by Katlin Merbs
On July 16th, almost 200 musicians, songwriters, members of the Michigan Brewers Guild, entrepreneurs, booking and talent agents, venue owners, photographers, and journalists made the trek to Grand Haven to attend the first-ever Music Industry roundtable event.
“It was cool to see people be vulnerable with each other about where they’re at and what they’re struggling with. That vulnerability opened up a lot of conversations after the event and I was really impressed that people hung out afterward for an hour and a half after the event. People ended up taking home many new contacts,” Elle Lively of Crooked Tree Creative said.
The event began at 7 p.m. The panel, which included John Sinkevics (Local Spins), Mark Lavengood (Bear Mark Productions), Nathan Purchase (Purchase Productions), and Elle Lively took their seats at the front of studio A’s live room and attendees found their seats and occupied standing room as well.
For the first hour, each panel member explained their area of expertise. After then, attendees had a chance to talk about their struggles, ambitions, goals, and where they are at with their career to all in attendance. Attendees were encouraged to write suggestions on the white papers that were taped to the wall which were in regards to the topics of the B side sessions to begin in the Fall.
“The event surpassed my initial expectations,” Elle said. “The amount of people in attendance and the feedback after the event has made me think that it was much needed because many people messaged us afterward saying “we were re-energized to pursue music and like we're not alone” which was the whole point of the event so I feel like it was a success just because of the amount of people who walked away feeling good.”
Attendees of the roundtable event got to enjoy beer provided by Grand Armory and other refreshments from Aldea Coffee. They could also see the renovations to the recording studio which had been completed a few short weeks ago.
The B Side Sessions will be a 12 part series geared towards current artists who are currently unsigned or don’t have management, where each session is focused on different music industry topics. Session topics will include social media and money management as a musician. These sessions will be ticketed for a very low cost because there will be 30 slots per session. They will be held one Wednesday per month, they will be either at the studio in Grand Haven or at another location in Grand Rapids.