Announcing CD Baby’s DIY Musician Conference (October 23-25 in Chicago)

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DIY Musician Conference scheduleSAVE THE DATE for CD Baby’s first-ever DIY Musician Conference!

Virtually every major music conference in the US has become an industry shindig where you pay top-dollar to watch insiders network‚ party and speak on panels that offer very little value to emerging artists.

CD Baby’s DIY Musician Conference will be nothing like that.

We’ve put together an event that will not only leave your brain buzzing with ideas and inspiration‚ but will also provide you with a plan of action to take home with you. With panels and sessions carefully curated to offer you practical‚ action-oriented advice about how to advance your music career‚ we’ll address the challenges you’re facing and we’ll offer solutions — from how to add names to your email list to how to maximize download and streaming volume and beyond.

CD Baby’s DIY Musician Conference will take place October 23-25, 2015 in Chicago, IL at the Congress Plaza Hotel, right on Michigan Ave in the heart of the city, a stone’s throw from Millennium Park, the Museum Campus and Lakefront.

Who should attend the DIY Musician Conference? Songwriters-Artists-Bands

Whether you’re an established artist or just starting out‚ this conference will have something for you.

CD Baby’s DIY Musician Conference is not only the perfect place to reinvigorate your passion for your music career‚ but it’s also an opportunity to shake hands and connect with other DIY artists from around the world‚ as well as with us.

We’re incredibly excited to get to know you‚ hear your story‚ and maybe even help you tell it better.

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  • Tokyo Rosenthal

    Sounds great. Hope to be there. Peace, Toke

  • Relish

    Looking forward to this– sounds like it’ll be a very productive and informative event!

  • Laurie Lacross-Wright

    When will the conference schedule be available? We are flying back from a Euro tour Monday or Tuesday of that week and have an event booked for October 25th but wonder whether it would be beneficial to attend the first two days.

  • Jim Fiegen

    I attended this type of conference for three years in L.A. when I belonged to TAXI. Yes, they are very busy, no, they are not a place where you can really move your career forward, and yes, they are setup so the movers and shakers get to hang out and tell you how THEY think you should move your sad little indie career forward. Just don’t try to talk to anyone important,or get them to listen to your music, as they are very busy with other concerns.
    I love CD Baby, and I’m very proud to be a CD Baby artist, but I need a lot of encouragement to try to network with “industry professionals” and their personal agendas.

  • This sounds awesome – the first music conference I’d even consider attending!

  • Liliana Kohann (ArtPeace)

    8 hours drive for me… I hope it will be worth it. Every time I call I have such a good experience with your customer service and I have a lot of respect for all of you. You are helpful and patient! It will be like putting a face to a good friend! I am really tempted. Will you actually meet us, something in smaller groups, or all will it be more like one big crowd, and lectures?

  • Kamal Sharif

    I just bought my ticket!

  • frecklebandit

    This Is Pretty Fantastic!! And I Can’t Wait To Meet All Of You!! Sista Jean of Sista Jean & CB (Blues) and Pepper MaShay(EDM)

  • Thom Lyons

    Is there a list of the panels/sessions anywhere? How about information regarding the showcases?

  • Nice. See ya there!

    @ChrisRobley

  • Nice. See you there!

    @ChrisRobley

  • We’ll be hanging out too, and happy to meet/talk with everyone. Hope to see you there!

    @ChrisRobley

  • Sweet. We’re excited for it too. Hope to see you there.

    @ChrisRobley

  • Hey Jim, that’s exactly the kind of conference we’re trying NOT to host. We want this to be full of lots of practical, actionable advice for indie artists.

    @ChrisRobley

  • Not sure when we’ll have everything finalized to announce, BUT… I think Saturday is gonna be the heftiest day, so if you can make it for Friday and Saturday only it’ll still be worth it. Hopefully see you there!

    @ChrisRobley

  • Great. See you there!

    @ChrisRobley

  • See ya in Chicago.

    @ChrisRobley

  • kbreuner

    Looking forward to meeting you as well!

  • kbreuner

    Liliana,
    It will definitely be worth it! We can’t wait to announce the speakers. Plus, we’ll get to hang.

  • kbreuner

    Jim – We promise this conference will be worth your time. We also wanted to keep it affordable to make sure a high ticket price didn’t deter folks. Plus, you’ll get to hang out with us!

  • kbreuner

    Saturday will be the busiest day, so if that’s all you can make, you’ll still feel like you got your monies worth. One of the speakers will be worth the $49 alone! Schedule coming soon!

    • Laurie Lacross-Wright

      Darn. I was hoping Thursday and Friday would be the power days. I get that your goal is to help artists increase revenue streams and sell more music but Saturday’s are usually the busiest/most profitable day of the week for working musicians. Too bad no one ever thinks to hold a conference Monday-Wednesday. Ah well, maybe next year.

  • Eric Majeski

    Awesome, and welcome to Chicago. I recently discovered the DIY podcast and love it, thank you for your service. Just finishing first album, so the timing is impeccable. Looking forward to meeting everyone.

  • Nice. See you there!

    @ChrisRobley

  • Also, thanks for listening to the podcast. Did you start more current and listen backwards, or visa versa?

    @ChrisRobley

    • Eric Majeski

      I’d say current, and listening backwards, but not in a linear fashion. I am definitely hopping around the list to the areas with most resonance.

  • I am not a musician but a “manager” do you think this will be helpful for me as well?

  • I’m in Chicago and will definitely be buying a ticket. Just started listening to the podcast and have been jumping around listening. Love it! Its very informative. I’m a songwriter/singer, the podcast has really been helping me especially on the business side.

  • Nice. Thanks for listening. I’m afraid to go back and listen to those early episodes! Hope to see you in Chicago.

    @ChrisRobley

  • Absolutely. If you work with one or more artists, you can pass on what you learn to them (or use it yourself if you handle any of the PR, booking, etc.). Lastly, you’ll meet some people… and that never hurts either.

    @ChrisRobley

  • Ah, cool. Well, I was just saying to someone else, I’m afraid to listen to those early episodes. So… listen with forgiving ears!

    @ChrisRobley

  • Barbora Briestenska

    Hi are there gonna be any live streaming or videos so maybe someone from Central Europe like me could experience at least a bit form this great event?:) thanks very much Barbora

  • Abigail Lee Hood

    I just bought my ticket & requested off from work! Can’t wait to see you there!

  • Mike Quimby

    My wife and I are starting a new ministry geared toward equipping, encouraging people in the Christian faith through our music, books and personal testimonies. Do you think there will be other Christian musicians at this event? It won’t determine whether we come, we just want to know if we will be able to network…

  • How does one apply to be a presenter/speaker?

  • Erick

    How can an artist register for showcase…?

  • Is Derek coming? That would be da bomb!
    Are you going to release a schedule of events and speakers any time soon?

  • Bill Hudson

    Sounds like a cool idea, and it’s in the middle of the county.
    Are there workshops? Or like what they do at Future of Music Conference?
    Also will there be pod cast so folks can listen in?

  • Lots of breakout sessions, some talks and panels, keynotes, showcases, and plenty of chances to hang out with other musicians and folks from CD Baby. We’ll announce the full schedule when it’s taken shape.

    @ChrisRobley

    • Bill Hudson

      Thanks and hope one is on radio and DJ’s and how one is surviving out there, They (dJ’s) are are our life blood.Will there be brochures for ad space?

  • No Derek, but we will definitely publish the schedule when it’s taken shape. (Lots of good speakers and workshop leaders so far).

    @ChrisRobley

  • Send an email to cdbaby@cdbaby.com and we’ll forward it to the folks who are scheduling the speakers.

    @ChrisRobley

  • Nice. See ya in Chicago.

    @ChrisRobley

  • I’m actually not sure what the genre makeup will be of the event attendees, but we’re certainly hoping it will be diverse. Our VP of Marketing Kevin Breuner is in a Grammy-nominated CCM band called “Smalltown Poets.” So there’s one, for sure!

    @ChrisRobley

  • Showcase admission is included with the cost of the event ticket. The showcase will be an event curated by our organizers. We will be announcing more details about evening events in the coming weeks. As for panels/sessions, we’ll announce those as it takes shape.

    @ChrisRobley

  • Jan Seides

    Just bought my ticket. I was never going to go to another music conference for exactly the reason you outlined. But I listen to the podcast all the time, and I know you guys know what life is like out here where the real working musicians are. Can hardly wait. Thanks for making this into a possibility.

  • I believe ad/sponsor info will be on our conference website when it launches. (If it’s not, just send an email to cdbaby@cdbaby.com and we’ll get you the info). More details soon. Thanks!

    @ChrisRobley

  • Hi Jan, sweet! See you in Chicago. Also, we’ll be taping an episode of the podcast there with a live audience, so maybe you can be on an upcoming episode. Thanks for listening (and reading).

    @ChrisRobley

  • Showcase admission is included with the cost of the event ticket. The showcase will be an event curated by our organizers. We will be announcing more details about evening events in the coming weeks.

    @ChrisRobley

  • Bill Hudson

    Ok, will keep an eye on the web site, Thanks!

  • Jay

    How do we submit to be considered for the showcasing?

  • Feel free to send an email to cdbaby@cdbaby.com. Thanks!

    @ChrisRobley

  • Matt Wheeler

    Just bought my ticket to the conference – see you in Chicago!

  • Hi Barbara, we’re still working out the details in terms of live streaming or video-ing sessions for later viewing, but will definitely let everyone know closer to the event. Thanks!

    @ChrisRobley

    • Lauren Julia

      Hi Chris, will the conference be recorded including the pre-conference panel this Friday at noon?

  • Matt Wheeler

    Fellow artists: anyone interested in joining the bill for a show in Chicago on Th, 10/22 or Su, 10/25? I’m thinking of pitching the bill to Schuba’s, Hideout, & some other Chicago-area venues. E-mail me at matt@mattwheeleronline.com if you are interested!

  • Purchased my ticket today. I would be willing to join in any showcases or shows in the area. hit me up at dgeffre71@gmail.com. here are my music links http://www.reverbnation.com/darrengeffre

  • Pretty sure our showcases are all booked at this point, but we are having an open mic on Friday night at a sweet Chicago venue.

    @ChrisRobley

  • Mickey Young

    Hi guys, do you have any early signup specials or price options in regards to the hotel prices, food, and ticket price that I should know about. I’m looking to bring in a group of fellow students from school to attend this event. I’m having trouble scrapping up all the info? Do you have an email that’ll respond to questions pretty promptly?

  • Jan Seides

    Any chance we can have the house concert woman (can’t think of her name, but would love to hear her talk about her book) as a speaker?

  • Hi Mickey,

    Yes to both conference badges AND hotel deals. http://www.diymusiciancon.com/
    Scroll down on that link and you’ll see a place to get tickets at early bird pricing (good until the end of this month), and a discount link for rooms at the Congress Plaza Hotel.

    @ChrisRobley

  • Shannon Curtis? We’ve asked her, but I’m not sure if her touring schedule will allow it. Hopefully so!

    ChrisRobley

  • Incognita

    Yey! I’m coming, I’ve decided to work on a new album and this will be the perfect venue to learn about marketing and promoting for the new project. Thanks for doing this and making it affordable!
    http://www.incognitamusic.com

  • I live right outside of Chicago. Do I have to stay in the hotel or can i drive up (or take the train) everyday?

  • You definitely do NOT need to stay at the hotel. You can come and go as you please. Hope to see you there!

    @ChrisRobley

  • Nice. See you there!

    @ChrisRobley

  • Marleto

    Is there a promotional code or discount for booking a room at Congress Hotel for out-of-towners? OK, I see it 149.00 a night

  • Nephaterie

    Hi there would love to be a part of this and have my team participate in the panel. Who can we speak to about this?

  • Yes. And if you’re looking for cheaper or more expensive options, check out our hotel guide for nearby accommodations: http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/musician-tips/hotel-guide-diy-musician-conference-2015/

    @ChrisRobley

  • I think most of our speaker spots are booked up at this point, but feel free to send an email to cdbaby@cdbaby.com with all the relevant details about you, your pitch for a panel or workshop, etc.

    @ChrisRobley

  • Terri Carroll

    Are you guys still honoring this early bird rate price for tickets? Will the hotel price remain the same up until the conference?

  • DreamKatari

    Says 79.99 when I click the link. Supposed to be 49.99. Whats going on?

  • Ah, sorry. I need to update that. $49.99 was the early-bird pricing. It went up to $79.99 a while back, and it’s gonna go up again in mid-September.

    @ChrisRobley

  • Sorry. No. The price is now $79, and if tickets aren’t sold out by September 16th, it’ll go up again to $99.

    @ChrisRobley

    • Terri Carroll

      Thanx!

  • Derek Powers

    Chris,
    We were looking at coming and are really interested in the licensing, publishing and sync side of the conference. Wondered if you have the full session breakdown available. We are unfortunately having to leave earlier on sunday.

    Thanks so much!
    Derek Powers
    clocksandcloudsmusic.com

  • Kamal Sharif

    I bought the Early Bird ticket…AND NOW I CAN’T GO!!!!! I have to give my ticket away to my business partner! UGH!!!! I hope you have it next year in Chicago.

  • Kamal Sharif

    You know what…on second thought…I want to give my ticket away to someone here! DIY blog, can I do that here?

  • Hey Derek,

    Yes. The schedule is now available at http://diymusiciancon.com, and you’ll be able to get a lot of that sync/publishing stuff taken care of on Saturday. See you there!

    @ChrisRobley

  • Ah, bummer. Hope to see you in 2016.

    @ChrisRobley

  • I’ll figure out if that’s possible to do through Brown Paper Tickets and get back to you.

    @ChrisRobley

  • Jessica Louise

    Hello! Can non-attendees go to the open mic? I have some family who want to come out to watch me!

  • Karin Stein

    Hi: is there a detailed schedule online yet?

  • Kandi Currie

    we will be there Fine Tuned Promotions http://www.finetp.com

  • Sandra Liz Velez-Lam

    Will there be different sessions focused on different topics at the same time or will it just be general admission lectures? Also, the time says 2 pm. Will EACH day begin at 2 pm and what is the estimated end time? It seems these items aren’t easily found anywhere.

  • beechnut79

    I understand that this conference is looking for some volunteers. Do you have to me a musician in order to do this? I am not even though I do write song lyrics, six of which have now been demoed to music with a couple more soon on the way. My email is bbcher79@hotmail.com and can receive info there. Thanks.

  • It’s been up for a while at http://diymusiciancon.com.

    @ChrisRobley

  • Nice. See you next week.

    @ChrisRobley

  • The full schedule is at http://diymusiciancon.com. Friday activities are in the afternoon and evening. Saturday and Sunday begin in the morning.

    @ChrisRobley

  • Thanks for the interest. I’m actually not sure if we’re still looking for volunteers. I’ll send this to a couple folks who’ll know for sure and get back to you.

    @ChrisRobley

  • Lauren Julia

    I am planning on driving up to Chicago but might miss the pre-conference booking panel. Will the conference be recorded in some form? This will change my plans for driving that day.

    Thanks// L

  • Hi Lauren,

    I’m just getting to comments now after the conference. Did you make it in time?

    @ChrisRobley

  • Hi Lauren,

    I’m just getting to comments now after the conference. Did you make it in time?

    @ChrisRobley

  • We taped much of the conference and will hopefully post the videos soon. The pre-conference panel was offsite, and I’m not sure if they taped it or not, but I’ll find out.

    @ChrisRobley

  • Hey Jill,

    Sorry for the super late response on this. I’ve been playing catch-up ever since the conference… which was great, and I totally would’ve recommended you attend BEFORE your release. But we’ve already announced next year’s event, so now you have plenty of time to plan. Details in the video here:

    http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/music-news/diy-musician-conference-2016-recap/

    Follow on Twitter at @ChrisRobley