Now in its 30th year, the CMJ Music Marathon & Film Festival will once more be taking over music venues all over Lower Manhattan as well in Brooklyn from Tuesday, October 19th to Saturday, October 23rd. Because of the Marathon’s association with NYU, festival headquarter is at the University’s Greenwich Village campus, where more than 120,000 “music fans, music business professionals, college radio tastemakers, press, artists, filmmakers, and industry icons” converge to meet, schmooze and pick-up their badges.
For 2010, artists from over 30 countries will be participating, including some big names such as Phoenix, GZA, UNKLE, John Vanderslice and DeVotchKa. But the bands that people really come to see are those buzz bands or bands that have yet to be discovered; it was at CMJ where artists like U2, R.E.M., Nirvana, Green Day, Black Eyed Peas, Eminem, Muse, White Stripes, The Killers, Justice and Lady Gaga first got their start.
CMJ takes place over 5 days and nights in more than 1200 music venues across New York. For official evening showcases, a badge must be presented. Badges aren’t cheap but buying them ahead of time can save a few hundred dollars. For burgeoning music folks, a badge can be invaluable since it includes access to 70 panels, a music business law seminar, exclusive parties, an exhibitor loft, a registrant lounge, an artist gifting suite, meet and greets, seminars, mentoring sessions, networking events, comedy showcases, Q&As, and various other special events to rub shoulders at.
Don’t have a badge? Don’t fret. Though the major music venues will be hosting official showcases for badge holders, regular folks can get in with a paid ticket at the door and there of course will be various unofficial shows hosted around town- though CMJ frowns upon them. And for those lucky enough to be able to see music during the day, there are no official daytime shows you’ll need to flash a badge at, only free, unofficial parties featuring lots of the bands you may have missed at night.
For those new to CMJ or New York, stick to the traditional homebase of CMJ, the Lower East Side. Here you’ll find a dozen venues all within close proximity to each other and in the case of Ludlow Street, only a few feet of each other. One of the best days to see music is the first day, Tuesday, since the flow of festival goers is still small but international bands will be in town already, along with the major press, so there is a better chance of seeing acts. For a look at some of the CMJ posters for 2010, check out Bumpershine’s collection on their Facebook page.
Museyon will be taking part in CMJ this year as a part of The Music Slut, CMJ opening day party at Pianos on Tuesday, October 19th. The party takes place from around noon until 7pm and is free.