This will be the first Misfits show featuring original singer Glenn Danzig and original bassist Jerry Only with long-time guitarist Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein since the band reunited for a pair of Riot Fest appearances in Chicago and Denver in 2016. Last year's Riot Fest gigs, which featured drummer Dave Lombardo, marked the first time in 33 years the original Misfits members played together.

"OK Los Angeles, you've waited almost 35 years for this, here's your chance to see the "Original Misfits" in this Exclusive L.A. only performance." said Glenn Danzig. "No Tour, No BS, just one night of dark metal-punk hardcore brutality that will go down in the history books. See you there."

Tickets for this "one night only" show go on sale Friday, August 25.

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Lady Gaga Steps In To Support Youth Impacted By Hurricanes

Lady Gaga

Photo: Anthony Harvey/Getty Images


Lady Gaga Steps In To Support Youth Impacted By Hurricanes

GRAMMY winner pledges support for those impacted by hurricanes this year through Save the Children’s Journey of Hope program

GRAMMYs/Oct 12, 2017 - 11:03 pm

On Oct. 10 Lady Gaga announced she is devoting her $1 million donation in support of those impacted by the recent hurricanes in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico and the earthquakes in Mexico, to a specific cause — the mental and emotional well being of children and youth.

Gaga announced on her Born This Way Foundation website she will support Save the Children’s Journey of Hope program, which uses a variety of tools to help young people deal with trauma in the wake of natural disasters.

"Through a curriculum that includes cooperative play, discussion, art, meditation, and mindfulness practices, young people learn to recognize and understand their emotions and develop healthy coping skills," Gaga wrote. "Tens of thousands of youth have benefited from the program since it’s development in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and Save the Children is working to bring it to hundreds of thousands more in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico."

The announcement came on World Mental Health Day, and the Fame Monster has invited all of us to step up and consider making a contribution to the Journey of Hope program to support to mental and emotional needs of children.

"Mental health is just as vital to our wellbeing as physical health. That’s true for each of us, everyday, but it’s especially important for those coping with disaster and recovering from trauma," wrote Lady Gaga. "We must do everything within our power to support the full, vibrant recovery of these communities, from meeting their immediate needs to helping them to rebuild sustainably."

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Find Out Who's Nominated For Best Rap Album | 2020 GRAMMY Awards


Find Out Who's Nominated For Best Rap Album | 2020 GRAMMY Awards

Dreamville, Meek Mill, 21 Savage, Tyler, The Creator, and YBN Cordae all earn nominations in the category

GRAMMYs/Nov 20, 2019 - 06:28 pm

The 2020 GRAMMYs are just around the corner, and now the nominations are in for the coveted honor of Best Rap Album. While we'll have to wait until the 62nd GRAMMY Awards air on CBS on Jan. 26 to find out who will win, let's take a look at which albums have been nominated for Best Rap Album.

Revenge of the Dreamers III – Dreamville                                                                        

This star-studded compilation album from 11-time GRAMMY nominee J. Cole and his Dreamville Records imprint features appearances from some of the leading and fastest-rising artists in hip-hop today, including label artists EARTHGANG, J.I.D, and Ari Lennox, plus rappers T.I, DaBaby, and Young Nudy, among many others. Recorded in Atlanta across a 10-day recording session, Revenge of the Dreamers III is an ambitious project that saw more than 300 artists and producers contribute to the album, resulting in 142 recorded tracks. Of those recordings, 18 songs made the final album, which ultimately featured contributions from 34 artists and 27 producers.

Dreamers III, the third installment in the label’s Revenge of the Dreamers compilation series, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart and achieved gold status this past July. In addition to a Best Rap Album nod, Dreamers III is also nominated for Best Rap Performance next year for album track “Down Bad,” featuring J.I.D, Bas, J. Cole, EARTHGANG, and Young Nudy.

Championships – Meek Mill

In many ways, Championships represents a literal and metaphorical homecoming for Meek Mill. Released in November 2018, Championships is the Philadelphia rapper’s first artist album following a two-year prison sentence he served after violating his parole in 2017. Championships, naturally, sees Meek tackling social justice issues stemming from his prison experience, including criminal justice reform. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, his second chart-topper following 2015’s Dreams Worth More Than Money, and reached platinum status in June 2019. Meek Mill's 2020 Best Rap Album nod marks his first-ever GRAMMY nomination.

i am > i was – 21 Savage

Breakout rapper and four-time GRAMMY nominee 21 Savage dropped i am > i was, his second solo artist album, at the end of 2018. The guest-heavy album, which features contributions from Post Malone, Childish Gambino, J. Cole, and many others, has since charted around the world, topped the Billboard 200 – a first for the artist – in the beginning of 2019, and achieved gold status in the U.S. As well, nine songs out of the album’s 15 original tracks landed on the Hot 100 chart, including multi-platinum lead single “A Lot,” which is also nominated for Best Rap Song next year. 21 Savage’s 2020 Best Rap Album nomination, which follows Record of the Year and Best Rap/Sung Performance nods for his 2017 Post Malone collaboration, "Rockstar,” marks his first solo recognition in the top rap category.

IGOR – Tyler, The Creator

The eccentric Tyler, The Creator kicked off a massive 2019 with his mid-year album, IGOR. Released this past May, IGOR, Tyler’s fifth solo artist album, is his most commercially successful project to date. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, marking his first time topping the coveted chart, while its lead single, "Earfquake,” peaked at No. 13, his highest entry on the Hot 100. Produced in full by Tyler and featuring guest spots from fellow rap and R&B stars Kanye West, Lil Uzi Vert, Solange, and Playboi Carti, among many others, IGOR follows the rapper’s 2017 album, Flower Boy, which received the Best Rap Album nod that same year.

The Lost Boy – YBN Cordae

Emerging rapper YBN Cordae, a member of the breakout YBN rap collective, released his debut album, The Lost Boy, to widespread critical acclaim this past July. The 15-track release is stacked with major collaborations with hip-hop heavyweights, including Anderson .Paak, Pusha T, Meek Mill, and others, plus production work from J. Cole and vocals from Quincy Jones. After peaking at No. 13 on the Billboard 200, The Lost Boy now notches two 2020 GRAMMY nominations: Best Rap Album and Best Rap Song for album track “Bad Idea,” featuring Chance the Rapper.