Americana Fest & Conference Sees Record Numbers, "finest nights of music" — Pitchfork |

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Americana Fest & Conference Sees Record Numbers, "finest nights of music" — Pitchfork

Americana Fest & Conference Sees Record Numbers, "finest nights of music" — Pitchfork

// 9.28.16


Six Days, 300 Performances, 30 Venues in Nine City Districts

More than 24% Percent Growth in Conference Registration and Festival Attendance 

Americana’s 15th Annual Honors & Awards Is NPR’s #1 Stream of 2016

“The awards show itself is one of the finest nights of music that you currently can buy a ticket to in America.”  — Pitchfork

“fresh turns on American roots music.” — Wall St. Journal 

“Nashville music festival defines 'Americana': the art, not the business.”— The Guardian

“When you can find George Strait and the Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir sharing a bill, it’s not just an only-in-Nashville moment, but an only-at-the-Americana Honors moment.” — Billboard

“Americana is to Music, what Sundance is to Film … Americana flourishes” —The Tennessean


Sept 28, 2016 —With events ranging from intimate showcases to once-in-a-lifetime panels to a sold-out, nationally broadcast awards show — NPR’s #1 streamed event of 2016—the Americana Music Association saw significant increases in both conference registration and festival attendance. 

The Americana Music Association’s Festival and Conference drew thousands to Nashville last week to take in three days of music business panels, Q&As and networking events. Highlights included: T Bone Burnett’s Keynote plus intimate conversations with Bob Weir, Dwight Yoakam; panels with NPR’s Ann Powers with Margo Price and the sold-out Honors & Awards show at Nashville's famed Ryman Auditorium which was streamed live via NPRmusic, Sirius XM’s Outlaw Country, WMOT, WRLT and WSM-AM 650. The program will be digitally re-mastered for broadcast in an edited form later this season as part of PBS' ACL Presents series on November 19, 2016 and in Australia on CMC later this year. 

The festival's music programming featured more than 300 official events and showcases attracting an aggregate 35,000 attendance during the week-long celebration.

The conference slate presented approximately 200 music business leaders participating in unique panels, workshops and musical performances centered at the Sheraton Nashville Downtown Hotel and throughout Music City. Conference attendance hit its all time high of 2,270 registrants, up from 2015’s count of 1,829.

AmericanaFest garnered tremendous international attention as well with an estimated 25% of conference attendees, performers and panelists from Australia, Canada, Scandinavia, the UK and other parts of the globe.

Performance highlights included sets from musical legends such as John Prine, William Bell, Dwight Yoakam and Lee Ann Womack, hot bands including The Lumineers and Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats; rising stars Parker Millsap, John Moreland and My Bubba thrilled audiences throughout the festival. 

The week’s events officially started on Tuesday, with an Americana Kickoff Bash hosted by Grimey’s New & Preloved Music and The Basement that ramped up the week's activities. Wednesday’s 15th Annual Honors & Awards at the Ryman featured once-in-a-lifetime moments including stunning tributes to Guy Clark, Merle Haggard, Dr. Ralph Stanley and Allen Toussaint plus appearances by Alison Krauss, Bob Weir, Bonnie Raitt, Timothy B. Schmit, Shawn Colvin, Jason Isbell, Jim Lauderdale and George Strait. Throughout the week, AmericanaFest 2016 featured more than 300 performances including surprise sets by Margo Price and Shovels and Rope and closed with a special Sunday night show featuring Holly Williams, capping off an unparalleled week of music.  

The event expanded its outreach with the grassroots “Edge of AmericanaFest” campaign highlighting the East Nashville community supporting, and supported by, almost 40 local businesses offering discounts to AmericanaFest attendees. Showcases and events took place at multiple venues in nine unique city districts and one in the city of Franklin, partnered with WMOT's Music City Roots.  Other offsite venues included the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, the Downtown Presbyterian Church and numerous shows in retail locations like Antique Archaeology, Fond Object plus indie music mecca Grimey's New & Preloved Music and The Groove New and Used Vinyl & CD's, for a series of daily events.

Following the incredible success of AmericanaFest 2016, the Association will conduct its annual Board of Directors elections for membership and will focus on increasing its already broad appeal nationally and internationally in 2016. The dates for the 2017 Americana Music Festival & Conference will be Tuesday, September 12 through Sunday, September 17.