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Important Festivals for Bands and Musicians

Date Added: April 13, 2011 04:03:28 AM
Author: Chris Millar
Category: Entertainment: Music

Sonicbids has yet again managed to get another $20 (or more) out of you to submit for a festival your bands been wanting to play since you first started. Whether it’s SXSW, CMJ, NXNE, Pop Montreal, Halifax Music Explosion which festivals one’s are the best to play? I personally only apply to festivals that I want to play, they may be impossible to get on now but who’s to say what may come a few years down the road. Below are a list of festivals I would recommend applying for. 1. NXNE (North By North East) This is affiliated with SXSW and is in my opinion the best festival that you could play. You get a free pass to attend all the conferences, parties and gigs when you are selected. If you’re not selected to play you could always try a 45 hour drive out to Toronto (from Calgary) and just see if they’ll let you in. That’s what we did one year and we ended up with a slot at The Hideout and bumped into Alan Cross and Elephant Stone at NXNE, not bad! 2. CJSW Summer Concert Series You don’t have to drive out to Toronto for this one just hope CJSW likes you enough to let you play. It was held at Olympic Plaza in downtown Calgary. The seats were tiered so everyone could look down at the bands and we could look up at the audience which was a nice touch. Anyway this was a brilliant gig and I highly recommend it. 3. RedGorilla Festival We haven’t actually played this festival yet but we’re looking forward to it. It’s situated in Austin, Texas and it’s a FREE festival which runs at the same time as SXSW. Many bands that play it claim to be playing SXSW but if you tell a someone from SXSW that they’d probably stab you. The Red Gorrilla festival is on 6th street and has some of the best venues in Austin, it’s also where Cage The Elephant was signed. 4. South By South West (SXSW) As I was saying earlier, always apply for the festivals that you want to play not ones that will stroke your image. We’ve applied to SXSW since 2005 and had never heard a peep. However, this year we have one confirmed gig on March 15th for SXSW Block Party, not bad for a band from Calgary. If you’re in a band to “make it” good on you and all the best, however, for seasoned musicians you begin to realize a few important things. 1. Getting signed is something that you don’t want because you lose a lot of creative rights. 2. It’s better doing what you want than being told what to do. If there was such a thing as a label that let bands play the music they wanted rather than making “hits” then maybe getting signed to a Major label wouldn’t be such a bad thing. Real bands make music, rockstars pose for cameras. Do what you want and be persistent and anything can happen, but most importantly write songs make albums and play gigs. __________________________________________________ Chris is a seasoned musician, guitar instructor and lead creative mind behind Calgary rock and roll band The Lions. His band has shared the stage with bands like Jet, Our Lady Peace, and The Arkells. He also writes blog on his website http://www.thelionsrockandroll.com , about his experience and advice for up and coming musicians.
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