What I Learned At The IBS Conference


On Saturday, March 2, I joined a panel at the IBS Conference hosted at Hotel Pennsylvania in New York City to discuss festival organization and booking artists for festivals and radio interviews. A few years ago, silently, I started working as a talent agent in the music business. I would recommend or refer artists that I’ve either worked with, worked for or really admire to festival organizers and radio programmers. Customarily, the recommended artists would get paid for the gigs along with frequent radio play. All recommended artists have been professional artists with great communication skills, great stage presence and practice punctuality. Last year and the year before, I worked for a high school festival called “CHAMPS Fest” based in Southern California.

Upon arrival, I sat in on the “Meet and Greet With Recording and Touring Artists” panel and here’s some of the information that stuck out to me:

  • There’s a folk DJ who has a grass roots charting system. It is all compiled by one guy.
  • DJs are listening to other DJs.
  • Good producers used really good samples.
  • Surprised to see that CMJ was not well received because for a very long time, it was a big reporting mechanism.
  • Bob Dylan captured something that was really happening. Ray Charles, James Brown, all of these artists that have been seminal are sampled more than others for a reason.
  • Analog requires interaction. If you are just working on your music via computer, you miss the interaction.
  • We are a visual community. When using social media, they highly recommend putting up a picture. Upload a photo on Facebook, put the link in your post. People, or fans, are more apt to click on the picture than just a link. Live tweet a broadcast.
  • Artists want to give back, because radio programmers and tastemakers are giving so much.
  • Artists are really hungry because there is such a big pool of artists now. They want to be on your show. They want to speak to you. You (radio) become a conduit for the artists. You can get some really big people coming to your station. You (radio) have a great deal of power. You have access to something that a lot of people want.
  • Don’t become an ass-hat, because everything that comes up must come down.
  • You can make a life doing this.

In other panels, they discussed it all. From creating and hosting a morning show to gaining knowledge about fundraising, grants and underwrites for your station. Some time after, it was our turn to perform. See the impromptu live stream here. Our audience asked great questions and we answered.

After the conference, we all went to dinner. It was my first time eating at Peking Duck House, so I didn’t know what to order. Obviously, duck is their specialty. As soon as we walked through the door, we met maitre d’ handling business and chefs slicing deep-fried ducks on a table. Talk about getting the whole experience… Whilst we waited against the wall for roughly an hour, I talked to DJ Young Shade about school, sliced duck and patrons. We sat and ate. After eating, we walked back to the train station. Well after the entire experience, I realized that I was dining with Lil Jon’s family. Mom, auntie and son are all so lovable and admirable.

Papa Jon just released a new single called, Work. If you’re newly into Zumba Fitness and working out like I am, I suggest you purchase and download this track. It’ll look and sound great on your playlists.

For more about the IBS conference, just click here.