So, about the Yellow Phone Music Conference...
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First, the good news: There are a ton of great shows happening around town this weekend, featuring some of Milwaukee’s best bands: Juniper Tar, The Celebrated Workingman, Canopies, Elusive Parallelograms, Conrad Plymouth, The Wildbirds, Jimmy At The Prom, and others are all playing Friday and Saturday night. The shows will be taking place at venues that don’t normally host these types of bands—the Milwaukee Ale House, Moct, The Irish Pub, etc.—and should be a perfect showcase for everything that makes Milwaukee awesome.
Now, some more good news: The shows are part of the Yellow Phone Music Conference, a “three day gathering of talented artists and music professionals.” Need more details? According to its website:
Yellow Phone is a more focused version of larger conferences which seem to have become less accessible to up-and-coming talent and new industry professionals. The priorities of those conferences have been redirected toward launching signed acts instead of showcasing undiscovered talent. Yellow Phone, on the other hand, is focused on the unsigned artists. With fewer artists and fewer venues, the quality of the talent presented is paramount.
Yellow Phone’s goal is to bring together career oriented artists and positive, forward-thinking leaders in today’s music business, taking the best qualities of the larger industry conferences and downsizing them into a concentrated, quality experience with powerful, pertinent takeaways.
Sounds good, right? How about even more good news: Individual shows are only $5, and a $20 wristband will get you into every single show throughout the weekend. That’s what folks in the industry call a “steal.”
And now, the funny news: A pass to the panel discussions, mentor sessions, keynote addresses, and cocktail receptions will put you back a cool $99, or $199 if you buy one after Thursday. Like I said, that’s not necessarily bad news, it’s just… well, funny (to me, anyway).
Don’t get me wrong: The roster of industry pros Yellow Phone has assembled is impressive, and the bands are all top-notch. And while I realize that the panels are aimed at “career-minded” bands, I have to wonder if there’s really a market for this sort of thing in Milwaukee. Does your average Milwaukee band playing at Quarters next week really care about “artist development?” And, more importantly, does it have an extra $199 in its band fund?
I wish Yellow Phone nothing but luck—and I’ll probably check out most of the shows—but I’m curious to see how the “industry” side of this industry conference pans out. What say you, broke-as-a-joke Milwaukee musicians?