Q&A WITH NBN COFOUNDER JASON MOON WILKINS!
Q: What is the purpose of the event?
A: "The inaugural NBN was conceived and executed in three and a half weeks in 2006 as a way to celebrate what was a banner year for Nashville's rock/pop/indie community. It was originally meant to be just a one-night party, but it quickly grew into a three-day festival that drew nearly three thousand people. Obviously, this year has expanded exponentially, which is a reflection of how dynamic Nashville's music scene is at the moment. The basic reasoning behind it was that it seemed like we needed an event like this and the artists, the industry and the city as a whole have overwhelmingly agreed with that assessment. It's a truly exciting time to be a part of the music community in Nashville and to be living in such a vibrant and growing city. More than anything else, I wanted to build an event that echoed that excitement. Nashville is evolving and expanding beyond its former image into something more cosmopolitan and eclectic but still decidedly southern and I wanted to create a musical reflection of that."
Q: Is this a showcase/industry event or a public festival?
A: "It's both. It's an easy 'one stop shop' for any out-of-town or in-town industry professional interested in what is happening in Nashville's music scene at the moment. It's also a chance to showcase the growing community of industry professionals who work outside the Music Row mainstream but whose work helps tie Nashville to the international arena. And it's an opportunity for Nashville music fans to see their favorite acts play together in a festive and communal atmosphere and hopefully to be introduced to their new favorite band along the way."
Q: Is this a strictly non-country event?
A: "No. While the bulk of the artists fall under the rock/pop/indie umbrella, NBN invited numerous country and Americana artists to participate, specifically targeting the artists who are active in the live music scene."
Q: How were the artists selected?
A: "There was no submission process (that will likely change for next year). We relied on a wealth of music industry sources (managers, label reps, publishers, performing rights organization reps, agents, club owners, other artists, journalists, radio people, lawyers and so on) to help target the artists who best represented this moment in time in Nashville and Middle Tennessee's music community. Obviously the focus was on rock, pop and indie acts, but those artists make up the bulk of the live music scene in Nashville so they logically make up the bulk of the NBN lineup. For sponsored nights we worked directly with the sponsor, such as BMI, to choose acts we both felt fit the festival. We also reached out to out-of-town artists (those tied to Nashville either through members living here or through having business or historical ties to the city) as a way of showcasing not only Nashville artists but the growing community of industry professionals whose work outside the Music Row mainstream and help tie Nashville to the international arena. Next year the event is likely to have an even more regional feel. For the record, we could easily have added one hundred more acts without diluting the quality of the music...such is the incredible wealth of talent here right now."