Over the weekend I had the privilege to attend A3C down in Atlanta, Georgia with the clothing brand Homegrown Outfitters (shout out to them) and check out the festival first hand. By the way we were treated the first 3 hours of arriving at the Masquerade venue should have told us all what type of weekend it was going to be, unorganized as hell. I’m not going to lie and make it seem like I had a horrible time but I’ll note my Pro’s and Con’s of course of the event all together.
1. The true winners of the whole event had to be the producers, engineers, and vendors. I enjoyed all of the panels that focused on the behind the scenes of music. Not too often do you get to hear about recording, mixing, mastering of the artist’s final product, do’s and don’ts in the studio, how to prepare yourself to work with a highly sought out individual who’s been working the craft for years, and actually creating “records.” Most people talk to Doug E Fresh about the same old “how was the industry back then blah blah” but to hear how concerned he was with the bad practices the industry has picked up was like music to my ears.
2. Young Guru sat down with known engineer greats like Renegade, Wise, Fokis, and a few others and they got to the nitty gritty on how to be prepared as an artist to record, all of the freebies available to aspiring engineers that many look over, and why it’s essential to have the full studio experience with a producer and engineer to help make your music last longer and have more of an impact.
3. Even though it was kind of un-organized, the Vendors got a lot of traffic. The set up was right in front of the venue which gave buyers a chance to hit up the vending spots before being overwhelmed by the performances and panels that were being presented. I mean at least I know our table was jumping all day haha. Can’t speak for everyone else but it looked like a great opportunity for branding.
1. A3C is obviously in competition with SXSW. SXSW in the past 3 years has blown up crazily and attendance is crazy. But, in no way should A3C be in competition with a city that is SET UP for a music festival. Austin has venues set up for miles side by side which makes it easy to go next door to catch select performances if you wanted to. Atlanta is not set up for that, well at least where A3C decided to have their main placing for the festival. Masquerade is a great venue with 4 (potentially 5 if they had gotten the lot next door for another stage) areas for music and panels. They had venues spread out all over Downtown Atlanta which made for a huge inconvenience for the attendees and even event participants. Either A. Do everything at Masquerade or B. Go to a strip and rent out storefronts and venues right beside each other.
2. Could it not have been more obvious that they were more worried about making money than serving the people? I heard multiple vendors chat about their advertisements not showing up where they were supposed to, shows not starting on time, shuttle drivers not doing their job and actually driving people to where they needed to go, and thankfully I didn’t go to another venue after I heard you had to pay an additional price to see a performance. If I’m paying $35 dollars for a day pass it better include every other event.
3. At the first panel “Festiquette” I believe Brian Knott said they gave out nearly 1000 media passes. 1000 media passes? This is why media is almost being laughed at. You’re giving “My Little Pony Blogspot” a media pass when they have no credible works just because you want to get enough buzz to make it seem like the festival was the best thing ever. Even artist were thinking “Why am I interviewing with blah blah cause it’s only going to end up as just someone’s Tumblr or Facebook post.”
All in all it was what I thought it was going to be. A cool networking opportunity above anything else. Shout out to Illmind having the dope ass producer stage and Just Blaze reminding people that his 45 second snippets kills what most producers do in their whole career. Also shout out to the Combat Jack Show doing their live show with DJ Drama and Killer Mike. Killer Mike dropped gems left and right (check out the explanation of “Reagan” below) which if you find the full video of, you better favorite it. Where SXSW is starting to lack with Indie push, A3C should easily want to pick up the slack and make independents feel at home. Good luck next year A3C.