Friday morning was all about panic as I slept in by accident and was almost late for my volunteer shift. Oops…guess I really needed the sleep.
Friday morning was all about panic as I slept in by accident and was almost late for my volunteer shift. Oops…guess I really needed the sleep. I hit the ground running and got the low down for my duties as door sentry for the one on one meetings. They are a little like speed dating for industry folks. Meetings are arranged in advance between key industry people and musicians to network and build relationships. You get 15 minutes so you better make it good. Opportunity doesn’t knock everyday.
Then I did a shift in the Buyers Market. This room is for musicians to put their press kits and CDs out for “buyers” to take. The buyers are festival organizers, promoters, international delegates, etc. It is another fantastic networking opportunity. The ECMAs are so much about industry relationship building and networking and coaching. The efforts of the association are enormous and their passion for music is vast. Most of them are volunteers and do this for the love of the music and the people. The vibe is unbelievably positive and the people are amazing. The international component of the festival and conference is such a huge part of it all now. The wonderful Shelley Nordstrom is the International Coordinator. Shelley used to be President of the association and has been with them since the start. Her passion for the East Coast music industry is unparalleled and she has been a driving force for exporting our talent across the border and around the world for many years. She has selflessly helped so many careers over the years and works harder than anyone I know. Honestly there are so many great people involved I could never mention them all but Troy Greencorn (Event manager and also Stanfest organizer) and Steve Horne (excecutive director) certainly deserve mention in my books and were a pleasure to work for.
So more about the music…
The shows all run simultaneously on stages around town. If you are like me you make a plan to visit certain venues and see certain bands and then you end up doing something completely different and having a great time anyway. You really have to be able to go with the flow and try not to see the same band twice.
I got to check out Ryan Cook, Mercy the Sexton, and Alert the Medic at the CBC Galaxie Rising Star Showcase. Ryan Cook is a fun young singer from Yarmouth who is doing old school country and I always enjoy his shows. The later two were new to me and fantastic as well. Mercy the Sexton are NL natives who do high energy punk/new wave. Way cool. Alert the Medic hail from Halifax and do straight ahead power rock. Really glad I finally had a chance to check them out.
Later I headed up to Nightsounds for a NL showcase and The Novaks and Hey Rosetta! were amazing. I’d only heard one song from the Novaks before and they didn’t play it but I loved ever song in their set. They have an awesome groove. Hey Rosetta! are really different and will make you want to move even if you don’t think you’re a dancer. Check them out if you have a chance.
They ended up winning 3 awards at the Gala so obviously I’m not the only one who thinks they are great.
Finally ended up at Moslon Late Nights at the Crown and Moose and just caught the end of the Divorcees who brought down the house as always.
Ron Hynes was in the crowd checking out the tunes that night too. He is a very charming and naturally funny guy and was chatting everyone up and having a great time. He leaned over to me and said “I wish everyone would stop looking at me” to which I replied “maybe you shouldn’t have worn such a big hat” and he a good laugh over that one. If you’ve ever seen Ron you will know he is very easily recognizable in his tattered Fedora and has no issue with everyone looking at him. He is a true national treasure and the pride and joy of Newfoundland. I had the pleasure of seeing him perform several times over the weekend. Always a treat.
A great day all around…