I think this weekend is sort of the precursor to the hip hop phenomenon at SXSW and CMJ music festivals, and if you aren't tailgating at ACL in Austin, you might find yourself at the family oriented and 10th annual A3C Festival. This fest is a labor of love and it has been growing for years, and as many people embark on being part of history, I must remind you that you still need to take advantage of all the awesomeness that ensues while you are down there.
Now I am writing this from LA, but I have been a participant in the festival at least 3-4 times of the ten years and have attended it twice without performing. I compiled a list of necessary things to do if you are attending as an artist producer or manager. I guess you can just use it if you are anything really, but then again this goes for so many festivals. Being that Hip Hop certainly is a celebration of egos, lets all chop life down to size and get a reality check.
1. Hit as many shows and be in the front row - I know you want to promote and give everyone cds and all , but get all the way up in the front of the show and support the artist. It means more than all the fliers you can pass out and if you have lots of fun you'll probably make all the pictures better. People will remember you more for this than passing out a bunch of fliers.
2. Never eat alone - If you are out there and on the grind, make sure you chat it up and sit with someone These are the long lasting relationships that will be built to last. I have met countless amounts of people while eating some organic food truck grub and even made friends with the food truck fellas.
3. Go to the panels - I suggest that you take advantage of seeing a couple good ones. I would go sit in on this one on saturday I would go see the indie label one as well w/ Druha of Duck Down and Brian Johnston of Mass Appeal . Even if you have nothing to do with that particular panel, it's always good to expand your mind into new areas and meet new people that are in different worlds of the music business. Sometimes it is even better. Panels are also the place where you have to listen.
4. Introduce yourself to Brian Knott and Mike Walbert - I think it is important that you realize that the festival was started by these fellas and they are there from start to finish. Ask them if they need any help at the end of the night and thank them for ten years even though it is your first time.
5. Meet someone random and go their event - I know everyone wants to make it to the NOISEY showcase or another large one, but why don you just meet someone and go to their smaller show. There will be 500 artists promoting their show, so it'd best you just pick one. I have accepted that I might not be the biggest artist, but I can sure help a lot of people and
6. Get there first and stay till the end - It's no question that in sports, the best high school athletes and college athletes were always the first to be there and the last to leave. Even in drug addiction, addicts line up first and stay for hours until they get what they want. When I went to A3C last in 2011, I was covered in MTV, had a huge feature in Creative Loafing with Freeway, and even made some of my best friends in rap at the end...end...END of the night. In fact all the press I have ever gotten, was due to my time spent there. SO get there first ...and stay till the end.
7. Email list - Have your phone charged and make sure you get peoples emails. Twitter and Facebook is great, but due to the overwhelming amount of ego and desire involved with following someone, getting emails is what really if you will actually ever do something. But hey, at least you can keep them posted and add them to your awesome email list.
8. Video Vlog - Since it is a historic event , you should def film this With so many acts and so much media involved in the event, use this as an opportunity to create your own A3C movie. This is a good way to get a nice intro into all the blogs that are down there covering the event. You can easily make this happen with Imovie on your Mac and become a pro. Check out a vlog of mine with Chance the Rapper and other rap people.
9. Have a great handshake and use it - I don't think there is anything better and more important than a good handshake. People will remember you for having a good shake. You will probably give about 1000 daps, but having a good handshake is key to a successful future. Start now.
10. Buy someones merchandise - It's the small things that count. Everyone is struggling to get down there and kick it, so even if the gesture is small, that is one way of saying "boom, nice to meet ya!" Worse come to worse, you were nice to someone and the music isn't your cup of tea. Best possible vibe is that they give out 100 cds and you are the one person who bought it. They'll remember you, if that is what you want.
PS.If you are a rapper, make sure you rap somewhere along the way. If you are a producer, make sure you give someone beats along the way. If you are a manager, make sure you don't look dumb trying to manage someone immediately. if you are a publicist, do not pass out 1000 business cards, because that looks desperate.
So there you have it! 10 things to do at the 10th annual A3C festival. Atlanta is a beautiful city with great vegan places like R Thomas, and home to amazing strip clubs, Tom Glavine (The Braves Hall Of Fame #47 retired pitcher) and a cool record store called Criminal Records.
Kosha Dillz is an A3C Veteran that first attended in 2008, passed out fliers came back 3 years in a row and won a URB contest to open for B.O.B. in front of 100 people at the 529. He then flew to London to go on tour with Rza (who didn't show up) and walked into the O2 arena club called Matter, and schmoozed his way into opening for Raekwon. He then couch surfed for a week and a half and ended up on tour with Akil the MC from Jurassic 5. Check his music here . Email him at rapperfriends(at)gmail.com for anything except bacon.