From the south side of Chicago, Boi fLOYD, the rising rap artist has been going hard, grinding in the studio and on stages across the country recently performing at SXSW 2017 Music Festival, creating and sharing some of the dopest music of this era in hip-hop. Known for his single “Maserati Dreams,” Boi fLoyd has been featured on notable hip hop sites HipHopCanada.com, Respect Mag, WorldStarHipHop.com & More. Debut Album “For Better or Worse” features hit single Maserati Dreams, 2 Glocks, How You Do it, Swis Her Sweets and production from Chase Davis, C-Sick and Gettem Louie.
Atlanta Journal Constitution
Netflix on the verge of hitting 100 million subscribers
Atlanta Journal Constitution
FILE – This Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017, file photo, shows Netflix on a tablet, in North Andover, Mass. Netflix is about to hit 100 million subscribers for the first time, hitting a major milestone that underscores how much its video streaming service has …
Netflix Expects to Hit 100 Million Subscribers This Weekend, Still Has 'YouTube Envy'
The Competition May Be Catching Up With Netflix
While certainly challenging, putting together a modest, multi-day festival is by no means un-achievable, provided you’re willing to put in the time and research, and are willing to work together with the rest of your DIY community. Here we review the seven steps to putting a successful festival together.
Putting together a multi-day event in your city requires a little knowledge of booking and who’s who in your local music scene, but it’s not the impossible feat some might imagine. Organizing a festival is within the reach of nearly anyone who’s willing to commit time to planning, researching, and learning.
It’s helpful to remember that DIY is never about flying solo. It’s about working together as a community. Rally friends and fellow contributors in the local scene to join your festival-organizing team. Both the event and your sanity will benefit from sharing responsibilities and the fresh, creative brainstorm that collaborating often sparks. Check out the step-by-step guide below to get started.
1. Determine the Reason
You could organize a festival just for the sake of it, of course. But the most successful events are built around a mission, a purpose. Ask yourself: what’s the reason for this festival?
Consider Ruidosa Festival. This traveling event aims to highlight Latinx women musicians of all genres with a deliberate emphasis on intersectionality.
Another example of an event grounded in social purpose is MACROCK, the longstanding DIY culture fest in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Since the late ’90s, this event has promoted independent musicians and creatives while also providing a forum for education and connections through its panels and expo.
Then there’s the A3C Music Festival and Conference in Atlanta which began in 2005 as a hip-hop showcase and has developed into a massive five-day gathering complete with conferences, film screenings, art, and academic panels.
All three of those festivals have a reason for existing that makes them stand out. What’s yours?
+ Read more on Flypaper: “Why Your Soundcheck Never Sounds the Same as Your Performance”
2. Gather the Lineup
Once you’ve figured out the mission of your fest, the lineup should come easily — or your ideal version of it, at least. Set a goal for how many acts you want to include, then start reaching out to gauge availability and interest. Don’t count on landing every band you want; your dream lineup may not be possible (yet).
One piece of advice is to book the headlining acts as early as possible. When they’re confirmed, you can begin to contact the smaller and local acts on your shortlist and create a long list of backup acts in case some artists fall through or cancel. (There’s always a few).
Budgeting for Your Acts
When building the lineup, you’ll need to consider the cost of each band or artist against what you expect to make. If you’re planning a free event, will you be able to negotiate any payment from the venue? Will you take donations? Ticketed events are a bit easier to calculate, of course.
Figure out how much you’ll charge based on the ideal lineup and multiply it by your estimated attendance, then subtract any operational costs. The result is the sum from which you can pay bands.
Don’t book more acts than you’ll able to afford, and don’t promise anyone a payment you’re not sure you can make. Some bands will be comfortable agreeing on a minimum amount with the promise that, if possible, you’ll add more. Others might not like that agreement, so this could affect who you can realistically confirm for the fest.
3. Add DJs, Vendors, and More
There’s nothing wrong with programming a straightforward lineup of bands and artists, especially when they’re really great live acts. But adding extra elements to spice things up will really help define your festival’s identity.
Get creative and mix things around a bit with performance artists, installations, poets and readings, some food, various lighting combinations and stage designs, etc. Mixing your bills with tons of different acts is a tough balance to strike, but when done right, it will result in a healthily diverse crowd of fans with performers bringing their own followings.
With your mission in mind, think about what you could add that’s not necessarily related to music or performance. Vendors, perhaps? Round up local artists and makers you think your crowd would love and have them pay you a percentage of their sales as “rent.” Not only are you giving folks another reason to check out your fest, but you’re offering a consumer-facing platform for fellow independent and DIY creatives.
This is where you can add more engagement at the event, too. A tarot card reader, a photo booth, a merchandise raffle merchandise donated by local businesses, with funds going to a charity or back to covering the festival’s costs. Think about hosting workshops, panel discussions, and educational seminars as well.
DJs Are a Must
At any show, DJs help keep the vibe lively between bands. At a fest, they can totally save you during unanticipated delays or cancellations. Opening with a guest DJ, possibly someone from a band already on the lineup, can turn a sluggish start, an inherent obstacle to the daytime section in particular, into an enthused setup for the first band. After parties, of course, absolutely require at least one awesome DJ.
+ Learn more on Soundfly: Learn how to book, manage, and promote a DIY tour for your band with our free course Touring on a Shoestring.
Death By Audio in 2012, Brooklyn, NY. Photo by Rebecca Smeyne.
4. Secure a Location
Keep in mind the scale of your event — how many days it will last, the number of performing bands and artists, whether not you’ll need space for vendors or other activities — when choosing a location.
The obvious options, of course, are local venues already set up for live shows. Booking several nights in a row is a big commitment for any club, so it’s important to know your potential draw to figure out whether or not the space is appropriately suited for a fest. Don’t discount the option of using multiple venues, either. You could secure a sizable spot for the full-day lineup and a smaller one for a shorter opening night, for example.
Fests don’t have to be limited to existing clubs, either. Consider other places that could work for the event. For example, if you’re booking an all-women lineup, reach out to a woman-owned business to host some of the activities.
If you’re looking to organize an outdoor festival, you’ll need permits based on your city’s laws. Do the research. Some of this information is available online, or you can contact your local office for special events to check prices and processes. It can be costly.
If your location doesn’t have a staff on the payroll to work the house equipment, remember that you might be responsible for renting the speaker system and hiring somebody to run it yourself!
5. Find Sponsors to Offset Costs
If your fest is need of extra funding, you may want to consider sponsors. That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to reach out to only big corporations, though. We’ll get into that, but first, what are you planning to offer sponsors in return?
Advertising, of course. But pitching your fest requires details and projections — potential sponsors will want to know exactly how much advertising they’ll get in return to gauge their spending or in-kind donation.
You can offer logo placement on all flyers and posters printed (the more you’re printing, the more enticing the offer for the sponsor) as well as inclusion on a prominently placed fest banner. Include them in your social media strategy, too. Work out a minimum number of posts in which they’re tagged or featured.
Are you going to sell official fest merch? You could include sponsors’ logos there too, whether it’s the back of a T-shirt, koozies, or collectible posters.
If you feel that your community is particularly supportive of your DIY festival event, let them help you build it with a crowdfunding campaign!Soundfly’s one-month mentor-assisted course, Crowdfunding for Musicians, can help you increase your chances of success.
In return, what you ultimately want is money. Free cases of booze can boost income, too. If you’re booking at a venue or any place that sells alcohol, loop in management as you negotiate the offer.
Larger companies have money for sponsorships and similar partnerships allotted within their corporate social responsibility (CSR) budgets, but they’re often hard to reach without an inside connection.
Look to companies that have sponsored other events in your city. Ask around for contact info, and give local reps your best pitch. Selling them on the opportunity for exposure to your crowd and other benefits for their brand is key.
Local businesses are another option, and one you shouldn’t overlook. Small, independent businesses tend to support other like-minded endeavors in theory and, when they can, in practice. It’s the same premise as working with a corporate sponsor. With small businesses, however, working together is also an opportunity to strengthen local culture.
Lastly, depending on your city and state (or country!), there may be grants available to help with your festival. Here’s a helpful guide on how to apply for funding once you’ve found an opportunity for which you qualify.
6. Create a Marketing Strategy
Promoting your festival is not unlike promoting a show, but the pressure can easily feel overwhelming. There are more bands to pay, not to mention the success of the event, which falls on you and your organizing team. Forget future sponsorships if things go terribly, by the way. No pressure, right?
If your marketing strategy is on point, you’re more likely to hit numbers that’ll make everyone happy, from the venue to the bands to vendors and even yourself. Print at least twice as many posters and flyers as you hope to have people in attendance. Be thoughtful about where you hang them, and hand out flyers (don’t just leave stacks around bars) at like-minded shows and events. Try buying a bit of advertising time with a local radio station, too.
Boost your Facebook event early on, then again right before the fest for a final push. Check the reach-to-dollars-spent ratio to ensure you’re getting the message out far and wide. And try to plan weekly social media content in advance so you’re not scrambling to post something last minute (anything from photos or videos of the artists, press write-ups, unique content created for the festival, etc).
In all of this, create a hashtag. Come up with something catchy if you can, or simply use the name of the fest. Include it in as much promo as you can to allow attendees, bands, and other involved parties to pick up on it. It’ll help spread the word and come in handy after the event when you’re collecting photos and videos.
+ From the archive: Back when Pokémon GO was eating our attention spans alive and destroying our ability to interact with other humans, bands and venues found clever ways to market events around the game. Check out our full report on their strategy!
7. Prepare Yourself for the Actual Event
Building a DIY fest is a detailed process. If it’s new to you, it may seem overwhelming. If you stay organized, it’s more likely you’ll successfully check every box. Keep meticulous records of everything: your to-do list, agreements with anyone involved, money spent, deadlines in your timeline, and so on. Commit your time and effort to realizing the festival you imagined, and you’ll likely find organizing feels a lot more natural.
A Few Tips to Remember
- Map out the itinerary of each day or night completely from start to finish.
- Know the individual setup of every performer. Make sure he or she knows what gear is available and what isn’t, what time to load in and soundcheck, and of course, the time of his or her set.
- Have a discussion about when payments will be made. Sometimes it’s best to do the math after the chaos is over, but don’t assume bands are okay with waiting a few days to be paid. Talk about it ahead of time.
- If you’ve got vendors, plot the setup beforehand. Consider lighting for tables if the event is at night. Make sure vendors know when to arrive and who’s responsible for tables (you, the venue, or the vendors themselves).
- Make sure you’ve completed any on-site advertisement obligations with sponsors. Have your entrance situation covered, be it contracting your own door person or using the venue’s.
- Accept the fact that you probably won’t get to fully enjoy the event. Most likely, you’ll be running in circles corralling bands, replenishing merch stock, finding change for the door person, and answering variations of, “What time does X band play?”*
*Posting a schedule on social media is strongly encouraged, but you’ll be asked this question repeatedly anyway.
Lastly, when all is said and done, you’re not actually done. Pool photos from social media (here’s where the hashtag comes in handy) and share them with attendees on the event page, as well as with sponsors, bands, and anyone else involved. Whether you decide to organize a second edition or not, everyone will get a final marketing boost from the post-fest content.
Jhoni Jackson is an Atlanta-born writer based in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She covers Latinx music and culture for Remezcla, runs a monthly queer party, and also organizes a recurring pop-up feminist bazaar. Until last year, she co-owned a mid-size venue; right now, she’s plotting a new venture. Follow her on Twitter for links to her stories, or on Instagram for (mostly) pictures of her cats.
Google agrees to open Android to other search engines in Russia
Google has agreed to be less controlling about what Android phone manufacturers can do in Russia, as the result of a settlement today with the country's antimonopoly agency. In addition to paying a $7.8 million fine, Google has agreed to stop …
Russia's main search engine defeats Google in antitrust complaint (update)
Google reaches $7.8 million settlement in its Android antitrust case in Russia
Google agrees to open Android to competing apps in Russia
Here BMI interviews multi-Emmy and GRAMMY award-winning composer Laura Karpman about her history-making work in the music business, as well as her passion for helping women in the industry find success, and her advice for doing so.
Guest post by Nina Pacent of BMI
When little girls think of what they’d like to be when they grow up, they can add “renowned composer” to the list, thanks in part to the work, both musical and influential, of BMI composer Laura Karpman. Musically, the four-time Emmy and GRAMMY award-winner maintains a vibrant career in film, television, videogame, concert and theater music. Her distinguished credits include the hit series Underground, Kasi Lemmons’ Black Nativity, Eleanor Coppola’s upcoming film Paris Can Wait, Spielberg’s miniseries Taken, as well as the Showtime series Odyssey 5 and Masters of Science Fiction, both of which were Emmy-nominated. She has received two GANG awards, and an additional nomination for her videogame music, which has been performed by orchestras internationally. Commissioned by Carnegie Hall, Karpman collaborated with soprano Jessye Norman and The Roots on Ask Your Mama, which received a sold-out premiere at Carnegie Hall in March 2009, as well as a sold-out west coast premiere at The Hollywood Bowl. The acclaimed work also enjoyed a revival at the iconic Apollo Theater in Harlem, while the recording received 3 GRAMMY nominations, winning two. The prolific composer has now also been awarded a grant from Opera America to develop an opera with NY Times columnist Gail Collins called Balls! based on the historic tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs.
Influentially, Karpman is the founding President of the Alliance for Women Film Composers, has served as an advisor for the Sundance Film Scoring Lab and is the first American woman composer accepted to the Music Branch Executive Committee of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. She is also the newly elected governor of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Music Branch.
BMI caught up with the wave- and history-making music creator to hear her thoughts on her work, her passion to help women in the industry and her advice. Here’s what she said.
Tell us how you started out as a composer and your role in helping to create the Alliance for Women Film Composers. What gave you the idea? What were the biggest obstacles you faced?
My mother decided she wanted me to be a composer when she was pregnant with me, so I got a head start! I began writing music when I was very young and I never really thought of doing anything else. But, I did think I would be a New York new music composer. That shifted when I spent three weeks at the first iteration of the Sundance film composer’s lab. That lab changed my life as it has done for so many others. I always was interested in drama and was an avid reader of plays, but I just didn’t connect the dots between drama, music and film until I got to Sundance.
Once I got to LA, I was able to break into network television movies relatively easily. They were very few women composers scoring at that point, and I think that television movies happened for me not because my music was really ideally suited to that (I was a modernist serialist composer, after all!), but because it was something that producers and directors could imagine a woman scoring. Now, twenty years later, we get to the Alliance for Women Film Composers. The Alliance came together because of a confluence of events… our beloved Doreen Ringer-Ross at BMI hosted a lunch for women composers in August of 2013. There, I met a lot of talented and accomplished women and we all discovered that we had a tremendous camaraderie and similarity of experience. A couple of months later, Dr. Martha Lauzen, a researcher based out of Cal State San Diego, included women composers for the first time in her study of the top 250 box office films. We saw that our numbers were 2% – the lowest of any position in Hollywood, and so Miriam Cutler, Lolita Ritmanis and I got together and decided to start the Alliance.
I think the biggest obstacle we faced was just simply openly talking about sexism in Hollywood. All of us experienced it in one way or another, but didn’t feel comfortable talking about it out loud. And indeed, that has radically changed. There is a big conversation happening now and we have so many advocates – everybody realizes that there’s a big problem, and we are all putting our heads together to try to fix it.
Are those obstacles receding now that women in film are getting more exposure?
I think the obstacles are known, and they will recede, but they are stubborn.
Tell us about being the first American woman composer accepted to the Music Branch Executive Committee of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. What is your role and is the position different than what you envisioned?
I have to say I never expected to be a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures. I was so delighted to be admitted in 2015. I felt like I was finally part of something, rather than outside of something. Michael Giacchino, then Governor Charlie Fox, and Charles Bernstein put me on the executive committee in time for the membership meeting last year. They all wanted to see more inclusion in the Music Branch, and I think I was helpful in introducing them and the members of the executive committee to some of the wonderful women composers that are currently working very hard in our field.
You were also elected Governor of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Music Branch and spearheaded the inclusion of 12 new women to the Music Branch. That’s a historic achievement. What’s turning the tide for women in positions on Boards of this stature?
There are a lot of amazing women on the board. Real advocates for diversity including Laura Dern, Annette Benning, Nancy Utley, Rory Kennedy, Sharen Davis, Kate Amend, Kathy Kennedy, Robin Swicord (and others!) as well many men who want to see change as well. I think it’s really important to acknowledge that men are making a huge difference. Men must be partners and advocates in the push for inclusion.
I poured my heart and soul into ASK YOUR MAMA I collaborated with the legendary Jessye Norman and the iconic group The Roots. I had a brilliant and relatively unknown text by the great American poet Langston Hughes, so I think the odds were stacked in my favor. The extraordinary thing about the poem is that in the right-hand margins, Langston Hughes describes how the music should sound. It’s like getting the best spotting notes in the world from the most poetic and erudite director. I was really able to use my skills as a film composer and the musical gymnastics that we perform daily.
Tell us about your work on Underground and collaborating with Raphael Saadiq and John Legend. In what ways did you complement each other’s strengths?
Raphael and I have worked on a number of projects together. Underground is a very special show. The writing is nothing short of brilliant. The executive producers, John included, look for a sound that is really part traditional action scoring, part contemporary music, part hip-hop… It’s constantly shifting and changing. It’s a fantastic show to work on. We both feel we can really be our compositional selves. Working with Raphael has been one of the most enriching experiences of my life. He calls me his professor, but the truth is I think I’m learning more from him. He brings such soul, such warmth and such a different musical perspective to my work. I just love it. I never thought I would like collaborating with other composers, but I find it totally inspiring and I hope to do more.
Tell us about Balls! your opera based on the legendary tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs. How did you come up with the idea and what story are you trying to tell about the historic match?
I came up with the idea one day when I was taking a walk on the beach. I identified Gail Collins, the opinion columnist for the New York Times, as great potential collaborator. Her tone is both serious and fantastically ironic and utterly perfect for this project.
Look, this tennis match was operatic. Literally, Billie Jean was brought in on a litter like the famous scene from Aida. Obviously the idea of a woman triumphing against all odds appeals to me. I think art is a way to talk about society, and perhaps, in some small way, to change it.
What’s the most important legacy you’d like to leave?
Oh god, am I leaving already!!!??? I guess I want my tombstone to read “maximalist.” I’m not in the ‘less is more’ school. I like to write thick, complicated music. I value simplicity and clarity, but I also value conceptual thinking in concert and film music.
Legacy… I don’t want to leave things the way that I found them. I don’t want to continue having this discussion about women not having the same opportunities as men. I want to look back at this time and see that this was when it all finally really changed.
What advice would you give aspiring women composers?
Be prepared for everything and anything. Have your musical chops together, have your emotional chops together, get out there, and ask us for help when you need it.
Tell us about your relationship with BMI.
I joined BMI when I was 19 years old and a sophomore at the University of Michigan School of Music. James Roy, a fine southern gentleman, recruited me and I have never looked back. I still have my first royalty check, which I think was for two cents. And that’s my two cents!
Galaxy S8 vs. iPhone 7 Plus and every top Android phone: The ultimate speed test
What's the fastest smartphone you can buy right now? Is it the brand new Galaxy S8 or LG G6? Is it Apple's iPhone 7 Plus that was released last year? Or is it one of the best Android phones of 2016, such as Google's Pixel or the OnePlus 3T? A thorough …
Analyst speculates Apple's OLED 'iPhone 8' could ditch embedded fingerprint sensor
iPhone 8 Without Touch ID Doubtfully Called One 'Likely Option' if Apple Can't Place It Under Display
iPhone 8's new fingerprint sensor may be on the fritz
For months, YouTube has been the music service the industry loves to hate. Love, because of its huge audience that can clearly break artists and boost releases. Hate, because of the comparatively small revenue it returns to creators and rightsholders. But now broadcast radio is feeling the heat, and for exactly the same reasons.
By digital music strategist and journalist Matt Voyno
Recently at the Music 4.5 seminar at Reed Smith offices in NYC members of music industry from SiriusXM, BMI, RIAA, Nielsen, A2IM and more came together to talk the economics of streaming music and closing the value gap.
Speakers discussed the issues facing artists and the industry on both the major label and indie side of things. There was talk about all of the varied streaming rates, the evolution of streaming music, and of course YouTube, the biggest free streaming service in the world. While YouTube is still a clear obstacle to higher streaming rates for artists, labels, and the music industry at large, it has made good on it’s promise to bring more of the music industry on-side and tackle the pressing issues.
But the surprise theme of the Economics of Streaming seminar was how some of the music industry has shifted their attack from YouTube to Radio. Yes, you read that right, Terrestrial Radio or as A2IM CEO Richard Burgess put it “The original streaming service.” At A2IM Richard has touch points with thousands of record labels and hundreds of thousands of jobs directly related to the music industry. Richard talked about how in the year 2020 it will be the 100 year anniversary of radio and during that time it’s mainly been “A CENTURY OF SHAME.”
Total US Radio revenue last year was $17Billion. How much went to artists, labels, musicians? $ZERO$. Not one red cent. For years Radio relied on the argument that it was a “promotion tool,” well that argument doesn’t hold up in 2017. We have moved on as a listening public. Streaming is the new Radio and it pays 70% of it’s profits to artists.
“I don’t believe it’s music’s responsibility to manage the growth potential of the business using it.” This argument was from Barry Massarsky, the go-to music industry economist and consultant, who basically shut down any arguments from those complaining that streaming services are being pressed too hard by the music industry. Barry went on to show how in a regulated market economy you do not achieve a fair value for music. Looking at Radio, Satellite Radio, Internet Radio, and Streaming Music you see just how little Terrestrial Radio pays. Under 3% of Radio’s total revenue goes back to the artists—those same artists who are the foundation of their entire industry. It’s incredible that Radio has gotten away with this for so long. Well according to Barry the industry is “mad as hell, and they’re not going to take it anymore.”
Ultimately the attack on Terrestrial Radio is because the digital music service providers are attempting to use historic Radio rates in today’s negotiations. Both Barry and Richard echoed that historic rates cannot be trusted when finding the true value of music. That radio does not pay for music is increasingly damaging in a streaming economy. It amounts to a government mandated subsidy that makes it more difficult to negotiate with digital services providers.
If artists want a fair play for fair pay from the likes of Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, Pandora and the rest, then they need to bend the will of the last hold out in the free music game: Radio needs to pay. It feels like this movement is just getting started and as the industry makes critical decisions on the future streaming rates/the livelihood of creators then Radio needs to get the message that the gravy train is over and artists won’t take it anymore.
It didn’t do quite as well as his first album.
50 Cent may soon see himself back in court for another lawsuit.
This doesn’t sound good.