Just a generation ago, music artists longed to be signed by a major record company and young business hopefuls lobbied to get a job with a major record label, management team or music publisher. Modern technology has eased the challenges of music production, distribution and publicity, such that everything seems easier to do and with less financial risk at start-up. Several challenges remain, however, including, “How do I get my product to the attention of the masses?” and “How can I generate income from this?” Meanwhile, this entrepreneurial spirit and enterprising initiative of thousands of independent artists, record companies, managers, publishers and similar do-it-yourselfers has fueled the independent music industry.
The American Association of Independent Music (A2IM), a not-for-profit trade organization representing more than 500 independently-owned American record labels, celebrates and promotes the independent music industry each year by sponsoring Indie Week in New York. During the daytime on June 18 to 21, participants attended conferences, panel discussions, and networking events at the Clemente Soto Velez Cultural & Educational Center in New York City. The evenings were filled with live music, presentations, and socials at Manhattan night spots.
Several participating organizations coincided their own celebrations with Indie Week 2018. M for Montreal, Dutch Music Export, CIMA, Dutch Culture USA, and the Consulate General of Canada in New York hosted a showcase of live music at Pianos on June 19. The Reeperbahn Festival, based in Hamburg, Germany, held a showcase at Pianos on June 20. Alternative Distribution Alliance (ADA) Worldwide celebrated its 25th Anniversary as a leading global distribution and services organization within the independent music community by hosting a concert on June 20 at the Bowery Ballroom. The week culminated with the indie industry’s biggest night, the Libera Awards at the PlayStation Theater.