Sign up for newsletter
 

Americana conference suffers dip

Monday, September 21, 2009 – The spirit may have been really good at this year's Americana Music Association conference this past week, but the numbers were down.

Executive Director Jed Hilly said Monday that last year's fest drew about 890 registrants paid and gratis, while this year was about 760.

The downturn was no surprise to Hilly. The economy had previously been considered an issue with people unwilling to spend their money in a major economic downturn. Hilly said the AMA also suffered sponsorship losses, but he was upbeat. The fest extended specials as well until near the start of the conference.

"It was really an intense year," said Hilly. "We had to all sorts of things...running auctions to offset the sponsorship losses. We were down in the registration. Interestingly enough, we were not that far off our numbers. We were just off about the same, but we had budgeted that."

"The reason why I did that (extending the discount) was equal parts trying to encourage people to come, but truthfully it was in every category of business today they all wait until the 11th hour."

"It's just a nervous time for everybody. It's not like we were freaking out. It was like everyone's waiting until the last minute to decide," he said.

Hilly also said the conference's nightly concerts at Nashville clubs were down as well. "We were down in the walk up. We usually get a good number of walk up. People can pay $15 or $20 for a single show. We were definitely down on Wednesday to some degree, but still had good crowds, although we were down. The fact that (John) Fogerty did that surprise thing affected the downstairs event at the Cannery." Fogerty played a surprise gig on Wednesday night, which affected attendance at other AMA events.

Despite the downturn, Hilly made it clear he was quite pleased with the response from those attending. He cited anectodal comments of people walking up to him and thanking him for the event. He also referred to positive comments on the association's Twitter page.

More news for Americana Music Association

Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Hurray for the Riff Raff changes - in some ways – Hurray for the Riff Raff's new release, "The Navigator," was a long time coming - slightly more than three years after "Small Town Heroes," a strong roots-disc that found them touring incessantly. A few things have changed in the interim for the New Orleans-based band, but one of them remains the presence of front woman Alynda Lee Segarra.... »»»
Concert Review: Nightflyer soars – Despite the stage being a touch small for a five-piece band, the highly entertaining and extremely talented Nightflyer delivered with that hard driving, high-energy country bluegrass sound fans have come to expect. Joking that their contract only allowed them to play songs about trains, prison, whiskey, mama and Jesus, Nightflyer's diversity... »»»
Subscribe to Country News Digest Country News Digest      Follow Country Standard Time on twitter CST      Visit Country Standard Time on Facebook CST

Elsewhere in the news

Currently at the CST blogs

The Avett Brothers come home to MerleFest For The Avett Brothers, MerleFest is a coming home of sorts. This year's edition of the MerleFest "traditional-plus" music festival in Wilkesboro, N.C., the event's 30th anniversary, a milestone sure to be marked by many different special appearances and commemorations during the festival's four-day run, is no exception.... »»»
Gibson Brothers rise up from "In the Ground" There's no more solid live bluegrass show than the Gibson Brothers. They play with great technical skill and crispness. Their harmonies are just what a brother act should be: sweet, true and never forced. Brothers Leigh and Eric Gibson surround themselves with outstanding sidemen with impeccable bluegrass cred: Jesse Brock (mandolin), Mike Barber (bass) and Clayton Campbell on fiddle.... »»»
The Devil Makes Three examine salvation, sin For nearly a decade and a half, The Devil Makes Three has concocted an amazing blend of bluegrass, folk, country, blues, rockabilly and whatever happens to bubble to the surface, and applied it liberally to their songwriting ethic.... »»»
The Harmed Brothers CD review - The Harmed Brothers
Let's put it succinctly. The Harmed Brothers may be the best band no one has ever heard of. Well, maybe that's an exaggeration. They do have their ardent admirers, so let's not discount their following entirely. Still, for those who are unaware, the band's new eponymous effort ought to make it clear that this is a group with a wealth of resources at their command. »»»
West Coast Town CD review - West Coast Town
Chris Shiflett is best known as a guitarist in Foo Fighters, but he's also has some authentic traditional country in his bones. Inspired, in part, by much of the fine vintage country music created in California, "West Coast Town" lets Shiflett show off his country music skills. »»»