things I learned at the Relix Live Music Conference (and lots of pics)
The first-ever Relix Live Music Conference went down at Brooklyn Bowl on Wednesday, May 10th, from 9-5. The sold out industry-oriented event featured panels and presentations about talent buying, festivals, publicists, agents, management, tickets, activism, and future technology. Headlining on the Brooklyn Bowl stage was Brooklyn Bowl/Relix co-owner Peter Shapiro (Dayglo Ventures) and legendary promoter Ron Delsener (LN NY) in converation, and moderated by the wonderful, also very entertaining and very recognizable David Fricke of Rolling Stone. It was a great ending to a worthwhile and informative day.
It was a Relix event in its first year at Brooklyn Bowl, so not surprisingly, many of the panelists had close ties to the jam band scene and/or to many of Peter Shapiro's ventures (Brooklyn Bowl, Capitol Theatre, Lockn' Festival, Relix, etc). Panelists included AEG's Don Strasburg who books many things in Colorado including the legendary Red Rocks venue which was mentioned a few times by people throughout the day, recent AEG signees John Moore and Jim Glancy of Bowery Presents, Knitting Factory turned City Winery owner Michael Dorf, Newport Folk Fest booker Jay Sweet (the third person to ever hold that position), Relix editor Mike Greenhaus, Wetlands booker turned Rocks Off owner Jake Szufnarowski, Phish's manager Patrick Jordan, Warren Haynes/Gov’t Mule manager Stefani Scamardo, Mike Luba of Madison House (who among other things run the shows at Forest Hills Tennis Stadium), Governors Ball booker and co-founder Jordan Wolowitz, and many more.
Photos in the gallery above. A list of some of the interesting things learned/discussed throughout the day, below:
Legendary concert promoter Ron Delsener is a very funny man.
People met their spouses at Wetlands, a venue that encouraged socialization since you couldn't see the stage.
Ron Delsener says real estate is where it's at. Stay away from concert promotion!
People met their spouses at Brooklyn Bowl, a venue that encourages socialization by having many areas that don't require you to always be looking at the stage.
Ron Delsener says take vacations on your way up. Don't wait till you're rich enough!
Bowery Presents now presents/books all AEG shows on the east coast, except AEG Presents tour stops.
Ron Delsener once booked Jimi Hendrix to open a show for $100.
City Winery, already in NY, Chicago, Nashville, Atlanta and Boston, is coming to Colorado soon, and many more cites too.
The one artist Ron Delsener says he wishes he booked but never did, was Elvis (but he did see him live).
City Winery's many locations help it compete against the giants, as do their seats and wine for the older crowd who don't go to shows they have to stand at.
Ron Delsener had met with Bill Graham about collaborating before Bill just decided to open the Fillmore East by himself (it then closed 3 years later).
Newport Folk Fest has a musician-comprised advisory board that includes Colin Meloy of the Decemberists, Jim James of My Morning Jacket and Deer Tick.
Ron Delsener knew CBGB owner Hilly Kristal before CBGB existed.
The Fyre fest fiasco is bad for the industry, especially future startup festivals that nobody will trust now.
Newport Folk Festival is the longest running fest, a non-profit, and bands play for much cheaper than they are worth.
Governors Ball is taking a risk booking Tool since the kids not only have never seen them, they can't listen to Tool's music on Spotify.
Over 10% of attendees at Newport Folk Fest bike there.
Hop Along and Cymbals Eat Guitars have the same manager as Flight of the Conchords, which is awesome.
HeadCount has registered like half a million voters since starting their campaign to register people at concerts, which is awesome.
+1, a company co-founded by members of Arcade Fire, helps people donate $1.00 to charity with each ticket purchase, which more people should do.
Jam band oriented Lockn' fest booker Dave Frey (not really surprisingly) was the co-founder of H.O.R.D.E.
Phish repping WEEN is part of why WEEN (who recently reunited) is so popular, but it's a love/hate relationship.
H.O.R.D.E. started in 1992 because bands like Blues Traveler and Spin Doctors weren't getting put on tours that allowed them to play amphitheaters.
In the UK, concert tickets aren't so exclusive to one seller per venue, as Josh Baron of Songkick pointed out.
Songkick sells tickets directly from bands to fans, and would love if bands were allowed to sell even more of their tickets that way (like in the UK).
As an intern at Madison House, Josh Moore once turned a water cooler into a gravity bong.
Most people mentioned here, and more, can be seen in the gallery above. Looking forward to Relix Live Music Conference 2017!
photos by Marc Millman