The 2011 Sync Up Conference

April 29 and April 30 May 6 and May 7, 2011
Time: 9am - Noon each day
New Orleans Museum of Art
One Collins C. Diboll Circle
New Orleans, LA 70119
Map This Location

Facebook Twitter

Return to our Home Page


The 2011 Sync Up conference is now history - and it was one for the record books. From Wild Wayne's interview with the irrepressible Mystikal to insights from the legendary Chris Blackwell, the fourth annual Sync Up was as entertaining as it was educational.

See below for the complete details on the conference, and stay tuned for updates on Sync Up 2012.


SYNC UP 2011

A complete schedule of topics and presenters is below.

The Sync Up conference, held on the mornings of the Friday and Saturday of both weekends of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell, brings together leaders from across the entertainment world.

The conference focuses on three main topics: the international music festival industry; licensing music to film, TV and videogames; and using new technologies to promote and sell independent music.

We have an especially distinguished group of presenters this year. Full details are in the schedule below. Also be sure to see our speaker biographies and program guide.

Among the highlights:

  • Chris Blackwell, the legendary founder of Island Records who brought the world Bob Marley and U2, among many others (May 7)
  • PJ Bloom, music supervisor of the mega-hit TV show "Glee" (May 6)
  • Larry Vallon, an AEG Live exec and ond of the world's top live music producers (April 30)
  • Mystikal, the hit-making rapper, in an interview with Wild Wayne (April 29)
  • Bryan Calhoun, a new-media marketing guru (May 7)
  • Thomas Gayno of Google Innovative Labs, presenting a special screening of "The Wilderness Downtown," the interactive video featuring music by Arcade Fire (May 5)
  • A special panel on touring in Australia, featuring producers of the two largest festivals in that country (May 7)

Sync Up is produced and presented by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation – the nonprofit that owns Jazz Fest. The Foundation uses the proceeds from Jazz Fest, and other revenues, for year-round programs in education, economic development and cultural events. Conference sponsors are listed below.

The conference takes place at the New Orleans Museum of Art (map), walking distance to Jazz Fest.

Sync Up admission is free, but seating is limited and advance registration is required.

Sync Up is proud to be part of The Work Week: A Celebration of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. In addition to Sync Up, The Work Week includes The Second Line, a conference May 3 and 4 on business design, and Launch Fest, which brings young tech start-ups together with venture capital May 5 and 6.

Another new element for Sync Up is a nationwide art contest, sponsored by Creative Allies and Readymade magazine, for art inspired by the music and culture of New Orleans. Winning entries will be displayed at The Jazz & Heritage Gallery during Jazz Fest, with an opening party on the evening of May 2. The grand prize winner will receive an all-expense paid trip to New Orleans and Jazz Fest. For details, see here.

Also new this year: The Sync Up conference will be broadcast in live video streaming via Liveset, a New Orleans-based digital media company.


2011 Sync Up Conference Schedule
All events at The New Orleans Museum of Art unless otherwise noted

Friday, April 29
Independent Artist Development and Distribution
9:00 a.m. Registration Opens
9:15 a.m. Coffee and Bloody Marys
10:00 a.m. Welcome

10:15 a.m. Keynote: Career Development In the New Music Business
Interviewed by Wild Wayne

11:15 a.m. Panel Discussion: Success In the Music Business – With or Without Selling Records
Selling records isn’t as easy as it used to be – if it ever was. But it can be done. What’s the key to success? And with music sales down overall, do alternate revenue streams like licensing and sponsorship make up for lost income? Or is just about touring?
Moderator: Sean O’Connell, President, Music Allies (Asheville, NC)
Peter Himberger, Principal, Impact Artist Management (New York, NY)
Kristin Hersh, Founder, Throwing Muses (New Orleans, LA)
George Howard, Co-founder, Tune Core (New Orleans, LA)

Saturday, April 30
The Music Festival Industry
9:00 a.m. Registration Opens
9:15 a.m. Coffee and Bloody Marys
10:00 a.m. Welcome

10:15 a.m. Keynote Address: The State of Today's Live Music Industry
Larry Vallon, Executive Vice President, AEG Live

10:45 a.m. Panel Discussion: Curating a Music Festival
Many of the big music festivals are setting new records – but others are coming online only to disappear within a year or so. Meanwhile, some festivals thrive by staying purposefully small.
Moderator: Hugh Southard, President, Blue Mountain Artists (Charlotte, NC)
Danny Melnick, President, Absolutely Live (New York, NY)
Rob Gibson, Artistic Director, Savannah Music Festival (Savannah, GA)
Bruce Labadie, Festival Director, San Jose Jazz Festival (San Jose, CA)
Michael Arnone, Producer/Creator, Michael Arnone’s Crawfish Fest (Augusta, NJ)
Jennifer Pickering, Executive Director, LEAF (Lake Eden Arts Festival) (Asheville, NC)
Mel Puljic, Principal, Mondo Mundo (New York, NY)

Monday, May 2
6:00 pm
Gallery Opening: Art Inspired by New Orleans Music and Culture
Featuring works by winners of an art contest sponsored by Readymade Magazine and Creative Allies
Location: The Jazz & Heritage Gallery (1205 N. Rampart Street)

Thursday, May 5
7:00 p.m.
Sync Up Film Screenings and Panel Discussion: "The Wilderness Downtown"
Sponsored by the New Orleans Film Alliance
Location: The New Orleans Museum of Art
The Wilderness Downtown is an online, multi-media film that is more than a music video. Featuring the music of The Arcade Fire - who are performing at Jazz Fest on May 6 - the film uses Google mapping technology to create an interactive experience that evokes childhood memories in the viewer. Sync Up and the New Orleans Film Alliance are proud to welcome Thomas Gayno of Google Innovative Labs for an exclusive presentation of this multi-faceted experience, and to discuss how the project was born and evolved.

Friday, May 6
Licensing Music to Visual Media
Co-sponsored by Bug Music and Sugaroo!
9:00 a.m. Registration Opens
9:15 a.m. Coffee and Bloody Marys
10:00 a.m. Welcome

10:05 a.m. Panel Discussion: Licensing Music to Film and TV
With the recording industry in the dumps, many artists are fining new revenue streams by licensing their music to film and TV productions. But it’s not as easy to do as it sounds.
Moderator: Michael Nieves, Sugaroo (Los Angeles, CA)
PJ Bloom, Music Supervisor, "Glee," (Los Angeles, CA)
Josh Rabinowitz, Grey Worldwide Advertising (New York, NY)
Danny Exum, Music Supervisor, Herzog & Co. (N. Hollywood, CA)

11:45 a.m. Panel Discussion: Video Games, Music and Alternative Distribution Channels
Making music for videogames isn’t just about writing a great song. There are many complicating factors. But videogames are also great new ways to promote music. And if you don’t know how to play, then you can’t get in the game.
Moderator: David Hirshland, President, Bug Music (Los Angeles, CA)
Ric Neil, Glu Mobile (San Francisco, CA)
Carter Lipscomb, Sony Computer Entertainment (San Mateo, CA)
Robert Mercurio, Galactic (New Orleans, LA)

Saturday, May 7
Touring in Australia, and New Tools For Artist Marketing
9:00 a.m. Registration Open
9:15 a.m. Coffee and Bloody Marys
10:00 a.m. Welcome

10:05 a.m. Panel Discussion: G'Day! Touring Down Under
The folks in Australia love their music – especially the rootsy, funky music of New Orleans and Louisiana. Many of our artists already have solid fan bases there. We talk to the leading promoters from the land Down Under to find out how to get there and build an audience.
Peter Noble, Festival Director, Byron Bay Bluesfest (Byron Bay, Australia)
Michael Chugg, Chugg Entertainment (Sydney, Australia)
Millie Millgate, Sounds Australia (Sydney, Australia)
Nathan Farrell, Director, Nathan Farrell Entertainment (Sydney, Australia)
Brian Wise, Editor, Rhythms Magazine (Melbourne, Australia)

11:05 a.m. Keynote Address: Making Money, Making Music - Harder Than It Looks, Simpler Than It Seems
Bryan Calhoun, VP New Media and External Affairs, SoundExchange (Washington, DC)

11:30 a.m. Framing the Question: What Is Artist Marketing Today, Anyway?
Chris Blackwell, Founder, Island Records (Goldeneye, Jamaica)

11:40 a.m. Panel Discussion: The Next Phase in Artist Marketing
Social media, experiential, mobile platforms, grass-roots touring – they’re all in the grab-bag of artists who successfully develop careers in today’s music business.
Moderator: Jonathan McHugh, Sr. VP Island Def Jam (Los Angeles, CA)
Christopher Schwartz, Founder, RuffHouse Records (Philadelphia, PA)
Billy O'Connell, CASH Music (New Orleans, LA)
Chad Greer, VP Creative, Downtown Music (Los Angeles, CA)
Brent McCrossen, President, Audiosocket (New Orleans, LA)

Sync Up participants have their own exclusive hospitality area at Jazz Fest. The Sync Up hospitality area is open from 1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. every day of the festival. The Sync Up hospitality area is open only to those who attend the Sync Up conference (as opposed to those who register but don’t attend). Location information and access credentials will be distributed at the conference.

Parking: Those attending the Sync Up conference are welcome to park their cars in City Park - and to leave them there for the day while you go to Jazz Fest. Just pick up a dashboard parking pass before you leave the conference. Please be sure to park in what would ordinarily be a legal street spot. Cars parked in “no parking” zones may be ticketed or towed.

Links & Downloads:

Concert Industry Bounces Back from Last Summer's Doldrums
Wall Street Journal says the concert industry is coming back thanks to lower ticket prices.

Glee Beats Elvis’ Record of Most Charting Singles
Let's hear what "Glee" music supervisor PJ Bloom has to say about this!

TuneCore CEO Jeff Price on 'When Artists Become the Product.'
The continuing debate on the role of commerce in the world of art.

Stephen Colbert asks who is the bigger sellout - the Black Keys or Vampire Weekend.
Both bands are very successful in licensing songs to movies - and commercials.

Google to go head-to-head with iTunes for consumer music delivery.
Google is working on a new music delivery system to compete with iTunes. See the Billboard story.

"I'm With the Brand"
Delta Sky magazine article on building band awareness through commercial branding opportunities.

Where To Buy Music To Support Indie Bands
NPR report, "Where To Buy Music To Get More Cents On the Dollar To the Musician"

Kristin Hersh on Sustainability in the Music Business
Kristin will be on our April 29 panel on success with or without selling records.

Alex Hackford on music in video games
Alex Hackford, music man for Sony Playstation, discusses licensing music for game projects.

How Much Do Artists Earn From Online Sales?
Interesting statistics on how much money actually goes into musicians' pockets from various types of sales.

Festival Ticket Sales Down in 2010?
Some events were slumping in 2010 (Lillith Fair, Country Throwdown), while the biggies - Jazz Fest, Bonnarroo, Coachella and more - did bang-up business. Our April 30 keynote speaker, Bonnaroo founder Ashley Capps, will explain.

Film Festivals Are Now Film Distributors
The Sundance and Tribecca film festivals launch on-demand online distribution models for indie films.

YouTube Redefines the Entertainment Business
The essence of "disruptive innovation," YouTube's free distribution model turns the biz upside down.

TuneCore: Guessing Musician Income From Streaming Audio
George Howard and Jeff Price from TuneCore explore the mysteries of royalty accounting from Internet streams.

YouTube Makes "Royalty School" Mandatory
Big lessons for those uploading content to sharing sites.

"Do You Really Want A Major Lable Deal?"
Courtesy of Hypebot.

Impact of "Treme" on New Orleans Music Industry
And info on the official HBO "Treme" tour, produced by Sync Up panelist Danny Melnick.

Chris Blackwell Video Interviews on Artists House Music
Artists House Music has a huge cache of interview clips with Chris Blackwell - all of them worth watching.

Tune Core's Jeff Price Tells Music Industry Gatekeepers to "Go #@! Yourself"
Tune Core CEO Jeff Price has some choice words for those who want to keep independent artists from accessing new methods of distribution.

Interview with Scott Aiges
Radio station WWNO interviews Jazz & Heritage Foundation programs director Scott Aiges about Sync Up.

An Introduction to the Self-Released Album
Interesting article from Music Think Tank via Hypebot

Rome: 3 Dreams of Black
Sync Up panelist and Google exec Thomas Gayno's latest project to push the boundaries of the online music experience.

Making Money Making Music - Indie Style
Jonathan Coulton is doing quite well, thank you, as an indie artist.

Carry On
Panelist Josh Rabinowitz told the story of getting Alana Davis to cover CSN's "Carry On" for a Sony Commercial. Here's the New York Times' version.

Selling Music On Facebook
How to sell music from your Facebook page - with video tutorial.


Click the links below to play videos.

An excerpt from Wild Wayne's interview with Mystikal
Larry Vallon
Larry Vallon
Keynoter Larry Vallon of AEG Live discusses the concert industry
Success In the Music Busines
Success In the Music Busines
Kristin Hersh, George Howard and Peter Himberger define success in the music business.
Curating a Music Festival
Curating a Music Festival
Michael Arnone, Rob Gibson, Danny Melnick, Jennifer Pickering, Mel Puljic, Bruce Labadie, Hugh Southard
Licensing Music to Film & TV
Licensing Music to Film & TV
PJ Bloom, Josh Rabinowitz, Danny Exum, Michael Nieves
Video Games and Alternative Distribution
Video Games and Alternative Distribution
Carter Lipscomb, Ric Neil, Robert Mercurio, David Hirshland
Touring Down Under
Touring Down Under
Millie Milgate, Nathan Farrell, Michael Chugg, Peter Noble, Brian Wise
Bryan Calhoun
Bryan Calhoun
Making Money Making Music
The Next Phase in Artist Marketing
The Next Phase in Artist Marketing
Chad Greer, Billy O’Connell, Jonathan McHugh
Artist Marketing Then and Now
Artist Marketing Then and Now
Chris Blackwell with Jonathan McHugh, Billy O'Connell and Chad Greer
Mystikal - Uncut
Mystikal - Uncut
The complete, one-hour version of Wild Wayne's interview with Mystikal
Success In the Music Business - Complete
Success In the Music Business - Complete
The entire session on "Success In the Music Business With Or Without A Record Deal"
The State of the Live Music Industry - Complete
The State of the Live Music Industry - Complete
The complete keynote address by Larry Vallon of AEG Live
Curating A Music Festival - Complete
Curating A Music Festival - Complete
The complete session on "Curating A Music Festival"
Licensing Music to Film & TV - complete
Licensing Music to Film & TV - complete
The complete session on "Licensing Music to Film & TV"
Music & Video Games - complete
Music & Video Games - complete
The complete session on Music and Videogames
Touring Down Under - complete
Touring Down Under - complete
The entire session on touring Australia
Making Money - complete
Making Money - complete
Bryan Calhoun's complete keynote
Artist Marketing - Complete
Artist Marketing - Complete
Chris Blackwell's complete panel

The Sync Up Conference Festival Archive:
2020's Conference Details
2020's Conference Details
2019's Conference Details
2018's Conference Details
2017's Conference Details
2016's Conference Details
2015's Conference Details
2014's Conference Details
2013's Conference Details
2012's Conference Details
2011's Conference Details
2010's Conference Details
2009's Conference Details
2008's Conference Details

Check out what else we do.

Sync Up gratefully acknowledges the following sponsors:

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation, Inc.