(By Buzz Knight) As I’m returning from my first visit to the Country Radio Seminar in Nashville I’m thinking, What took me so long to go? Truth of the matter is I always really wanted to go but something took priority and I always put it in my brain for next year.
What a terrific experience to go to CRS 2017! Just as I had always heard, this is a can’t-miss event.
The sessions were well organized and thoughtful, but the CRS experience goes well beyond the sessions. The people and the vibe represent so much of the experience.
Whether you attended or not, or whether you are associated with country music or not, here are some takeaway observations that I want to share…
1) Music Passion
The backdrop of Music City ensures endless opportunities to see and hear great music, but it multiplies with the presentation of CRS. Everywhere you turn there is either an emerging artist showcase or a bona fide superstar who is part of the festivities.
Certainly country music is big business whether it’s radio or the artist/label side, but it all starts with an enduring love and passion for the music. Genuine and authentic is the only way this community rolls. What a great reminder of why many of us got into the business! Love and passion for a music genre cannot be manufactured, and attending the Country Radio Seminar reminds one of how important that is.
The Country community has a remarkable energy and spirit that can’t be easily described. When I speak of the community I mean radio, label, artists, management, the whole package. Everyone is all in! The community’s end goal is great creativity and a wonderful experience. CRS 2017 showcased the importance of that community to me on my first visit.
3) The Respect and Love of Radio
Country radio’s place in the larger world of country music is well known. Watch an award show or attend a concert and you witness that great relationship. But CRS really shows the great respect and love for radio that the artists and the labels — along with their managers — have. This relationship is absolutely incredible and hopefully is a lesson to other situations in our industry that aren’t as harmonious.
The business in and around country music is full of unique characters. No cookie-cutter approach here. This certainly adds to the vibe and personality around CRS. There is swagger and attitude, but there is a wonderful sense of respect and gratitude from the community. And unique characters and personalities help drive and define that community.
There is no inferiority complex around the Country radio world or around the country music business. Everybody feels and acts like a winner. If you attend this event you come away pumped up to be in the business. When you combine all of these powerful emotions, you have a business stocked with great brands and an energetic vibe.
I can’t wait to go back to CRS!
Buzz Knight is the Vice President of Programming for Beasley Media Group. He can be reached at [email protected]