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: Mumford and Sons up to snuff, for the most part – Mumford and Sons have always played it smart when it has come to career moves. They have not overtoured by becoming regular fixtures on the touring circuit. Their M.O. is to tour just enough upon an album release and then disappear for a stretch. Ditto for releasing new music ("Delta" just came out last month, Mumford's first release... »»»
Concert Review: Finally back, Kodaline brings the optimism – Kodaline may have taken a long layoff in playing Beantown - a good 3 1/2 years - but in this fickle musical world, that did not mean their fans abandoned them for a brand new thing. In fact, the venue sold out weeks ago. No surprise because, once again, the Irish rock band admirably combined old and new. Kodaline was a bit of a musical potpourri of... »»»
Follow Country Standard Time  Subscribe to Country News Digest  Follow Country Standard Time on twitter  Visit Country Standard Time on Facebook 

Elsewhere in the news

Currently at the CST blogs

Taylor uncovers the past, offering new perspectives Suffice it to say that the past has always loomed large throughout Chip Taylor's career. That's all the more obvious if only for the fact that Taylor wrote some of the biggest pop hits of the '60s, "Wild Thing"... »»»
Tyminski goes dark Dan Tyminski (known simply as "Tyminski" on his 2017 release "Southern Gothic") has traditional music roots and unassailable bluegrass street cred especially given his membership in Alison Krauss' Union Station. He is also a powerful songwriter and has been writing songs for himself and others for years now.... »»»
Washburn, Fleck create "Echoes" Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn have powerhouse individual talents; each has followed an estimable career path to where they find themselves today: making complex, but spare, records, writing music together and touring with their son Juno. Their new release, "Echoes In The Valley" features mostly songs written by Fleck and Washburn, banjos, Washburn's strong vocals and very little else.... »»»
Woven Waters CD review - Woven Waters
Tellico hails from that bastion of bluegrass and hybrid bluegrass, Asheville, N.C. to deliver its sophomore album "Woven Waters.'' This effort melds their rather inherent bluegrass affinities with British Isle influences,  »»»
Christmas Everywhere CD review - Christmas Everywhere
Rodney Crowell's "Christmas Everywhere" is a (mostly) melancholy collection of songs, with Christmas time as its setting. It's a strong set of carefully worded tunes, set to widely varying musical backings.  »»»