Musikfest conference to add industry insight to festival's musical offerings
BETHLEHEM, Pa. — In addition to seeing Musikfest's usual lineup of more than 500 musical performances, this year attendees also can learn about the business of American's largest free music festival.
ArtsQuest, the nonprofit that presents Musikfest, announced it will hold its first Musikfest Music Industry and Education Conference, a two-day event focused on "the intersection of music education, popular music and business leadership."
It will be the first such music conference in the Lehigh Valley in more than a dozen years.
The conference will take place 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 1-2 — Musikfest's preview night and first full day — in the Blast Furnace Room at ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks.
The cost to attend the full two-day conference is $90; single days are $50 or $40 for students. You can add a Musikfest mug and a single general admission ticket to a Mainstage show for $20. Conference registration will be announced this spring.
Musikfest this year is scheduled Aug. 1-11.
“By providing a space for discussions on programs, practices and issues in music business and education, the conference actively addresses the current needs and challenges facing these fields."ArtsQuest Director of Music Programming Marissa Guarriello
ArtsQuest in a release described the conference as "tailored for music teachers, arts administrators and business professionals passionate about shaping the future of music education, industry and leadership."
It said the event "promises to be an immersive experience designed to inspire, educate and connect."
"The significance of this conference extends beyond its role as a gathering for professionals, students and enthusiasts,” ArtsQuest Director of Music Programming Marissa Guarriello said.
“By providing a space for discussions on programs, practices and issues in music business and education, the conference actively addresses the current needs and challenges facing these fields."
Not the Valley's first conference
Such music conferences are mainstays of larger music festivals such as South by Southwest, held yearly in Austin, Texas. But it would be a first for Musikfest.
It would not, however, be a first for the Lehigh Valley.
"Join us on this journey to shape the future of music education and industry leadership."ArtsQuest release regarding new Musikfest Music Industry and Education Conference
The area's last music conference was Community Lehigh Valley Music Conference, organized by Ian Bruce, founder of the Lehigh Valley Music Awards.
Held at the Banana Factory in Bethlehem, it drew about 100 registrants to its 17 workshops and clinics and more than 40 music showcases over three days in 2010.
It had a second year as Community 2: Music & Visual Arts Conference in 2011, but was not held after that.
In 2018, Fuzion! music festival and conference would have included performances, discussions and more was planned for South Mall, but was canceled before it was held.
Throughout the new conference, attendees will have the opportunity to participate in interactive workshops, engage in question-and-answer sessions with industry experts and "connect with like-minded individuals," the ArtsQuest release said.
"Join us on this journey to shape the future of music education and industry leadership."
ArtsQuest accepting proposals
ArtsQuest is accepting presenter submissions on a wide range of proposal submission topics, with a focus on engagement and interactivity, so sessions will be informative and enriching for participants.
ArtsQuest is accepting submissions in four formats:
• Programs, Practices and Issues presentation proposals should describe programs or practices that address one or more of the areas of critical need or address a current issue facing popular music performance/education, music industry education and/or business and leadership topics. Proposals should specifically include justification, rationale, context and/or supporting research/literature related to the program, practice or issue. The proposed format might include a paper presentation, discussion groups or demonstration.
• Programs, Practices and Issues posters will have designated time slots and presentation space assigned in the conference schedule. Poster presenters will be present to display and discuss their work during the time assigned. Submission requirements are the same as for presentations.
• Research posters are for those interested in presenting original research that has not yet been published or presented in a similar forum. Research should be related to the conference themes of popular music, music industry and business/leadership.
• Panel Discussion proposals should describe the panel topic(s) and presenters who will be included in the panel (up to five people and a moderator if desired). Proposals should specifically include justification, rationale, context and/or supporting research/literature related to the program, practice or issue.
To be considered as a presenter, you must submit a session proposal at Musikfest.org. Contract Guarriello at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.