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How to Put on Your Best Show: 5 Things We Learned From the Performances at This Year's CMJ Music Marathon

Photo by Sam Friedman

This year's CMJ Music Marathon held countless standout performances, from indie rock to punk to EDM. Spread across New York City's most artistic and creative neighborhoods, musicians from around the world played their hearts out for us, but not every performance stopped us dead in our tracks. At the end of the weekend, we asked ourselves: What was it about the absolute best shows we saw that made them so impactful? Were they all perfect, flawlessly executed performances? Of course not! But they shared a few things in common that made them feel perfect.

Whether you're a festival veteran or looking to break your band into the scene, take a page from this year's CMJ performers on how to create memorable experiences worth talking about even after the fest ends.

2015 CMJ Music Marathon Must-Sees: Don't Miss These 8 Showcases and Panels This Week!

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Well, folks, it's that time of year again! Get your earplugs, tickets, and Instagram filters ready for New York City's best week of independent music, CMJ Music Marathon.

By now you've probably already recieved a few billion Facebook invites to events across the city, and you may be wondering, "Where do I start?" Don't worry, we've got you. While there's no limit on good music to fall in love with and informative panels to learn from, we've managed to narrow down our top picks for this year's CMJ. Feel free to leave a comment below with your CMJ must-sees, and you just might see some of the Sonicbids team there!

Hip-Hop Artists: Last Chance to Get on the Bill for A3C With De La Soul, Rakim, and Cam'ron!

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Calling all hip-hop artists: This week is your last chance to get on the bill for the 2015 A3C Hip Hop Festival in Atlanta, GA! Apply by September 19, and you could be one of 50 Sonicbids artists performing alongside some of the biggest names in hip-hop this October, including De La Soul, Rakim, and Cam'ron.

What Does It Take to Play SXSW? The Kickback’s Journey to the Fest

The Kickback (Photo by David Burlacu)

You already know that having a SXSW showcase on your resume is pretty much essential if you want your band to be taken with any level of seriousness, but what does it actually take to get there? Not just the application process, but what does a band’s actual journey to the festival look like?

Where Are They Now? 5 Hip-Hop Artists Who Are Doing Big Things After Playing A3C

As the summer starts to wind down, one of the biggest hip-hop festivals you don't want to miss, the A3C Hip Hop Festival, is now just around the corner. The five days in October in Atlanta are really a festival and conference rolled into one, as there will be both hundreds of live performers and industry vets using the event as a platform to talk about developments in the hip-hop community, speaking on topics such as brands, the media, film, and its place in our culture as a whole. A3C has featured huge hip-hop artists like J. Cole and B.o.B., and this year will bring headliners De La Soul and Rakim to the stage. If you'd like to share the bill and take advantage of an amazing networking and learning opportunity, apply now for free before the application fee increases to $50 on September 1, 2015.

Since 2005, A3C has featured over 130 Sonicbids artists, and a lot of them have gone on to do even more great things after performing at the fest. Check out a handful of the success stories below. They'll be sure to inspire you.