The 2015 CMJ Music Marathon is a no-brainer opportunity for all independent musicians looking to break further into their music careers this year. Each year, thousands of artists perform in front of fans and music influencers from all over in New York City. It's an opportunity to hit big career goals, such as finding a lawyer, agent, publishing deal, etc. In addition, there are several learning opportunities with conference activites, panels, mentoring sessions, and more. And through Sonicbids, you can submit to perform up until June 25 – a minimum of 300 slots have been reserved just for Sonicbids members! Here are five reasons why you definitely don't want to miss this year's CMJ Music Marathon.
1. It's one of the world's most important platforms for the discovery of new music
This festival has seen the launch of artists like Courtney Barnett, HAERTS, Kelela, Magic Man, the Head and the Heart, Wet, Kodaline, the Preatures, Eagulls, and so many more. The marathon gives up-and-coming artists the exposure that can potentially launch their careers. You definitely do not want to miss having your shot on a CMJ stage – it could be the show that changes your life!
2. This year is the celebration of its 35th anniversary
In one small New York City venue, with only two bands, CMJ was born in 1981. Thirty-five years later, it's one of the world’s largest indie festivals. This year, the festival will be celebrating with special anniversary features to be announced soon.
3. The fest features 1,400+ live performances in 80+ of New York City's greatest nightclubs and theaters
Not only will you have the chance to participate in the spectacle that is CMJ, you'll be able to see a plethora of new music in New York's most exciting venues. Each venue and band is a new connection for your career. Make a strong impression, leave a footprint, and follow up. CMJ Music Marathon isn't just about performing in front of new fans – it's just as much about connecting with new musicians and venues. Establish a positive relationship and nurture it for your future gigging and touring endeavors.
4. You'll perform in front of label executives, industry-leading music bloggers, and high-profile critics
This is one of the biggest parts of being discovered at CMJ. Whether it's a label that notices you or a top blogger, getting in front of music influencers is a huge opportunity for any independent musician. Indie musicians spend hours making cold-call emails to these influencers, most of which are never opened, let alone read. At the CMJ Music Marathon, you'll finally have the chance to get their attention and make a lasting impression. Plus, you have the added opportunity of making connections with industry pros at all the panels and seminars throughout the week!
5. Experience an audience of over 120,000 music lovers
Having the chance to perform at an event that draws 120,000 music lovers from around the world is a surreal experience, even for bigger, established artists. Not only is it a chance to share your music, but it's also an opportunity to gain experience playing in front of so many new faces. Of course, you won't be playing to that size of an audience all at once, but throughout the five days, you'll likely have gained the experience of performing a full tour in terms of new listeners reached.
Don't miss your chance to play CMJ 2015! Apply by June 25 to be considered for this historic anniversary year.
Sam Friedman is an electronic music producer and singer-songwriter based in Brooklyn, NY. His music blends experimental ambience with indie-driven dance music. In addition to pursuing his own music, he is a New Music Editor for Unrecorded and is passionate about music journalism. Check out his music and follow him on Twitter @nerveleak.