In addition to great music, the 19thannual Americanafest also had a wide variety of panels scheduled throughout the week available to conference attendees.
Conference panels covered a wide variety of social, business and cultural and entertainment topics targeted at issues important and helpful to the artist, music industry professional and even the fan.
There was a very timely discussion about the importance of supporting the Music Modernization Act, recently passed by the Senate, entitled “Protect Your Rights: How Music Laws Impact You”. There were other business centric panels focusing on issues such as copyright law, streaming, publishing and performance rights, insurance, radio, mentoring and networking. All panels were conducted by industry professionals and experts in the fields they were discussing.
Cultural issues were also the topic of several panels. Alejandro Escovedo and Will Hoge were panelists and discussed the Woody Guthrie song “deportees” and its origin and applicability to continued human rights struggles in the present. “Keeping it Real in the Hills: Representing Appalachia in Americana” discussed Appalachia’s portrayal in culture as well as Appalachian voices and genres in Americana music.
Music fans and professionals alike enjoyed discussions about Johnny Cash and famed music photographer Jim Marshall’s experience at Folsom and San Quentin. Jason Isbell, Amanda Shires, Dave Cobb, John Prine, and Brandi Carlisle participated in roundtable that covered a variety of topics and culminated in a performance by Carlisle. There was a preview of Ken Burn’s upcoming PBS documentary, “Country Music” presented and moderated by lead writer and producer Dayton Duncan.
Entry to the showcases is included in conference registration and the panels occur generally during the day to avoid conflicting with too many off campus activities. Conference attendance is highly recommended for the music business professional, artist and fan.