Ohio University’s Music Industry Summit is on the horizon, and the anticipation is certainly killer. This large music industry conference is set to take place April 5 and 6, and students are preparing for big opportunities, interviews, prizes and performances.
The Music Industry Summit is free for all students and professionals, and those who plan to register may do so online or through the Music Industry Summit App. The Summit will also have both virtual and in-person events so anyone who wants to attend can.
Josh Antonuccio, the director of the school of media arts and studies and director of the Music Industry Summit, in addition to having music roots of his own, helped to create the Summit in 2018. Since then, he has been the leading force behind it and continues to make each year bigger and better for all in attendance. He said the Summit is a place for students and young professionals to learn and network with people who help shape different parts of the music industry.
“So anything from art again, performers, music producers, engineers, leaders and much, tech leader and music publishing and supervision, artist management promotion,” said Antonuccio. “Basically try and pull something from multiple sectors for people to learn.”
The Summit is currently in its fifth year, including the fully virtual Summit in 2021. Due to the accessibility the virtual Summit provided, thousands of people across almost every state and in over 40 countries worldwide attended. The 2020 Summit was canceled due to COVID-19, and last year’s 2022 Summit expanded over two days and continued some of the virtual aspects.
“We also got really good feedback from our attendees last year that they wanted more opportunities to network with speakers and guests and also kind of more variety in specialized workshops,” said Antonuccio. “So we incorporated both this year.”
In comparison to the online opportunities, in-person attendees will be able to interact more closely with one another. Antonuccio said there will be a mentoring session during the lunch hour where speakers and guests can sit down, enjoy a meal and exchange advice for success within the music industry.
Nathan Cain, president of Brick City Records, graduated from OU in December with a degree in music production. Cain is also part of a band that specializes in folk funk and will be the opening act for the Summit’s featured performer, mxmtoon, a TikTok breakout star.
“This year feels like a bit of a comeback year for the Summit,” said Cain. “I mean, they said that last year because it was coming out of the virtual Summit with the COVID semesters, but I feel like this year is where it’s really taking shape. We’ve had time to book some really big names and I just think this is going to be one of the best years and get it back to where it was before COVID hit.”
Funding for the Summit comes from nearly 50 campus and industry sponsors, in addition to money raised by Antonuccio.
“It’s indispensable networking, (an) incredible way to engage people in the music industry,” said Antonuccio. “We draw from all across the Midwest. There are all kinds of industry people that are looking to hire.”
Emma Gabriel, a senior studying music production and the recording industry, is focused on more of the production side of music. She put an emphasis on this kind of opportunity for anyone in the midwest and how they should take advantage of it. She is currently an intern for the Music Summit.
“It’s very much so like South by Southwest but on a smaller scale,” she said. “And in southeast Ohio, which is amazing because a lot of opportunities music-wise are rarely presented in Ohio, let alone the south. It’s a really sick convention where you’re able to interact with professionals or other people on your same playing field, and just really network and grow together.”
The Music Summit means so much to Gabriel, she said, as her passion for music was clear from a younger age. This incredible opportunity has allowed her to get closer to her career goals for the future, much like how it has done the same for many others like her.
“I wasn’t made for the typical 9-to-5,” said Gabriel. “I love helping people but the way I felt I could help wasn’t through teaching or being a doctor or anything like that. So once I found out that the music industry was a thing I could pursue, I’m like, ‘Hell yeah, let’s go there.’”
With incredible feature artists such as mxmtoon and hip-hop legend Talib Kweli, this is the opportunity of a lifetime for so many students and young professionals in the music industry. This year's Music Summit hopes to make many dreams a reality.
“It was very much so like it just felt right,” said Gabriel. “Music helps people in ways that go unrecognized and to be a small part of helping people hear what they need to hear by artists that they like follow, is just really awesome.”
Correction appended: A previous version of this article stated an incorrect spelling of Josh Antonuccio’s last name. This article has been updated to reflect the most accurate information.