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CD Baby's DIY Musician Conference 2016 Returns to the Windy City

The highly successful CD Baby’s DIY Musician Conference is returning to Chicago for its second year on September 30 through October 2. The conference, which is sponsored by Berklee Online and GigSalad, will be held at the historic Congress Plaza Hotel. Over 30 sessions, along with panel discussions, workshops and keynotes will offer actionable, artist driven advice created specifically to give independent artists the skills and ideas they can take home and implement instantly. This year’s keynote speakers include: Bob Boilen, Founder and Host of National Public Radio’s All Songs Considered; popular music supervisor Alexandra Patsavas; and Jack Conte from Pomplamoose and Patreon. One of the highlights of the conference will be a ”Live Band Makeover” with Nashville-based live performance producer Tom Jackson.

This is the second year CD Baby has put on the conference aimed at helping independent artists. “We chose Chicago for our location because the city is located in the center of the country,“ explains CD Baby VP Marketing Kevin Breuner. “Chicago also appeared to be underserved by music industry conferences despite the fact the city supports a strong independent music scene. We expected most of the artists who attended the conference to be from the greater Chicago area. We were pleasantly surprised to discover artists from across the country and throughout the world traveling to Chicago to attend.”

CD Baby is one of the largest distributors of independent music on the planet, home to more than 400,000 artists. The CD Baby catalog makes up an estimated 17 per cent of iTunes track offerings. With a one-stop professional dashboard allowing indie musicians to manage their royalties and licensing, CD Baby has become the go-to partner for many icons in the new music industry, including Ingrid Michaelson, Bon Iver, Macklemore, and others.

The focus of the CD Baby’s DIY Musician Conference is different than most music industry conferences. The conference focuses on practical steps musicians can take to grow their music careers, covering topics such as music publishing, touring, website building, generating revenue, releasing albums, publicity, and merchandise. “We asked a lot of artists what they need and what they want more of, and then we designed the program with this in mind,” said Bruener. “We’ve included more workshops and one-on-one mentoring. Our conference isn’t about a big name speaker talking in general terms, or about information that is more geared towards managers or label executives. This is about content that people can use right away to move their careers forward. It’s about strong takeaways.”
CD Baby VP Marketing Kevin Breuner

Some of the topics covered during the conference will range from the art & craft of songwriting; managing the creative process; putting on a stronger live show; booking a house concert tour; and diving in to sync, publishing, and streaming revenues. Artists will also have the opportunity to hangout, network, and even play together in a new feature this year –The Jam Room. Bruener explains, “This started last year with just a few artists but quickly blew up to something bigger. Artists asked for a dedicated room to jam and we’re doing it.”

Last year’s CD Baby’s DIY Musician Conference was completely sold out weeks before the start of the conference. This year’s ticket sales are already strong and the organizers anticipate another sold out conference. To purchase tickets or to learn more, please visit