Rich Howells

Stream or download the 2017 Electric City Music Conference panel discussions as free podcasts

Stream or download the 2017 Electric City Music Conference panel discussions as free podcasts
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While live music takes center stage at the Electric City Music Conference, an important component to the yearly event is the informative panel discussions, offering advice and guidance to local musicians and those looking to get involved in the industry. On Saturday, Sept. 16, the fourth annual conference began its third and final day with group mentoring sessions at the AfA Gallery in downtown Scranton, followed by three panels on booking, managing, developing, and inspiring artists, moderated by ECMC co-founder Joe Caviston.

The turnout for these interactive discussions with experienced industry professionals continued to grow in 2017, but for those who missed them, NEPA Scene has got you covered. While live streaming the panels on Facebook, we recorded the audio as well, which can be streamed or downloaded as free podcasts here or on iTunes, SoundCloud, and Stitcher. We have provided the videos as well, although some of the audio can be a bit choppy in parts due to it originally streaming live. The podcast versions are fully intact.

If you are a musician of any kind, independent or signed, these podcasts are essential listening. The panelists’ bios are listed below, along with Episode 26 of the NEPA Scene Podcast that covers the creation and development of the ECMC as well as the local music scene in general.

See NEPA Scene’s photos from the 2017 Steamtown Music Awards here and photos from the rest of the Electric City Music Conference here.


“Booking from both sides”

This session features Will Beekman, the executive director of the F.M. Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre, one of the area’s most successful talent buyers, and Eva Alexiou-Reo, a veteran booking agent. The two discuss both sides of the “world of booking.” Attendees learn what talent buyers and booking agents truly look for in acts as well as proper techniques and etiquette.

Panelists: Will Beekman and Eva Alexiou-Reo


“Developing and managing an artist”

This session featuring Chris Bianchi, Christian Wagner, Mark Woodbridge, and Eric Droegmoeller revolves around the artist management aspect of the music industry. Panelists explain when and why an artist requires a manager, how to go about attracting a manager, what they should look for in a manager, and exactly what a manager does.

Panelists: Chris Bianchi, Christian Wagner, Mark Woodbridge, and Eric Droegmoeller


“How to succeed in the music industry (and life)”

Suzanne Paulinski, founder of The Rock/Star Advocate, and Rich Howells, founder and editor of NEPA Scene, tell their success stories in the music business, provide tips for musicians hoping to make it in the business and develop professional relationships, and share personal anecdotes about following their passions.

Panelists: Rich Howells and Suzanne Paulinski


Listen to ECMC founders Joe Caviston and Kenneth Norton talk about the conference and the awards in depth in Episode 26 of the NEPA Scene Podcast:


Panelist bios:

Eva Alexiou-Reo, FATA Booking Agency/FBA Management

As president/founder of the FATA Booking Agency in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Alexiou-Reo race walks/talks through pitches of her eccentric, creative roster of over 25 acts, including Skinny Lister, Hey Ocean!, Joel Plaskett, Schematic, Dear and the Headlights, Courage My Love, The Bunny The Bear, Beta Play, Captain Capa, and others.

In 2012, Alexiou-Reo launched the affiliated management company, FBA Management, which handles Alvarez Kings, Imam Baildi, the Jazz June, BoyMeetsWorld, and Kevin Burke, who FATA also books.

While FATA represents its artists primarily in the North America, the independent boutique agency also covers such territories as the United Kingdom, Asia, Australia, and Europe.

Alexiou-Reo began her music industry career in 1996, booking local DIY house shows and working at college radio. During this time, she met Hot Water Music and began booking tour dates for the band. With earnest and precise management skills and support from leading live music executives championing her every move, Alexiou-Reo eventually branched off to starting the Fata Booking Agency.

Over nearly two decades, Alexiou-Reo has worked with the likes of Jimmy Eat World, Saves the Day, Flogging Molly, Hot Water Music, Elliott, Hidden in Plain View, the Blood Brothers, Rusted Root, Atari Teenage Riot, Pretty Girls Make Graves, and Mae, among others.

Chris Bianchi, Mercenary Management/CB Entertainment/Legend Recordings/Forbes contributor

Chris Bianchi is a music entrepreneur and artist manager with Mercenary Management. Mercenary works with such bands as Black Label Society, Black Veil Brides, Goatwhore, and Zakk Wylde.

CB Entertainment was founded in early 2010 by musicians for musicians. It offers artists a unique hands-on approach in every aspect needed in developing and expanding their careers, from recording, booking, artist management and development, endorsements, public relations, label shopping, and everything in between.

Christian Wagner, Good Fight Entertainment/Pirates Press

Christian Wagner is an artist manager at Good Fight Entertainment and the social media/web manager at Pirates Press, one of the industry’s leading vinyl manufacturers. Although Christian resides in Asbury Park, New Jersey, he got his true start in the music business in Scranton, taking any opportunity he could as a student at Marywood University and also opportunities at local venues, working with local talent and writing for websites.

He was fortunate to have spent a summer on the Vans Warped Tour and, after graduating from Marywood University, moved back to New Jersey, where he has been with Pirates Press for 4.5 years and Good Fight for 2.5 years. His current and past roster has included artists on major and independent record labels.

Mark Woodbridge and Eric Droegmoeller, Word Is Bond, Inc.

With a combined 20 years experience in music management, Word Is Bond are continuously developing, consulting, and introducing incredible bands and artists to guide them to the forefront of the ever-changing major and independent label world, both domestic and internationally.

Word Is Bond is directed by partners Erick Droegmoeller and Mark Woodbridge, whose combined efforts have acquired an outstanding number of successfully executed record and publishing deals to a variety of internationally known record labels and many longstanding partnerships with reputable booking agencies and an ever-growing endorsement and sponsorship list for their eclectic roster. Word Is Bond strives to be the hardest working and most dedicated team members to their artists in the music industry.

Rich Howells, founder and editor of NEPA Scene

Suzanne Paulinski, The Rock/Star Advocate

Will Beekman, executive director of the F.M. Kirby Center

Photo of Joe Caviston by Keith Perks/1120 Studios