“The business of everything… music fest, film fest, and tech.”
The International Music Festival Conference that took place between December 13-15, was truly an inspiring experience. Whether you’re a first time festival thrower, a veteran in the industry or anywhere in between theres sincerely something for all the festy professionals at IMFCON.
Get to know your industry with professionals:
Having the opportunity to listen to some of the industries most impressive, bad ass and accomplished professionals, in a chill and intimate setting was a remarkable experience. Highlights included: uncovering the forecast of the “festival bubble” from guru’s such as Simon Rust Lamb (Former Chief Operating Officer & General Counsel, Insomniac) and Andy Herman (Music Editor, LA Weekly). Learning a deeper understanding of the importance of “niche festivals” from our very own Shambha-lebrity miss Britz Robins (Media Director, Shambhala Music Festival) and Tucker Gumber (Founder, Festevo). Tips on talent buying from Billie-Jo Aasen (President, 542 Entertainment) and Pete Gross (Director of Music Summit). The List goes on and on. Everything from sponsorship activation and retention — safety, security and staffing — tackling technology at festivals — the social impact of festivals – these big comfy couch sessions covered an array of interesting topics.
It did seem like the primary focus was on EDM and country music festivals, however, all the learnings were applicable to any type of event. Each panel was moderated by an appropriate industry professional who kept all of the sessions fluxed with great questions and did a good job of ensuring super long awkward moments of silence were a non-issue.
Got Questions? Get them ANSWERED!
There are A LOT of logistics involved in throwing a festival. A LOT! As a festival thrower you can save yourself hours of frustration and mistakes by taking advantage of the numerous technologies out there. Everything from ticketing companies such as Universe, to Festival Apps like Festevo, right down to, SUBPAC Tactile Bass Systems (something no silent disco should ever go without) is all right there for you to learn about. It’s super convenient and far more fun to check these technologies and services out first hand while having your questions and queries answered face-to-face. (Be a human… YAY!)
Here’s your playground… now go play!
The environments created for people to easily meet and get to know each other was easily my favourite part of the conference. Highlights included: the “un-conference” where attendees were grouped together at different tables so they could have the chance to meet new people and get to know them more throughout the conference. Fest300’s lavish laying cabana hang. Lagunitas and Eventbrite’s night of tasty taco’s après cocktail (soooo many cocktails) hang at San Diego’s finest MusicBox. Sailing away into the SD sun set with Pedi Cab People Movers. Lastly, capping the journey off with late night tiny tasters of moonshine from our charming and hospitable new friends from Sugarlands Shine. Reflecting back on it all now, it’s never the places you go but the people you meet that truly make experiences memorable. IMFCON was most definitely chalked full amazing people!
Will IMFCON turn your festival into Coachella over night? Probably not… BUT holy hell will it ever give you some invaluable connections and tools to help save you precious time and cash-money along the way.
Here are a few of the Festival MUST attends of 2016 that I discovered through IMFCON:
Northern Nights – People with big hearts tend to throw a big party! Our trusty friends at Fest 300 wrote: “NORTHERN NIGHTS MUSIC FESTIVAL HAS A MISSION: TO TAKE YOUR VERSION OF THE COOKIE CUTTER ELECTRONIC MUSIC FESTIVAL AND DESTROY IT…” Did we mention it runs along side a river? Hellloooooo floatilla!
Snow Globe – Bundle up, build a snowman and get ready for something new. This festival has created it’s own niche with winter vibes galore. What a great way ring in the New Year.
Oasis Festival – Dance somewhere different, experience something new. Saddle up your camel and we’ll see you under the stars of Morocco.
Buku Music and Art Project – From the tastemakers that saved Canada’s beloved Pemberton Music Festival, Huka Entertainment, this New Orleans based festival sounds like a giant house party with an epic twist.
Electric Forest – The name says it all. Go. Find your people amongst the forest. It’ll be worth it.
Mill Valley Film Festival – Film Festival meets live music, we’ve got a hybrid here folks and it looks GREAT!
Extreme MudFest – If Country is your thang you need to be here. Demolition derby and all!