Everyone knows the music industry has undergone immense changes in the last two decades. Today, bands need to be business- and social media-savvy to stand out and get noticed, all in addition to, you know, writing music, rehearsing, creating merch and touring.
It’s with that in mind that the annual LAUNCH Music Conference in downtown Lancaster was first established – to combine the business of the music industry with the pleasure of actually making and listening to music. Now in its seventh year, the music festival and industry meet-up features a lineup of more than 200 artists and bands playing at venues and bars in and around downtown Lancaster at night, coupled with panel discussions and workshops led by a wide range of music industry professionals, from managers and publicists to lawyers and veteran musicians. An industry tradeshow is also on site featuring services like t-shirts and merch for bands, publicity firms and record labels and even an occasional music focused magazine (ahem, Fly Magazine).
The music festival portion of the weekend kicks off tonight with showcases taking place at Tellus360, Lancaster Dispensing Co., in the Lizard Lounge at the Chameleon Club and the Lancaster County Convention Center, which serves as LAUNCH’s home base. Some venues offer venue-only tickets, while others require a festival wristband for access. Check out all attendance options here.
Make sure to check out the full live music schedule on the LAUNCH website to start planning your night. Here’s a quick rundown of who we’re excited to see tonight:
I, THE BREATHER
One of this year’s headliners, I, THE BREATHER is a hardcore favorite from Baltimore touring behind their third full-length, Life Reaper, which dropped in 2014. Their 9:30pm set tonight caps off a nine-band metalcore-leaning showcase in the Galactic Room at the Lancaster County Convention Center which also includes From Under the Willow and A Scent Like Wolves.
Playing: Galactic Room at Lancaster County Convention Center; Thursday; 9:30pm
In addition to his lyrical and production chops, Washington, D.C. emcee Mayor Allen threw his name in the ring to be the actual mayor of the nation’s Capital in 2014 under his born name, Carlos Allen. We can’t comment on his political agenda, but we can verify that this is one talented lyricist.
Playing: Lizard Lounge at Chameleon Club; Thursday; 11pm
The Woodsman’s Babe
Joe Lengson’s decision to start writing music as The Woodsman’s Babe meant giving up a life that included traveling the world as a bass player for hardcore bands like Tooth & Nail/SolidState and MyChildren MyBride and even passing on an invitation to host his own music video program on MTVu. Quite the contrary to metal, TWB’s more subdued, folk-leaning sound offers an opportunity for Lengson’s songwriting to shine through a bit more.
Playing: Lancaster Dispensing Co.; Thursday; 12:30am
Lancaster singer-songwriter Christina Berg, better known by her stage name St. Elouise, plays Tellus360 tonight just weeks before returning to the venue to play the album release of her forthcoming full-length, SHOWDOWN. Will Berg feature some of those new tunes in tonight’s set? Probably.
Playing: Tellus360; Thursday; 9:30pm
Indie rockers from York have been hitting it hard in 2015, and have already logged shows in York, Lancaster and Harrisburg this month. Tonight’s set at Tellus360 marks The Plums’ debut at the venue, so expect an energetic set wrought with strong harmonies and some ripping guitars.
Playing: Tellus360; Thursday; 8:45pm
Going to LAUNCH? Tell us who’s on your must-see list below.