#ArtistEngage began as a small project and test concept inspired by conversations, pop-up panels and a notion of #hacksxsw all which manifested at the end of 6th street in a rented warehouse during SXSW13.

The b-giv social good lounge, sponsored in parts by Dos Equis, Pepsi and Hootsuite, hosted the likes of many musicians, artists, entrepreneurs and do-gooders throughout the week. Over 30+ interviews with the CEOs and execs of the top startups, as well as panel discussions with Pay Pal, Mastercard, and the Economist Sr. executives.


Under the radar?


Something greater here?


What we created was a “Safe Zone” environment, where, no matter who you were, you could roll through and just chill out, kick it, grab some eats, drink some water or beer, get out of the sun, plug-in, recharge, relax, catch interviews in (most importantly) a safe environment. Over 500+ people from all walks and ranks passed through the b-giv social good lounge, as did many great ideas..

B-Giv Social Good

#ArtistEngage was one of these ideas that we took back to NYC, and developed a prototype concept around to test the waters. The idea was simple, bring together a bunch of independent artists, and facilitate dialogue around what it takes to be an independent artist today, in an environment similar to that which we experienced in our warehouse, down in Austin.

One of the first meetings back in New York City, was with Roo Zine, who had been working at the Music Building for two years developing their community and social media channels. From there we built out the idea and vision of #ArtistEngage, a workshop series for emerging artists that would provide a deep dive into emerging digital culture.

The Music Building was a natural environment to host this workshop. The history alone is enough to send chills up any musicians spine. We knew this would be the right environment for the vibe. If only the walls could talk…these walls do. Next we built a concept deck and started getting key stake holders in place.


On Wednesday July 10, we launched the first #ArtistEngage workshop with about 6 artists attending and a total of about 15 people overall. The vibe, feeling, conversation and notes were great. The goal for the first week was for everyone to get comfortable with the idea of group discussion and to share challenges, success and points of view about social media, fan engagement and fan recruiting.


Featured artist NC from PUi Tribe provided insight into his band’s success in growing a fan base and currently selling out shows. Everyone walked out with something more than they came in with. We posted the material and notes captured from the workshop along with photos and are working on a follow-up blog post for each week in the future. July 17, was the second week with double the amount of artists and participants.

The first four weeks of the workshop were broken out into a series of structured and not-so-structured conversations around topics such as being an artist, how the digital and social world hurt or help artists, how to build audiences, how to get coverage, gigs, etc…


What transpired each week were a number of intimate conversations at The Music Building, quietly captured on video by CBGB OMFUG. Each workshop was designed to introduce an overall concept, discussion, and provide strategic builds and and tactics on overcoming challenges brought up during and prior discussions. Following each presentation, a local band or music industry expert would host an hour long discussion with Q&A.


Below is is an overview of #ArtistEngage as well as links to some of the content that came out of just four weeks of workshops at The Music Building.

#ArtistEngage Workshop Series | NYC | Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5


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