It’s only been about five months since the inaugural Jackson Indie Music Week brought music-industry panels, podcasts and performers from every genre to about 12 venues throughout the capital city, but preparations are already underway to make 2017 Jackson Indie Music Week, which takes place Jan. 8 through Jan. 15, even larger in scale.
City of Jackson Marketing Specialist Brad Franklin, artist manager Donyale Walls and Garrad Lee of local record label Homework Town held a brief announcement event at The Iron Horse Grill this morning, June 30, at 11:30 a.m. Organizers treated attendees, ranging from local media, musicians and venue owners, to a first look at the festival’s new logo, which swaps the red color palette of the previous year for a more colorful arrangement representing the city’s diverse music scene, as well as a few details on what to expect from the second annual festival.
Franklin delivered perhaps the biggest news of the announcement, stating that the festival would no longer be limited to local artists. Organizers received about 100 submissions last year, including many from elsewhere in Mississippi and the surrounding states. Franklin said, this year, they plan to open the event to those artists, as well.
“I don’t like to do a comparison-and-contrast kind of thing, but what we’re building here is something that we hope will eventually be able to rival A3C or South by Southwest, and because of the timing of it, I think it’s really good,” he said. “So we want people to be able to converge on the city of Jackson, and for us, it’s a good thing because hopefully we’re going to start bringing people into the city that are going to be spending money in our restaurants, in our hotels and in our venues.”
Walls said that artist submissions will follow the same format as 2016’s event. Once they begin accepting submissions on Monday, Aug. 15, artists will send three songs, a biographical blurb and a picture of themselves. Lee said they learned that submitting was a learning experience for music-scene newcomers last festival, as many hadn’t performed publicly, written a bio, taken a promotional photo or learned how to attach a song to an email.
One of the biggest differences in the artist-submission process this year is how early organizers will be selecting artists. Jackson Indie Music Week will be accepting artists’ requests to perform through November 15 to give organizers more time to arrange the schedule.
“It’s funny that you said November 15 because that’s about when we started planning this last year,” Lee said to laughter from attendees.
Organizers are also currently seeking volunteers and sponsors to assist with the 2017 Jackson Indie Music Week to join with the supporters who are already involved, such as Mississippi Public Broadcasting, the Greater Jackson Arts Council and Ardenland.
To find out more about sponsorship and volunteering, email firstname.lastname@example.org. This email address will also accept artist submissions starting Aug. 15. For updates, find Jackson Indie Music Week on Facebook or visit jxnindiemusic.com.