Motor City Music Conference

Music Industry comes to Detroit Rock City

by Nicolas Hill


If you've heard of long established music conferences, like South by Southwest in Austin and CMJ Music Marathon in New York, you know them as being week-long music orgies that bring together far-flung elements of the music community, from labels and managers to people who license music for ringtones, to talk shop and rock out. Each night features scores of shows at various music venues, with a wide range of musical genres and more bands playing at overlapping times than any sane music fan can digest. This is not limited to nightlife, as daytimes too are filled with panel discussions and conventioneering.

Now Detroit Rock City is getting a music conference all its own — the first annual Motor City Music Conference or MC2. And if you don't care about having a compact, negotiable downtown area, Detroit is the perfect city to host a large and ambitious music conference. No place in the history of human civilization has spawned more seminal and significant movements in different music genres than Detroit. From Motown to the MC5 and Stooges to funk and techno, Detroit has birthed a wealth of gargantuan music happenings.

This week, the industry will visit, and Detroit will showcase its own bands as well as many huge acts from beyond our borders. Moby, the Black Keys, the Reigning Sound, And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead, and others are bringing their tours to the Motor City to take part in the MC2. Local acts abound, of course, including the Paybacks, Derrick May, the Sights, Thunderbirds Are Now!, and hot newcomer Lee Marvin Computer Arm. Detroit could have a damn good music conference if it didn't look further than the city limits for acts…but the mix of locals and national acts will make this a must-see.

Every conceivable music venue in the city and environs will host shows Wednesday through Saturday night. Badges are available for purchase, and they're pretty affordable. (As low as $40 and topping out at $100 for the entire conference.) One badge gets you into any show you want to see, as long as you get there before it fills up.

In addition to the live performances, attendees have the chance to attend a variety of interesting panel talks featuring well known artists, running the gamut of issues in the music business from how to get signed to the role of the IPod. (All such events will be held at the Cobo Event Center.) The coming together of established artists and up and coming, fans and insiders, locals and out-of-towners, make this conference an important happening for the music industry, and a pretty hot week in Detroit.

Nicholas Hill, special to

For schedule of concerts and panels, purchasing a badge, and more, go to the MCMC website.

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