Last week, we had the honor and pleasure of attending the 2022 MEDIABASE #HAPPENS Radio Convention in Las Vegas, NV.
#HAPPENS is a rock and alternative curated new music experience. The event once again will bring together the best radio programmers, label and streaming executives, culture-tastemakers, artists and brands, inspiring new ideas in the ever-evolving music community.
This was our eighth year in attendance, and one of their best events yet.. We spent the week networking and standing shoulder-to-shoulder with some of the biggest names in radio, label reps, promoters, rockstars, master distillers, and several other DIRTBAGS. Rock n' roll was had by all.
Opening night brought us all together again for a welcome party at the Backstage Bar & Billiards / Fremont Country Club. It was so good to see all of those familiar faces in the same room again, after 2 years of no rock n' roll. We picked up right where we left off in #HAPPENS 2020.. our last hoorah before COVID, and our first hoorah after it. The showcase was opened by Giovannie & the Hired Guns, and went on to feature Spirit of the Bear, Billy Howerdel (A Perfect Circle), and Our Lady Peace. Then some folks went straight to bed, and others overdid it on the first night like we always do :)...
Breakfast was served at 10AM sharp, and the crowd sluggishly filled the seats of the convention hall. We got a sneak peak at new music videos from MESSER and Capital Theatre, and then listened to an engaging panel from Raine Maida (Our Lady Peace) and Elliott Wood (94.5 The Buzz) about NFTs and their emergence in the music industry. The next panel, headed by Alissa Pollack (iHeartMedia) discussed DATA, and the ever-changing, ever-confusing metrics that go along with radio and streaming. We then boarded the tour bus and rolled over to Rockstar Bar for a Metallica whiskey tasting party. The band couldn't make it, but we got to meet and chat with master distiller, Rob Dietrich, while drinking unlimited amounts of his delicious whiskey. We were then blessed in our earholes with live showcase performances by Kaleidoscope Kid, Almost Monday, Whole Damn Mess, and Dorothy. We boarded up the tour bus again and headed over to House of Blues at Mandalay Bay for a VIP lounge party, with performances by The Warning, Mammoth (Wolfgang Van Halen), and Dirty Honey. Again-- bed for some, and bad decisions for others.
The next day, 10AM came way too quickly for most. Breakfast saved our lives again, while we enjoyed video previews and premieres from Deepfall, The Black Moods, Concord Music Group (Korn, Ghost, The Offspring, The Pretty Reckless), Fame on Fire, Epitaph Records (Falling in Reverse, Parkway Drive, The Interrupters), Yelawolf, Sumerian Records (Black Veil Brides, Nita Strauss), and Shinedown. Then The Black Moods played us a few acoustic jams while we all woke/sobered up. Jason Flom (Wrongful Conviction Podcast) led a panel on justice for wrongfully convicted people, and Danny Wimmer (Danny Wimmer Presents) led a panel on live performances, radio and revenue, and getting back face-to-face again for concerts and festivals. To close out the week, the tour bus brought us over to The Barbershop Cocktails and Cuts for a special event sponsored by Edgeout Records with performances by ASHBA, Bluphoria, and STRATEJACKET.
As usual, it was a hell of a week in Las Vegas, and we can't wait to go back. The best parts about this #HAPPENS event are seeing new bands break, chatting with all of the faces, and seeing the intersection of art and business clash in the most beautiful of ways. Vegas, we love you.