TransmitTALKS, TransmitLIVE, TransmitNOW

International music industry think-tank in BC
By Karen Bliss

Transmission 2009 is set to take place in Victoria, British Columbia, Sept. 22 to 26, bringing together industry heavyweights to debate and determine solutions facing the music business and opine about its future.

This year’s transmitTALKs, as the conference portion is called, presented by RIM, will be located in Crystal Gardens.  There will be more than 60 roundtable discussions focusing on emerging markets such as Brazil, Russia, India and China; the present and future role of copyright in music; and the required skills and qualifications of “next generation leaders.”

Featured speakers include music producer and media professor Sandy Pearlman; online book pioneer Hannes Brun, president and CEO of Abe Books; and David Hyman, Internet innovator and founder/CEO of music content site MOG.

Futher information about the speakers and topics can be found at Tranmission’s new web magazine, TransmitNOW, www.transmitnow.com.

“The medium is no longer about hosting a conference; the medium is now moving into these conferences as being a mechanism for this dialogue that’s now starting to happen more frequently year round,” says transmission’s executive producer Tyl van Toorn of the web site.

transmitLIVE, the festival component of transmission presented by Sirius Satellite Radio, includes a new partnership with Rifflandia (24th to 27th) for a total of 75 acts playing over three days in multiple venues.  Over 25 acts are “official [tranmitLIVE] showcase acts in 4 of the 7 venues over 3 days,” says Toorn.

“Rifflandia is a straight-up fan-driven festival. Nick Blasko, who manages Tegan & Sara, and Buck 65 and runs Atomic, the promoter of record in this region, got this thing going last year,” says Toorn. “He really likes our conference and we really liked what he did with the festival.

“Our challenge is we get the industry people out for these shows, but we always struggle making sure there are strong fan bases, so we bring the best of both to each other. They get to see rooms packed with fans. Every room will be sold out.

“What makes this conference from a live buyers side so interesting is that it’s, on the one hand, a great consumer event and it’s also separate from the industry event, so it really is two festival,” he adds. “It’s servicing two different groups of people and it’s programmed for two different groups of people and yet it converges onto the same showcase schedule.”

Among the transmitLIVE performers are Basia Bulat, Caracol, Champion & His G-Strings, Creature, Cuff The Duke, Nelly Furtado’s first signing Fritz Helder & The Phantoms, Hey Rosetta!, 2006 Polaris Music Prize winner Final Fantasy, and Sam Bradley (co-writer of “Never Think” with Twilight actor Robert Pattinson).

“Our focus is export-ready artists who have a very clear focus on what international marketplaces they’d like to work in, so they come forward,” says van Toorn. “Our criteria for choosing these artists are not just about great talent; it’s about coherent strategies and a management structure that can implement those strategies.”

transmitNOW already hosted two events in China in 2008 and 2009 and is planning for a major event there in the spring of 2010. “Based on successes and feedback received from participating delegates and artists involved in the last two edition of TransmitCHina (www.transmitchina.com), plans are now moving forward to make similar forays into South America, Eastern Europe and South Asia,” says Toorn.