This week marks the sixth year that the Launch Music Conference will take over downtown Lancaster. Launch, which features showcases by fledgling acts, national headliners, and panels with music business professionals is the brainchild and pet project of CI Records JeremyWeiss. I spoke to him to find out what attendees and participants might expect this year.
TSI: So, my first question. What’s new for 2014?
JW: This year our main sponsor is Millersville University. Any MU student with an ID is welcome to attend any event. Also, Barry Atticks who recently came to Millersville via Drexel University will give a lecture called “Majoring In Music/The Music Industry” on Saturday at 12:45 pm. “Panic At The Disco” is also appearing at Launch in conjunction with Millersville’s participation. It is the first time the university has booked a show that does not take place on campus. We have a new venue in “Aussie And The Fox”. This is the first time they have ever featured music. Kevin Lyman from “Warp Tour” will be in attendance which should be great. Also, this year there will be no separation between a day and night badge .If you buy a badge you can get into both the day and evening events. I want the casual music fan and the simply curious to check out the seminars and panel discussions if they like. This year come on in!
TSI: You started to have national headliners a few years ago. Is this something you felt was important.
JW: Let me be clear about this. Our focus at Launch is the unsung and fledgling acts. The national acts are like the pepper in the stew. This is all about folks who love music the way we do. We encourage bands to get out and spread the word about their showcase. Launch is a place you can actually get face to face with people to let them know about your music.
TSI: With that in mind I always felt that the proximity of the venues is one aspect of Launch that was special. How do you feel about Lancaster as a music town.
JW: Lancaster is a great city for music and all the arts. Check out all the art galleries for instance. There is a healthy local music scene and I know of about five bands who came here for Launch and ended up relocating here. We want Launch to bring exposure to this great city.
TSI: Any bands you want to tell us about?
JW: It’s gotten so competitive for us. The panel has such a tough time choosing. One thing that’s cool this year is that a number of bands a releasing CDs at their show. Carousel Kings, The Shackeltons, Hot Jam Factory are all releasing new records and I know that Carousel Kings, One Year Later, and Hot Jam Factory will give you a free copy just by coming to their show. This is going to be a rocking event for musicians, music lovers and the city of Lancaster.
LAUNCH MUSIC CONFERENCE
April 17th – 20th
Historic Downtown Lancaster