Beautiful music. Lofty aspirations. Confluence Carolinas is Back.
Beautiful Music. Big Aspirations.
Confluence Carolinas Is Back.
Charlotte-based Arsena will be among 40+ artists playing Confluence Carolinas Oct. 18 and 19.
COURTESY OF: Music Everywhere CLT
CONFLUENCE MUSIC CONFERENCE AND FESTIVAL RETURNS IN OCTOBER
“Confluence is a way of bringing together industry experts and thinkers so that our music community can learn the tools and make the connections necessary to build a sustainable career in music, whether that is part-time or full-time. “ – Rick Thurmond, organizer of the Confluence Carolinas Music Industry Conference and Festival.
On October 18 and 19, music will be in the air of Charlotte. But, then, it always has been.
Once upon a time, Charlotte was more famous than Nashville as a recording studio town. In the 1930s, Country Music Hall of Famer and “father of bluegrass music,” Bill Monroe, was broadcasting across the Carolinas on WBT Radio. In the 1950s, bands broadcast live from the Excelsior Club on WGIV, the first first black radio station in Charlotte, on Sunday nights.
James Brown recorded “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag” here and launched his career to new heights. R.E.M. recorded their breakout albums, “Murmur” and “Reckoning” at the old Reflection Studios. And, the Avett Brothers played their first gigs right here.
The music industry has a strong history in the Queen City. But, it also has a deep well of talent now and a bright future ahead if we help artists succeed as creative entrepreneurs and we engage the community in supporting what we have.
And, that’s what the Confluence Carolinas Music Industry Conference and Festival (Confluence) aims to put on display when it takes over the AvidXchange Music Factory and stages across the city in mid-October.
Building a Music Industry by Building Local Talent
Confluence debuted in 2019 at the U.S. National Whitewater Center. The event offered two days of panel discussions and seminars from industry experts, accompanied by live performances by a diverse lineup of Charlotte-based artists.
While the pandemic turned down the volume for a few years, Music Everywhere CLT and Charlotte Center City Partners, organizers of Confluence, are turning it back up to eleven next month.
“Our goal is not to become Nashville or Austin or wherever,” Rick Thurmond of Music Everywhere CLT. “It is to become the best version of Charlotte that we can be, and we think our best self includes music as an essential and supported element. We want musical artists to be able to stay here and build sustainable careers, and we want to welcome artists looking for that opportunity. “
Snug Harbor in Plaza-Midwood is one of nine local venues activated during the festival.
COURTESY: Music Everywhere CLT
5 THINGS WE LOVE ABOUT CONFLUENCE
At Charlotte Is Creative, we get excited about efforts to excite the community about local artists while helping those artists to be more sustainable and successful creative entrepreneurs. And, Confluence has that in spades.
Here are five reasons we’re particularly jazzed about Confluence. And, it’s why we’re proud to be one of their 2023 media partners.
IT EMBRACES THE BUSINESS OF MUSIC.
Local creatives, including musicians, are a critical part of our community’s quality of life and our business community. For that to continue, artists must have the knowledge and support to sustain themselves as entrepreneurs. Confluence offers more than 40 speakers from across the industry and the country sharing their knowledge on how to build a career in music. MORE INFO.
IT FOCUSES ON CHARLOTTE-BASED ARTISTS AND STAGES.
For anyone who doubts the depth of talent in the Queen City, Confluence is the opportunity to dive in and find your new faves.
The musical prowess is on display with headliner Of Good Nature along with Natalie Carr, Dane Page, Mason Parker, Curt Keyz and Arsena, to mention a few. We’re gratified to see the Harvey Cummings Project, RoyalCity LIF, Vadim Kolpakov, Lynsea, Tre Charles and many others we’ve worked with at Charlotte Is Creative on the roster. MORE INFO.
For just $35 for a music pass (see more below), audiences can enjoy more than 45 local/regional artists in two days on stages across the city. This isn’t an “Uptown festival.” It’s a “Charlotte festival.” Thurmond said activating a variety of music venues is a celebration of their resilience through the pandemic: “We want to make it easy for people to discover and sample places like Petra’s and Snug Harbor and Neighborhood Theatre.”
IT OFFERS THREE WAYS TO JOIN IN AT REASONABLE COSTS.
In other markets, tickets for similar music events cost hundreds of dollars. That price point is a barrier to entry to those working to make a living in the music industry and music fans alike. Thurmond says prices were set with that firmly in mind.
An all-access pass for both days is $75 and includes an invite to the October 17 Opening Party featuring Abby Bryant and the Echoes. A pass for the speakers/classes is $50. And, a pass to all the performances is $35. GET YOUR PASS.
YOU CAN BE PART OF THE SCENE.
If you’re excited about supporting local music and expanding your network and getting your hands dirty while enjoying everything Confluence has to offer, you can do it. Whether you’re in the music business or not, you’re invited to lend a hand. And, volunteers get free access to the events. MORE INFO.
THIS IS JUST THE BEGINNING.
Too often, we’re looking for immediate solutions in Charlotte – quick opportunities to hang the “Mission: Accomplished” banner. But real change takes time, commitment and perseverance. Charlotte’s current culture around music took decades to form. It can be improved and strengthened … over time.
Thurmond is keeping that very much in mind as he and his team work. Music Everywhere CLT launched in 2019 as a long-term civic initiative. Confluence is a key part of the strategy.
“Our goal is for Confluence to become the annual, must-attend music industry event in the Carolinas,” said Thurmond. “Artist, industry, or fan, we hope Confluence will become the one thing each year you do not miss.”
“Lofty? Maybe. But that’s our aspiration, and this year is where it begins.”
That’s the kind of bold thinking we can get behind. And, that’s why we’re most excited about Confluence 2023 and beyond.
NEED A PASS FOR CONFLUENCE?
Charlotte Is Creative has two FREE “All-Access” passes to everything Confluence has to offer. Want one? Tell us why this would make a difference to your music career in Charlotte by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org by noon on Wednesday, Oct. 3.
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