Conventions & Awards

Highlights From Nashville’s Leadership Music Summit and Evan Lowenstein’s Keynote

LM_SUMMITLOGO_FINAL_2013_Yesterday I attended Nashville’s Leadership Music Summit, an event that brought together a diverse array of stakeholders in Nashville’s future with a special emphasis on music and entrepreneurship. I could tell I was only scratching the surface of Leadership Music’s involvement in Nashville but it was a really positive first look. Here are some highlights from the day with related posts to follow.

Leadership Music Summit took place September 10th at Marathon Music Works, a fitting location to discuss music, business and entrepreneurship in Nashville since Marathon Music Works encompasses all those aspects of the Summit.

The Leadership Music Summit, previously known as the Leadership Music Digital Summit, has a long history with a focus on building leadership through the Leadership Music Program. This year long program also builds community among those involved in or connected to Nashville’s music industry.

Ian Rogers Interviews Nashville Entrepreneur Center CEO Michael Burcham

Unfortunately, due to a variety of mishaps, I arrived late to the Summit and missed two of the opening presentations that painted a larger picture related to music and entrepreneurship in Asheville.

Nashville Leaders Connecting Music and Entrepreneurship

I was particularly disappointed to miss Michael Burcham, President and CEO of the Nashville Entrepreneur Center. Though I don’t have documentation of his presentation, you can get a really strong take on what’s happening in Nashville from the above This Week In Music interview with Ian Rogers. Rogers’ interviews with Burcham and with Mayor Karl Dean were my initial impetus for finding out more about what’s happening in Nashville.

I also missed Randy Goodman, co-chair of the Music City Music Council, one of Mayor Dean’s initiatives.

He spoke, in part, about the attempt to get the Grammy Nominations show to return to Nashville. Nate Rau at The Tennessean has more on that effort and what it means for Nashville.

Mayor Karl Dean gave a brief talk later in the day emphasizing Nashville’s future as a creative city. As he spoke about what the city can look forward to one can clearly see how his efforts are an important part of building that future.

Keynote Speaker: Evan Lowenstein, CEO of StageIt

Evan Lowenstein, CEO of StageIt and former pop star, was a nice choice for keynote speaker given his history as both a musician and an entrepreneur.

Based on that experience, he said that the big takeaway was:

Artist = Entrepreneur

He maintains that artists are entrepreneurs because they have the passion for a vision or a dream and the willingness to incur the financial risk of seeing it through.

But who can stop with a takeaway? Lowenstein went on to cover a great deal of ground, often with humorous takes, before getting to what, for me, was the high point of his talk:

“Loneliness is the hardest part of being an entrepreneur.”

After his pop star days with his twin brother, Lowenstein went on to start StageIt as a solo act. Along the way he was hospitalized twice for stress and, looking back, could see that the isolation of entrepreneurship had cut him off from all his sources of strength and support except as focused within the startup.

He feels that the startup community should talk about such issues more openly and, though he had already defined the artist as an entrepreneur, it certainly can be stated again that musicians face many psychological hazards as musical entrepreneurs.

More Hypebot Coverage to Follow

The Leadership Music Summit was a full day’s program with many speakers.

I’ll be following up with additional posts this week about two of the panels that got a bit more into music business and marketing details as well as the presentations for the Dream Project.


Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch/@crowdfundingm) also blogs at Flux Research and Crowdfunding For Musicians. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.

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