Fires Will Not Stop Us: Music Tectonics Seals Los Angeles as Music Tech Hub with Second Conference
Updated: Feb 20
Second Annual Conference on Innovation in Music and Tech Spans LA
October 27, 2020: Preconference: General Assembly, Downtown Los Angeles, CA
Opening Party: Location TBA
October 28, 2020: Marriott Hotel, Marina Del Rey, CA
Everyone in music and tech is talking about Los Angeles. The recovery of the music industry has given L.A.-based label headquarters new life. The convergence of Hollywood, gaming, live performance, and tech makes the city ripe for cross-vertical innovation. After a successful, fire-leaping first year, the Music Tectonics Conference is coming back to Los Angeles, October 27-28, 2020.
The inaugural Conference tackled several seismic shifts taking place in music, ranging from how music production is in the hands of the masses to the inevitable push to transparency. A theme that will continue to play out in music in 2020 is “Music Like Fire,” the idea that music and licensing is crossing into new fields from fitness to furniture.
But Conference organizers never expected they would have to battle literal fire when the “Getty Fire” put the 2019 Conference venue in a mandatory evacuation zone hours before kickoff time. The team behind the Conference – music tech PR firm rock paper scissors – gracefully rushed to find a new venue with fewer than 24 hours. Across town, the Conference went off without a hitch and the excitement of the speedy recovery only ignited attendees’ senses as they dove into a new type of conference experience.
Whether it was the artificial intelligence talent show or the demo of technology that translates plant biorhythms into MIDI-power music composition, Music Tectonics was not your everyday music industry conference. This year organizers hope to keep the untraditional experience far away from natural disasters with an October 27 preconference taking place at General Assembly in L.A.’s Little Tokyo and the main October 28 conference three blocks from Venice Beach at Marina del Rey’s Marriott Hotel. The hotel’s stunning top floor panorama of the ocean and marina will serve as the main exhibitor hall and networking space and give out-of-town visitors a chance to understand why so many music and tech innovators are flocking to Los Angeles.
The Conference is keeping things experimental, starting with the experience of buying a badge. Conference attendees can test out a new system that allows them to win a free badge or earn discounts by spreading the word about the conference itself. Audience Republic, a marketing platform for live events, will power the campaign, letting innovators in music play around with gamification, virality, and new monetization approaches before they have even purchased their badge. Experience how viral sharing can be used in a live event by joining the pre-sale sign up (no cost).
The first Music Tectonics conference in 2019 saw over 400 attendees from across the music industry landscape: startups, major labels, indie labels, streaming services, distributors, social media platforms, investors, accelerators, legal experts, consultants, and more. While recorded music was the focus in 2019, the 2020 edition of Music Tectonics will add in the innovations shaking up live music experiences and music creation, as traditional gear companies and startups alike revolutionize how musical instruments look, feel, and play.
Inspired by conversations with music tech’s movers and shakers on his weekly Music Tectonics podcast, conference organizer Dmitri Vietze created a set of 18 “seismic shift trading cards” to visualize the most important of those shifts. “The changes sweeping music in particular and digital media in general are turning everything upside down,” Vietze reflects. “We distilled the dynamics at work into this fun visual format.” Vietze uses the interconnected themes of the card deck, released at the first conference, to guide big picture discussions with podcast guests.
These themes are evolving quickly: “While many industry observers saw 2019’s music industry revenue as a sign that the business was ‘back to normal’ after decades of disruption, we think otherwise. Don’t get too comfortable: if the last 20 years of the music business has taught us anything, it’s that stability is illusory,” says Vietze, CEO of rock paper scissors, a PR firm that specializes in music tech. “I see further paradigm shifts on the horizon.”
With years of music technology PR work, rock paper scissors has built a network of experts across the music and technology spectrum who are looking for a new kind of conversation about those shifts. “Imagine a place where decision-makers and innovators get down to the real issues in a beautiful setting,” says Vietze. “If you thought our kick-off conference was fun and productive, I’ve got some surprises for you in 2020!”
Find out more and participate in a marketing experiment at the Music Tectonics conference website.