Hotel Kabuki, at the heart of San Francisco’s Japantown, saw both the music and technology worlds collide at the 15th SF MusicTech Summit this past Tuesday (May 20, 2014). The Bay Area is widely regarded to be a hub for tech companies as well as music, and although there have been clashes between both scenes during this current economic boom in San Francisco, we get to see artists and entrepreneurs come together to create opportunities for music in this new digital age.
Executive Producer Brian Zisk kicked off the day welcoming attendees, followed by multiple discussions on hot-button issues ranging from net neutrality to digital music licensing and copyrights. Some of these panels were going on at the same time at different designated rooms, so it was a matter of choosing which topic pertains to your interest. One in particular featured rising music stars Us The Duo, who have ingeniously created and mastered the six-second Vine music video to garner them a major label deal.
One of the final panels of the day discussed the modern EDM festival experience, with industry professionals from MOX TV, Live Nation, Fame House, LessThan3, and the Northern Nights Music Festival sharing their knowledge. As companies tries to outdo each other in regards to lighting, production, and headliners, the panel came back to two important keys in making a festival successful: community and experience. Building a community and creating an experience, as mentioned by Andrew Borgelt (founder of the Northern Nights Music Festival), takes years and requires going beyond commonly used social media platforms (e.g. - Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, et. al.) to spread the word. And as the scene crosses over into the mainstream top 40, the continuing evolution of dance music and a possible “EDM bubble” were hot topics touched upon with an insight and a regard to an increasingly innovative tech landscape.
The summit ended with a party at Hotel Kabuki’s Imperial Ballroom, where a mix of artists, entrepreneurs, and tech professionals converged to forge possible future partnerships and collaborations, aiming to push the boundaries of music technology even further. Thus, we can look forward to seeing these two worlds once again meet at next year’s SF MusicTech Summit.