There is a big difference between the music conferences. For those that might not be so deep in the music industry, they might look the same. There is a huge difference in the quality of the speakers and what the opportunity would be. In the future, the conference is probably what kind of opportunity you can get your visitors.
My lineup for Future Echoes is already done. We scout around 40 festivals in the world to get the best and most valued speakers. Not many festivals do that. At the same time, we get a lot of festivals that come to us to get speakers. Over the years it has been kind of a thing also, that you don’t approach festivals and ask for a speakers gig. It has been an unwritten law, that you get invited. I have spoken at over 70 different conferences worldwide, and I have been invited to all of them. Maybe I should ask? I have a hard time to break this unwritten rule. And the people that ask around are mainly speaking on conferences that are not calculated as high-profile music conferences.
Right now, even though my lineup is set I get some ”speakers” sending emails that they can speak at the conference. The problem I have with it is that these are not up to the standard at all, but with all these conferences out there it seems to be a thing that you offer your services. Not a friendly, I would fit this panel and you know the person, no we talk people that more or less send their CV out the blue. Of course, someone will probably take them in, especially if you are new in the game and don’t have real contacts in the industry, maybe just local contacts.
This week I got some dude who claims to have worked in the industry for 25 years and talks about NFT projects and the tech industry. Okay NFT:s are totally out, blockchain, forget about it. Also, the guy can’t even show anything he has done to be successful. Can’t prove anything that he could help a new artist go somewhere. Instead, he has some podcast interviews with people who are as old as my dad about new tech stuff. People talking about artists that were done over 20 years ago and can’t even fit into the climate of today’s music industry. The best part is that he claims to be tech savvy, but the email shows that he has sent the same email to a lot of festivals since he has forgotten to take out the brackets with the automatic name fill. I’m pretty fed up with charlatans like this hoovering around.
The second was a musician who thought it would be a good idea to explain what a PRS does. The problem here he is from the USA and that doesn’t work at all like the PRS in Sweden. He could also explain how a publishing contract works, but he is no lawyer. Come on, this low level should be done locally in the local language and not at a music conference. Here you expect the visitor to have some basic knowledge. I have several artists with no careers who also want to speak, but they never have any good subjects. Same here if they can’t do it why should people get advice from them?
Then of course I have the three old stooges who had their career at the beginning of the 90s and now are out of fashion but love to go to conferences telling old stories. You know that, if you haven’t done any significant in the industry after Covid, like promoted a big artist or put in some bigger solution you are in fact not valid, and your info is old. And what can you do for a new artist, just tell them how you broke an artist in 1997. Sorry, that is almost before everybody had internet, and phones were not in everybody’s hands. And you couldn’t surf on them. Sorry, that info is not valid for a new artist, maybe just as an inspiration if it deals with recording and other things, but not as a label, manager, or anything else.
Sorry, most people that we get suggestions from should probably spend time in the audience to learn how it is done today.