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The Music Industry in 30 Minutes or Less

Editorial on The Toronto International Music Summit - Commissioned by Tanya Michell (Executive Director of The TorontoIMS)

Director X During his keynote - Photo by Hayley Roscoe

Well, that may be a slight exaggeration. Some presentations did run closer to 45 minutes but overall that was the theme at The 1st Annual Toronto International Music Summit. Key crucial information for musicians and mavens alike in a mere matter of minutes.

I checked in at 10am, coffee in hand at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel on Front and Yonge. Greeted by the massive registration line (hooray for the “we will take you in straight away” press sign-in!) of artists, songwriters and other attendees all eagerly waiting to get inside and start learning. To say the range of the audience was broad would be an understatement. Not even into the presentations, people were already exchanging cards, making connections, rubbing elbows and finding some way to get ahead.

Picking up the program for the event even the most unknowledgeable person about the music industry could tell the speakers were heavy weights. A&R agents, Marketing VPs, Hip Hop Icons, Juno Winners, all reflected on Executive Director Tanya Michell’s background in celebrity event planning and work with well known organizations such as Live Nation.

Conferences in general may tend to make people think of stiff suits, dry speeches and 5 minute question periods. This could not have been farther from the case when I entered the room for the first talk of the day on Music Training. Stiff suits instead were replaced by bright prints and sleek lines and dry speeches with 5 minute question periods turned into animated speakers encouraging an interactive audience.

30 minutes or less later the highly anticipated keynote from music video maven Director X started. Passionate, educated and hilarious, his speech made the perfect opener to keep a potentially restless crowd glued. Being in the audience for his address and chatting with him one on one afterwards in the lovely media room curtsey of the people at Audio Blood, I got the sense that the energy of the speakers and the audience were matched. People eager to learn stepping in stride with people eager to teach all in one place.

The rest of the day rolled through with panel discussions, a highly emotional spotlight speech from Kardinall Offishall and a chance for attendees to sign up for a demo deconstruction mentoring session with industry artists and producers.

Like with any good music/rock and roll type event the day ended with an after party.  So one quick change and another cup of coffee later I was greeted at The Hard Rock Cafe by sponsors including Redbull and Jagermeister.

Entering into a room of dim lights and VIP passes galore it was obvious we were at the right event.

The live performances of Top independent artists, Dane Hartshell, Taya Marquis and a personal favourite of mine Solid Mas as well as others were already hitting full force to an even louder audience. A fashion walk through, hired crowd dancers, obscene amounts of flash photography would lead people to believe that this could not be the first year running of the event.

Settling down post-show to our event dinner in the downstairs of The Hard Rock with our greatly appreciated if not a little random swag bags (sugar free Redbull and NY Yankees hats anyone?) my photographer and I mulled over the event.

Heavy networking, short sparks of information, loud clubs, what could be closer to a mini boiled down version of what the music industry really is?

Hoping to attend next year I wait to see what other high game players the Executive Director will bring out and the momentum this newbie conference can gain.

Never staying still throughout the entire day the event really did bring the music industry home to Toronto in 30 minutes or less.

Filed under 30 minutes or less art audio blood celebrity event dale kotyk dale koy dane hartshell demo director x editorial elyse simpson fairmont hotel fashion walk through hard rock cafe hayley roscoe jagermeister jules lynch juno kardinal offishall live nation music ny yankees red bull solid mas tanya michell taya marquis toronto toronto international music summit vip pass celebs