We, at County Grind, care about music. We wring the music scene towel with our strong typing hands until almost every last drop is splattered across the pages of this blog. So we couldn't overlook the Driven Music Conference taking place at Revolution Live and B Ocean Hotel. The three-day event puts developing artists in contact with industry professionals.
Founder Dominick Centi and his wife, conference co-founder Tammy, used to attend music conferences with artists they represented while simultaneously helping out with the events. Their hard work paid off, because as a result, artists gained record deals or other professional musical opportunities.
"These incredibly rewarding and productive experiences became the driving force behind us producing a music conference of our own," he said. "The conference has taken on a life of its own by creating opportunities, not only for the emerging artist looking to advance their career, but also the top music industry professional seeking an artist to work with. There is a thrill that goes along with each time we're able to add a new testimonial to the list. This is what drives every decision we make when producing the event. This is what it's all about."
Each year, the Driven Music Conference takes place in two cities; this is its fourth year in Fort Lauderdale, and in Atlanta. Aside from the conference, the couple's Driven Entertainment Group is responsible for booking concert tours and managing numerous talents.
For Saturday's event, emerging artists will have the chance to network with music professionals such as those from Virgin and Interscope Records, music manager Joe Simpson (father/manager of Jessica and Ashlee Simpson), platinum Billboard-charting producers, artist management firms, national tour promoters, and the media.
"Showcase performers have been offered both major and indie label records deals, have been booked for 40-date national tours, received national music media attention and scored deals from top booking agencies and management firms, all from connections made at our conference," said Centi.
Although attendees are nationwide (with some from outside the U.S.), we had to ask Centi a burning question: Is Fort Lauderdale a good place for live music and local talent? Centi replied, "Like most local markets, it's full of artists hungry to take the national stage and music fans that are even hungrier for more of the music they love." Fair enough.
Featured are panel discussions ranging on topics from music marketing to record labels to studio tracking. The crowd will be asking questions in a "talk show-style" format, so feel free to think of some questions. Remember, keep it appropriate, people -- Jessica Simpson's dad will be there.
Driven Music Conference, May 17 to 18, Friday and Saturday at B Ocean Hotel, 999 N Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Fort Lauderdale and Revolution Live, 100 SW Third Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Admission is open to the general public -- $29 advance tickets ($49 at door) provide guests with a two-day panel pass. Visit drivenflorida.com.