User Report: Backbone Brings Music Festival to the Masses
     

Ben Maitland-Lewis interviews Boston-area recording studio owner Dan Cardinal at the Jamaica Plain Music Festival. The Backbone Network’s control panel is on the computer screen.
BOSTON — The Jamaica Plain Music Festival (www.jpmusicfestival.com ) started in the Boston neighborhood of Jamaica Plain in 2011 when a group of musicians and fans decided to produce a local event that put a spotlight on music artists, bands, orchestras, ensembles and choirs that live or work in the neighborhood.

We wanted to find ways for more people to hear the artists we’d selected and thought about how we could bring the music from the field in Jamaica Plain to anyone who wanted to hear it from around the world. Musicians and their fans shared information via Facebook, Twitter and email about the stream from Backbone helping us get the word out around Boston and around the world.

Streaming

While the Jamaica Plain Music Festival did not have a large budget, Backbone Networks helped make everything happen smoothly and professionally. It was easy to set up and work with the company’s Backbone Radio streaming service. Using Backbone Radio we streamed the concert to 10,000 people around the world in 2012 and again had great listenership in 2013.

The ability to operate our station anywhere was critical. To do this for the JP Music Fest we took a stereo feed from the main mixer into a Mackie ProFX8 mixer. We had two Shure SM58 microphones, one for the host and one for the guest. We used a Clear WiMax modem for Internet connectivity.

In addition to streaming the music from the two stages (where we rotate the music back and forth, so there is very little down time), we interviewed musicians, sponsors and festival producers. In 2013, we greatly increased the interviews, conducted by Boston radio personality Melissa Guadette and Ben Maitland-Lewis of Presskit.to. These interviews were terrific, giving a behind-the-scenes insight about the performers for listeners and giving the audio stream something to cut away to in between transitions between musical sets.

The Jamaica Plain Music Festival streamed broadcast worked so well that I used Backbone Radio with another client of mine, the Future of Music Coalition (futureofmusic.org), for their annual Future of Music Summit. The organization started in 2000 and is a national education, research and advocacy nonprofit for musicians.

The Future of Music Summit is a different kind of event, with keynote addresses and panels. We streamed more than a dozen panels at the Summit in 2012 and worked with Backbone again this past October.

With so much changing in the music industry, it is terrific that we’re able to deliver the ideas and discussions from the summit to listeners around the U.S. and world who are not able to get to Washington for the event to be there in person.

For the Future of Music Summit, we took a stereo feed from the main control booth of a lecture hall at Georgetown University. Using Backbone’s simple On-Air Studio software, it was easy to deliver the audio and reach a far greater audience with this event, a goal for any live event. It was simple using Backbone Radio.

For information, contact Paul Kamp at Backbone Networks in Massachusetts at (617) 848-1176 or visit www.backboneradio.com.


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