#136 – The Virtual Music Conference May Become the New Norm

In 2019, “Indie Week” had 24 music venues in downtown Toronto Canada, Over 220 International artists performing and showcasing in those venues, with 350 music industry delegates in attendance. The 5-day conference of Indie Week focused on education, networking, business development, and how to grow internationally. After 18 years running, In 2020 Indie Week is moving entirely online for the very first time, running from November 10th thru the 14th due to the restrictions of the Covid 19 Pandemic.

Darryl Hurs who is the creator and founder of one of Canada’s largest Indie Music Festivals and Conferences, along with being the Director of Market Development for CD Baby in Canada, talks about how they initially decided to cancel this year’s event, but after some thought determined to take it online, and the challenges and struggles they had to go thru in order to find the right software and platforms to make this conference work.

The virtual conference may become the new norm, at least for the immediate future, especially since polls are trending that even with the Coronavirus brought under control it could still take 6 months or longer, especially with international acts and markets to get things back to normal.

Some of the tracks taking place at this year’s Indie Week include:

  • Education including panels and workshops
  • Keynote Speakers
  • Business Development
  • International Development (how to do business in different markets and territories)
  • Artist Pitching
  • DIY Sessions focusing on publishing, distribution, marketing, PR, Playlisting, etc

We also take the time to discuss what the functions of CD Baby are these days, not that the music delivery system has changed so much in the past few years.

Darryl Hurs has a 25+ year history in the music business including launching and running one of Canada’s largest indie music festivals and conference, Indie Week. Recently hired as the director of market development for CD Baby in Canada. Past positions include design and branding/marketing for Live Nation as a freelancer (projects included a corporate rebrand and logo design, launching VIPNATION.com, work for U2, Nickelback, Madonna, Beyonce, Jay-Z, and Dave Matthews) retail buyer at HMV, and booker for one of Toronto’s top live music venues (The Rivoli).


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