Getting greater support and involvement from the local entertainment fraternity is one of the mandates of the organisers of the Jamaica Music Conference set for the Corporate Area from November 9–12.
Local coordinator of the event, Joan Webley, noted that time has been taken and effort made to ensure that the event, which is now in its fifth year, is more practical and inclusive, especially for the local music community.
“Over the years we have seen the impact of the conference and how beneficial the information has been to attendees. What we are not seeing is the growth in the attendance from the local community. On an average, about 200 persons attend the conference each year and the majority comes from overseas. So this year we have worked to ensure that the conference is affordable — the entry fee takes you into all the panel discussions and gives you an opportunity to meet and network with the local and international participants and presenters,” she stressed.
However, Webley noted that two factors may be influencing the lack of participation from locals.
“Perhaps people are just conferenced out. They attend similar events and there is a lot of talk and very little happens after that. The thing with the Jamaica Music Conference is that there have been very tangible results over the years and success stories. Another major factor is just a lack of awareness on the part of music industry professionals at home. That is why we are using every available opportunity to share the informations so persons can't say they never heard,” Webley related.
She further explained that as part of the effort to make the conference more practical, conference attendees are being given the opportunity to create a free Electronic Press Kit (EPK) which they will enter into a competition. The winner will have the opportunity to present their EPK to the international booking agents who will be among the panellists over the three days of discussions.
The theme of the conference is 'Reclaiming Our Identity: The rising impact of Jamaica's music, content and culture'. Among the topics being covered are Business Development and the Music Industry; Music and Social Change; Music Streaming and Intellectual Property; and Effective Touring Strategies. The sessions will be held at Jampro's New Kingston office, The Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, and the University of Technology. A number of other events are also being organised to complement these workshops.
BY RICHARD JOHNSON
Observer Senior Reporter
Thursday, October 05, 2017