Rich Howells

EXCLUSIVE: Schedule of free Electric City Music Conference panels at AfA Gallery in Scranton on Sept. 16

EXCLUSIVE: Schedule of free Electric City Music Conference panels at AfA Gallery in Scranton on Sept. 16
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The large lineup of music for the fourth annual Electric City Music Conference and Steamtown Music Awards on Sept. 14-16 has been announced, featuring over 150 bands across 11 venues, and today, the free conference portion in downtown Scranton and its participating panelists have been revealed.

After a free breakfast, the informative panels on Saturday, Sept. 16 at the AfA Gallery (514 Lackawanna Ave., Scranton) are geared specifically towards helping local musicians learn more about how to succeed in the industry while networking with professionals. The presentations begin at 11:30 a.m. with personal mentoring sessions and run through 4:30 p.m.

The ECMC will kick off with the SMAs at The V-Spot (906 Providence Rd., Scranton) on Thursday, Sept. 14, and the rest of the conference will be held in venues throughout the Scranton area on Friday, Sept. 15 and Sept. 16.

Electric City Music Conference presentation schedule:

11 a.m.: Free breakfast

11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.: Mentoring sessions
60 free spots available – reserve your spot now via Eventbrite

Only 60 spots are available for this session. Attendees will be divided into groups of 10. The 10 attendees will then be granted a 20-minute mentoring session with each music industry professional. The mentors will share their expertise, and conference attendees will have a chance to ask question. This is a unique opportunity to pick the brain of music industry professionals and make valuable networking connections. Every 20 minutes, the groups will rotate.

Eva Alexiou-Reo, FATA Booking Agency
Chris Bianchi, Mercenary Management
Christian Wagner, Good Fight Entertainment
Mark Woodbridge, Word Is Bond, Inc.
Eric Droegmoeller, Word Is Bond, Inc.
Suzanne Paulinski, Rock/Star Advocate

1:45 a.m.-2:30 p.m.: Booking from both sides
Free to the public/no limit

This session will feature 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 will discuss both sides of the “world of booking.” Attendees will learn what talent buyers and booking agents truly look for in acts as well as proper techniques and etiquette. Attendees will be given a chance for questions as well.

Panelists: Will Beekman and Eva Alexiou-Reo

2:45 p.m.-3:30 p.m.: Developing and managing an artist
Free to the public/no limit

This session will revolve around the artist management aspect of the music industry. Panelists will attempt to 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. Attendees will be given a chance for questions as well.

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

3:45 p.m.-4:30 p.m.: How to succeed in the music industry (and life)
Free to the public/no limit

Being in a band isn’t just playing shows and recording albums. In order to succeed in the music industry (and life), strong relationships will need to be built. How you choose to nurture and develop those relationships and utilize your time will determine how successful your career is. During this session, our panelists will provide tips, hints, work-arounds, and share personal antidotes.

Panelists: Rich Howells, Suzanne Paulinski, Mark Woodbridge, and Joe Caviston

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

Stream or download last year’s ECMC panel discussions as free podcasts here. See NEPA Scene’s photos from the entire 2016 conference here and the SMAs photos with the list of winners here.

Photo by Keith Perks/1120 Studios