October marks one of the most exciting months of the year in NYC. Tourists and locals have an abundance of options in how they choose to welcome the fall season whether it be with Comic Con for the super fans, The New Yorker Festival for those with a refined taste in entertainment, and the College Music Journal (CMJ) Music Marathon festival for the music lovers.
Although each festival may be highly anticipated, CMJ sets itself apart as a nonstop five day long music festival that features both large scale music acts and local start up bands performing in over 90 of NYC’s most popular venues. Similar to the South by Southwest Festival, performances take place at virtually any time in practically anywhere an amp and a couple of people can fit. Record stores and even apparel stores like Urban Outfitters have hosted intimate showcases. The feasibility of being able to catch your favorite bands on your lunch break is definitely what makes this festival so appealing.
In addition to that, the wide array of performers definitely draws in music lovers from all walks of life. This year’s CMJ festival features performances from a large variety of artists ranging from Ghostface Killah to Sky Ferreira. In the past, CMJ has been known to be the big break for a lot of big name acts like Arcade Fire, Mumford and Sons, Gotye, Bon Iver, and even Lady Gaga.
Although the full line up has not yet been released, there is a lot to look forward to in terms of performers. Some of the most anticipated shows one should be sure to catch this year are Com Truise, The Walkmen, Dum Dum Girls, GZA, YACHT, Q-Tip and Kimbra.
Not to be left behind are some relatively new acts to the scene that will be sure to shake things up such as Flatbush Zombies, Luke Rathborne, OPOSSOM, and Doldrums. These artists are all on the cusp of their big break. CMJ showcases this year for these artists could possibly serve as their ticket to the mainstream. These artists have spent the year perfecting new records, debut albums with noteworthy producers, or even embarking on world tours as supporting bands for popular acts, preparing them for their make or break showcases at CMJ.
While much of the lure of CMJ lies in its anticipated performances, equally enlightening are the CMJ panels which offer an opportunity for all those hoping to break into the music industry such as aspiring band managers, producers, and even radio DJs. CMJ hosts this series of panels that are tailored to answer the question of any hopefuls looking to embark in careers in the music industry. CMJ also recognizes exceptional college radio stations each year with their College Radio Awards. This year the university’s own WPUB college radio station has been nominated under the category of “Best Use of Limited Resources.” Voting for the winners of this and other categories takes place during the festival and winners are announced on the festival’s College Day, Thursday Oct. 18.
For over thirty years the CMJ Music Marathon has recognized up and coming musical acts as well as exceptional college radio stations. The festival has expanded over the course of its run to include over 80 participating venues and countless panels with music industry professionals guest speaking. With all this in store it’s no doubt that this year’s CMJ festival will be sure to please music lovers and industry hopefuls alike.