Charleston Music Confab 2017: Panel Highlights: Change The Conversation & Touring Trends

"Change the Conversation" by Beverly Keel (Chair/Professor of MTSU's Department of Recording Industry and Music Journalist). 

Keel touched on the disadvantages for female artists, especially within country music. She stated that radio stations were frowned upon from playing a female artists back-to-back. Rarely female country artists even make the top 20% record charts and radio hits. It may not seem like much to grasp after Taylor Swift smashing crossover albums, but country music has dropped in quality. The modern country song to the modern rap song aren't much of a difference, since the themes tend to be about sex and alcohol. Keel reminds us that "music is supposed to reflect our culture". Compared to their male counterparts, female country singers are actually dominating the music industry lyrically, yet are failed to be promoted in the same way. The live performance of "Tin Man" sparked Miranda Lambert's album to go platinum without having a single radio hit. 

For more information and to get involved please visit Change The Conversation

"Touring Trends" by USC SPTE featuring Armen Ahaomian (Armenia, Inc., CEO), Marshall Lowe (Music Farm Productions, Founder), Charles Carmody (Charleston Musical Hall, Director), Jeff Howard (Talent Agent), Paul Graham (Hootie & The Blowfish, Former Tour Manager), Eddie White (Awendaw Green, Founder). 

Promotors are the backbone of revenue and refunds. If a show is successful, they hopefully breakeven or generate 15-25% of ticket sales for themselves. If a show goes down south or gets cancelled they are the sole responsible party for refunding attendees and sometimes, lets the artists keep their upfront payments depending on the situation. However, there maybe some balance if an artist decides to share a door deal, which puts less strain on the venue if things fall apart. 

Artists tend to sell more merchandise at smaller venues compared to festivals. Fans already overspend before a festival even begins (have you seen those food prices and parking fees?). Another valid point is that merchandise tables at festivals are not within good location ranges. 

Panel advice:
- Location is key, even with merchandise. (Is your table easily accessible?).
- Become organic. (Simply stay true to yourself).
- Become big in one area first. (Shovels & Rope are a great example).
- Realize where you are. (Don't expect a $100 food budget if you're playing a dive bar or a benefit).
- Try ALL jobs within the industry. (The more diverse you are, the better your talents will be, no matter the side of the spectrum).
- Change what you hear and how you hear it. (Be open opportunities and critical feedback).

Change The Conversation:

Charleston Music Confab: