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: For Brooks and fans, a most unusual change of pace – To say that this was a change of pace for Garth Brooks - not to mention his fans - would be an understatement of the highest degree. Brooks all but begged during the show to be playing next door at Gillette Stadium where the New England Patriots play. But, alas, Brooks exuded joy and excitement at the chance to play before about 500 people at a club,... »»»
Concert Review: LBT proves more than capable – If you have seen Little Big Town in the last decade, it could have been anywhere from a B stage at a Rib Fest to a 20,000-seat amphitheater as the opener for some of country's top acts. Their current "Nightfall" tour rightfully proves they are more than capable and well deserved being billed as a top headlining act.... »»»
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

The Mavericks "Play the Hits" When recording its album "Play the Hits," The Mavericks approached this covers album in much the same way the band creates any of its other studio albums. "Above all, we're always trying to reach a certain musical bar that we... »»»
Larue moves "Onward" The release of "Onward," his eighth studio album, finds veteran Texas Music/Red Dirt artist Stoney Larue at a crossroads. After almost two decades on the road, playing 200 shows a year across America and abroad, he has had success... »»»
Willis, Robison spin "Beautiful Lie" Eleven years ago, Kelly stepped away from music. She had just finished touring on 2007's exquisite "Translated From Love" and felt the angst of being a travelling musician with family at home. At that point, Willis and her husband, musician/producer Bruce Robison,... »»»
Country Fuzz
It's not unusual for country artists to include a few party anthems on their albums. These tracks help lighten the mood among a record's heavier moments and make for fun concert numbers. The Cadillac Three »»»
LP5 CD review - LP5
John Moreland's plain, unpretentious title indicates more of the same, but those of you (most of you most likely) expecting another batch of great, but deeply sad songs may find a few surprises on "LP 5."  »»»
What I Came Here For CD review - What I Came Here For
James Steinle is an emerging Texas singer-songwriter, who is already being hailed by Ray Wylie Hubbard and compared to story telling greats like Robert Earl Keen. Given that Bruce Robison produced "What I Came Here For" speaks volumes »»»