And speaking of the meals - phenomenal. We were generally served two solid meals a day:
- Thursday - dinner
- Friday - full breakfast and dinner, with an afternoon happy hour with tables of appetizers and walk-around hors d'oeuvres
- Saturday - continental breakfast, full brunch, and dinner
- Sunday - continental breakfast, full lunch
In addition, registration gifted me with a NERFA napsack, a water bottle, a well produced conference book ( with all attendees' contact info), and (for first timers) a NERFA insulated lunch bag. Swag city....
The facility was 100% dedicated to the conference, which resulted in a kind of spilling over of music and conference material into every nook and corner.
In addition, every common space was used at some point - as a meeting space, a rehearsal space, a song circle, or a jam session. There was an almost 24 x 7 bluegrass jam going on in the lobby; the only time it got quiet was right after sunrise, before breakfast. I caught a midnight lobby shot on Friday night - it was far busier most of the time.
I've decided to blog separately about my conference experiences, including:
- The festival showcase (two nights, eight artists per night, in the large Manhattan theater)
- The "quad" showcases (two night, 20 artists per night in one of four performance spaces)
- Miscellaneous artist encounters (Guerrilla showcases, and random listening opportunities)
Finally, a few random conference / facility notes. There was, apparently, an indoor pool and jacuzzi, which I never did find or visit, despite bringing my swimsuit. There was morning yoga, taught by a musician / yogi Caroline Cotter - I brought up my yoga toys which meant there was plenty for folks who left their mats at home. There was a formal happy hour (two drink tickets supplied) and a small exhibit space. And there was a free dental clinic for musicians (had to document a five year career) provided by MusiCares, which I thought was pretty awesome.
There was also an active mentoring program - folks could sign up for one-on-one mentoring on a variety of topic - performance, business, finances, marketing, booking, promoting, you name it.