Billboard Touring Conference & Awards 2011 Hub
Billboard Touring Conference & Awards 2011 Hub

A few years ago, there was concern that the festival market in North America was in danger of becoming saturated. And while some notable festivals have indeed fallen by the wayside (All Points West in New Jersey, Denver's Mile High Fest), 2011 has been arguably the most robust year ever for festivals of all sizes, particularly in North America, with several major players setting records.

What is it about the festival experience that fans crave, and what turns them off? On a panel at the Billboard Touring Conference, savvy producers with proven track records will unveil their strategies-or at least some of them. The panel is titled "Why Are Festivals Kicking Ass?" and will be moderated by Josh Baron, editor of Relix magazine and co-author of "Ticket Masters."

Don't miss the 8th Annual Billboard Touring Conference & Awards, taking place November 9-10 at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York. Now in its 8th year, the conference features unique programming that informs, educates and provides a forum for promoters, agents, managers, venues, sponsors, merchandisers, ticketing companies and all touring-related businesses about the industry's latest opportunities, current challenges and biggest successes.

The panelists are a who's who of some of the most successful events in the country, representing a wide range of musical cultures and entertainment lifestyles. On board are Ashley Capps, president, AC Productions (Bonnaroo, Moogfest); Quint Davis, President, Festival Productions, (New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Bayou Country Superfest); Charlie Jones, Partner, C3 Presents (ACL Fest, Lollapalooza); Gary Richards, President, Hard Events (Hard Fest); Don Smiley, President/CEO, Milwaukee World Festival (Milwaukee SummerFest); and Jay Sweet, Producer, Newport Folk Festival.

"Festivals have become one of the concert industry's biggest and most consistent attractions," says Baron. "Whether it's Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, Coachella or JazzFest, these festivals mean big business, not only for the promoters but those artists lucky enough to headline. There's the saying that Rome wasn't built in a day. The same holds true for festivals. What once began as 'first annual' events have become pillars of the concert industry, though not with out their learning curves."

The Festivals panel is set for Day 2 of the Billboard Touring Conference, set for New York Nov. 9-10. And how about this readers: a discount! Just use the promo code BBBIZNL.