OK, it's no SXSW, but there were lots of stirrings here in the Motor City as a burgeoning local music scene was showcased recently at the Motor City Music Conference (MC2). Paul and I have been in a behind-the-scenes mode with these guys for a lot of years now, and it's great to see this event taking shape. Gary Graff, author, music critic, and conference booster, has played a major role in MC2's success. Crowds were estimated at 7,000-12,000, and there's a great spirit here.
Paul and I took part in a panel with a couple of podcasters and an independent record promoter, where of course, we were in the fun position of defending commercial radio. While audience members had no shortage of disdain for our medium, it's clear that our struggles over the past year have enabled new media, local bands, podcasters, and other “bubbling under” content providers. And of course, it all points to the notion that there's room for all of us under this tent.
As we reminded them, radio is indeed waking up, taking more risks, expanding playlists, investing in new technology – in short, answering the bell. Let's hope for even bigger crowds at next year's Motor City Music Conference, and a more vibrant place for commercial radio.