On September 23rd, Summerfolk will host a one-day intensive music business conference in Owen Sound to help aspiring and emerging artists of all ages and genres develop the skills they need to start and sustain robust musical careers.
Performers spend hundreds of hours learning to play but when it comes to business, practice is difficult and trial and error is expensive. For performers in smaller and rural areas, opportunities to develop their business skills can be even harder to find and lead some aspiring performers to believe that musicians have to move to the city to ‘make it’. When musicians leave rural areas the local culture and economy lose.
Summerfolk has been working to support the local and rural music scenes by hosting monthly music business workshops since January with the goal of helping musicians learn about the business from established professionals. The Music Biz Tune UpConference will concentrate the information from the workshop series and go deeper through ten workshops presented in five timeslots throughout the day.
“We had a great response to the workshops and this conference will let people who missed them get a large dose of professional knowledge quickly,” said Jon Farmer, series coordinator.
Workshop topics range from learning how to register for royalties and how to book gigs, to an introduction to sound engineering and sessions about performers’ unique legal and accounting issues.
“We’ve set it up so that there’s something for the people who want to learn what it takes to get their first paid gigs as well as more specific sessions for performers who have been playing weekend shows for years and want to make music their full time job,” Farmer added.
Thanks to grant funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation and sponsorship from Music Ontario, conference registration — a $140 value — is only $50 and includes lunch and dinner. Summerfolk is providing performers who are 24 and younger a further 50% registration discount and is making travel bursaries available. Online registration is open now at summerfolk.org/musicbiztuneup.
Travel can be exhausting and for touring musicians everyday travel struggles come with the added pressure to perform at your best every time you take to the stage. Five Time Maple Blues Award Nominee and Grey Bruce musical export Samantha Martin will return to Owen Sound on July 16th to share the tips and strategies that touring musicians use to keep themselves at the top of their game while on tour. The workshop is the seventh in Summerfolk’s Music Biz Tune Up workshop series helping local performers develop the business skills they’ll need to make the most of their musical careers.
Samantha Martin has deep family roots on the Bruce Peninsula and she spent a formative musical period in Owen Sound. Now, she fronts an in-demand band (Samantha Martin and Delta Sugar) and tours from coast, to coast, to coast in Canada as well as in Europe and the USA. With so much time on the road, Samantha has built up an arsenal of tricks to stay healthy and happy. “The more planning ahead of time you do – means when the unexpected happens (and it always does) you are in a position problem solve with the least amount of stress”, she said. The interactive workshop will allow participants to ask questions and learn from Samantha’s stories first hand.
Summerfolk is presenting Music Biz Tune Up workshops every month to help local musicians of all genres develop the business skills they need without having to leave the area to develop. The On the Road Survival workshop will run from 1-3pm at the SuiteSpots building at 1051 2nd Ave East, Owen Sound. Participants can register online at Summerfolk.org/musicbiztuneup or at the door on the day of the workshop. Registration is $20.
On May 28th, Summerfolk will host the next installment of the Music Biz Tune Up workshop series helping local artists develop the skills they need to support their art. This next session will focus on elements of web and graphic design and will be hosted by Tracey Fawcett and Summerfolk designer Simon Farla. Tracey owns and operates Weblia creative and Simon runs his own design company. They will share their industry expertise to teach participants about setting up a website and help them to analyze the promotional materials and platforms they already have. Participants who want direct feedback can share their websites ahead of time by contacting series organizer Jon Farmer (jon.a.farmer (at) gmail.com).
Visit the website or Facebook event for the latest information.
Registration is $20.
On Sunday April 2nd, Summerfolk will present the third workshop in the monthly Music Biz Tune Up series helping Grey Bruce musicians develop the business skills they need to start and sustain musical careers. Canadian Folk Music Award nominee Andrea Ramolo – also of folk duo Scarlett Jane – will lead the session to share her expertise and experience booking gigs as both an independent and professionally managed artist.
Performances are often musicians’ main sources of income but successful gigs don’t just happen. Booking gigs and tours can be complicated and Ramolo will untangle the confusion to give musicians of all genres advice about finding opportunities, communicating with venues, and arranging performances. Sometimes it makes sense to let someone else manage bookings for you. Ramolo will also answer questions about managers, why artists higher them, and when it makes sense to. The workshop is geared to musicians at any stage of their careers.
The Music Biz Tune Up will run from 1-3pm on April 2nd at the Suite Spots on 2nd avenue in Owen Sound. Registration is $20 but participants who register for the entire 7-part series will receive a 25% discount. Participating musicians can register online at www.summerfolk.org/musicbiztuneup or at the door.
On April 1st, the night before the workshop, Ramolo will perform songs from her latest solo album NUDA at Heartwood Concert Hall, in Owen Sound. She’s splitting the bill with upcoming Albertan blues player Jenie Thai and the evening will be packed full of tender lyrics, powerful songs, and punchy piano. Tickets for the concert are available at Heartwood Home and online through Ticketfly.com.