Chances are, at least one of your favorite artists is not from the United States. It’s hard enough to break into the music industry as an American artist, so how are these acts from abroad pulling it off? The U.S. is a huge market for musicians, but presents its own unique challenges. We explore some of these obstacles and talk success stories with Anna Bond, U.S. label manager for Rough Trade Records, Nick O’Byrne, a manager for Look Out Kid who works with Courtney Barnett, and Tegan and Sara manager Nick Blasko (Amelia Artists).
Despite the music industry’s economic downturn, more and more music festivals have popped up and many continue to thrive. Because of the booming demand for tickets, live performances have become a vital revenue stream for many artists. But have we hit “peak festival”? Mainstays like Coachella and Lollapalooza have become increasingly corporate, and independently-run festivals contend that competition for is a huge issue in planning their events. We talk to three indie festival organizers, Nick Blasko (Rifflandia), Bob Babisch (Summerfest) and Zale Schoenborn (Pickathon), about the fate of their business and alternative festival models.