Homesick for CMJ
The CMJ Music Marathon kicked off yesterday in New York - a music conference where over 1,300 musicians from around the world converge over 5 days and nights, 80 venues and play to a collective audience of over 120,000 people. From my days of working in the music industry, especially college marketing, this event has a special place in my heart and is one of the things I miss most about living in New York. The last CMJ conference I attended was in October of 2004. I moved to the UK the day after it ended and haven’t been back since… so around this time every year, I get a little bit homesick.
CMJ has come a long way from a struggling music trade publication aimed primarily at college music directors to a highly regarded international music festival. With the integration of Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and the CMJ Music Marathon website, college radio DJs, record labels and fans of up-and-coming music acts are able to stay on top of any last minute changes to party locations, panel speakers, gig schedules during the festival and even the best places to eat near the venues across the city. This is especially handy for out-of-town visitors unfamiliar to the area.
Those, like me, who aren’t able to attend the event can keep up to date with who is playing, speaking and just general happenings through Tweets by following the #CMJ hashtag, the CMJ Music Marathon Facebook page, the CMJ 2011 Tumblr feed, where they are broadcasting videos of some of the best performances or by listenening to KEXP.org, who are live broadcasting performances. CMJ has also teamed up with various apps like Spotify and Plus Music, which enable listeners to discover new music from some of the performers playing during the Music Marathon.
Having been closely involved with the event for seven years from being a college rep to overseeing a crew of college reps and also having friends who worked for CMJ over the years, I’m extremely proud that it is still going strong. I can’t wait to get back there one day. If I were there, I’d definitely be checking out Dovecote Record’s Ski Lodge and Math The Band.