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8am-11am: Registration - Atrium

8:30am-9:15am: Opening Forum - Cowles-Kruidenier Auditorium

Join speakers, showcase artists, and attendees for coffee and a community forum to discuss challenges we face as musicians in 2015, ways we can work together to be more successful, and to identify goals as individuals and as a group for the day of sessions. Speaker Jesse Elliott will facilitate in conjunction with DMMC organizers, bringing his experiences of music community development in Colorado and over a decade on the road in touring bands to our conversation.

9:30am-10:15am: Session 1

  • How Are You Making Money?  Group Forum - Heritage A/B (1st Floor)
    • Join showcase artists and speaker Jesse Elliott to share your own experiences of how you are working to make money as a working musician in 2015. The group will share tips and give feedback on different approaches and how to best balance goals for living sustainably as an artist while developing new and innovative works. Specific areas of discussion will include: Performing rights organizations, digital retail, digital performance collection (SoundExchange, YouTube, etc.), merchandise development and sales, touring, knowing your value and negotiating fair rates, and more.
  • Music Video Workshop - Cowles-Kruidenier Auditorium
    • Bring your music videos (complete or not) to this workshop (email link with registration)! Chicago-based filmmaking duo Ry Ohm and Jackson James (with music videos recognized by Rolling Stone, NPR, MTV, and a Vimeo Staff Pick) lead this session to help you make the best music video you can. The session will start with a walkthrough of how the team developed a few successful videos, one of which was shot for $0 and debuted via Rolling Stone Italy four months later. The duo will facilitate a feedback session on each video submitted (projected for all attendees to view) to send you home with great ideas for developing your video art and how to reach as many people as possible through music videos.
  •  How to Sell Something People Don’t Know They Want: Aesthetics and Packaging in the Age of Digital - Classroom A/B (3rd Floor)
    • The reality is that all musicians (and visual artists, comedians, etc.) have a product that no one “needs” or wants, per se. If you don’t make the music, music-lovers will find other music they love. When it comes to making a physical product specifically for a potentially niche audience, how can you make yours stand apart? Tobi Parks (Station 1 Records, Sony Music) and Rob Sevier of Chicago's most-revered Numero Group discuss how the label develops some of the most desirable physical products currently on the market, curates in-store and online experiences for consumers, and more.

10:15am-11:15am: One-On-One Consultations - Atrium

  • Sign up for a 10 minute one-on-one consultation with Brandon W. Clark regarding any questions you may have regarding copyright, entertainment law, and music industry transactions in general. Whether you are contemplating potential partnerships or simply curious about how things work for when you reach that point in your career, Brandon's experience as both an avid musician and intellectual property attorney will be at your disposal during this session. There are only 6 consultation spots available, and are first-come, first-serve. Sign up for a time during morning check-in.

10:30am-11:15am: Session 2

  • Getting Booked at the Next Level - Heritage A/B (1st Floor)
    • Ryan Peterson (80/35 music festival booking committee) moderates a frank conversation between booking agent Karl Morse (Windish Agency), Aaron Shaddy (Omaha's MAHA Music Festival), other regional promoters, and attendees on where you need to be as an artist (and what you need to have) to be seriously considered as a client for a reputable booking agency (such as Windish), what promoters of bigger rooms are looking for in booking an upcoming band from out-of-town or as an opener on a show, and what festival organizers are looking for in the up and coming acts they book. This panel is targeted to artists who have attained a solid local following and are ready to move beyond their home state.

  • How Are You Promoting Yourself? Forum - Cowles-Kruidenier Auditorium
    • Join showcase artists and local marketing professionals from On Pitch in a group discussion to share tips on successful self-promotion, something which can be difficult while maintaining an image as an artist first. Specific topics of discussion will include: Advertising on Youtube and Facebook, personal engagement with fans, maintaining email lists, and more. Bring your own experiences to this discussion!
  • $mart Art: Planning for a Financially Stable Future as An Independent Artist - Classroom A/B (3rd Floor)
    • Being an independent musician is exactly like running a small business. Actually, that's what it is. If you want to keep your business afloat, you need to have a plan! Join Bankers Trust for a discussion and Q&A about strategies for planning for a financially stable future on your terms as an artist.

11:15am-12:30pm: Lunch - Click here for a list of dining options.

12:30pm-1:15pm: Keynote by Andrew W.K. - Cowles-Kruidenier Auditorium

MU is proud to present 2015's keynote speaker, Andrew W.K.

Andrew W.K.’s true will is to create feelings of pure joy, true fun, total love, endless freedom, and infinite possibility, using music, performance, visual art, lecturing, writing, nightclubs, television, and more.

Born in California in 1979, Andrew W.K. is a multi-faceted musician and performer. Starting his musical career at age 4 with classical piano lessons, then exploring experimental and avant garde interests, he went on to create his own extremely high-energy rock ‘n’ roll music. After having been accepted to The Art Institute of Chicago, Andrew instead to decided to bypass college, and move to New York City at age 18 to pursue art and music on his own.

Andrew has released four full-length albums, numerous EPs and special releases, including his now infamous debut album, “I Get Wet”, featuring the world-wide smash single, “Party Hard”. He’s more recently expanded into a Grammy-nominated record producer for artists such as, Lee “Scratch” Perry, Current 93, SIGHTINGS, Aleister X, Bad Brilliance, and Cherie Lily. And he co-owns the Santos Party House music venue and nightclub in Chinatown, Manhattan, New York City.

1:30pm-5:00pm: Everything You Need to Know About the Music Industry in 2015 - Workshop with Sound Opinions' Greg Kot and Jim DeRogatis - Cowles-Kruidenier Auditorium

This half-day (3.5 hours) rock'n'roll boot camp is presented by WBEZ’s Sound Opinions co-hosts, Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot. Jim & Greg have more than 50 years of experience covering the Music Industry between them, and they will provide an insider's guide to practical business-related topics for attendees interested in a career in the Music Industry: 

  • How to market your music;
  • Common mistakes young artists make;
  • Who’s on my support team? (Do I really need a manager, agent, pr person, etc.?);
  • How to “Wrangle the Web” and deal with the many on-line social media and music options (i.e. Pandora, Spotify, CD Baby, Rumblefish, etc.);
  • Legal issues and concerns; and
  • New trends in the Music Industry.

Participants receive a handout with tips and resources.  For those registering for all-access passes by October 1st, Jim & Greg will personally review and assess your artist/band website, and you will be able to forward your key question (about anything music industry related) in advance for consideration to have it addressed at the show.

6:30pm-9:00pm: Showcase #1 w/ Andrew W.K. + Lipstick Homicide - Vaudeville Mews (212 4th St.)

Included with All-Access Conference + Showcases Pass. Limited individual tickets are also available, and can be purchased in advance hereAll-Ages Accessible.

9:30pm-12:00am: Showcase #2 w/ Green Death + Jack Lion + MarKaus - The Basement (Des Moines Social Club, 900 Mulberry St.)

Included with All-Access Conference + Showcases Pass. Tickets will be available at the door for $7. All-Ages Accessible.


The State Historical Building is at 700 E. Grand Ave in Des Moines' East Village. Click here for more information on parking and directions.