The whole “industry conference” angle of the Florida Music Festival is always the one that makes me the most queasy, especially as FMF usually happens just a few weeks after SXSW has sucked all of the music-biz conventional wisdom out of the room, leaving lower-tier hacks to regurgitate thoughts that are either a) completely obvious, or, b) completely irrelevant.
Regardless of that prejudice, I gotta hand it to the organizers for bringing in Melvin Benn as this year’s keynote speaker. Not only does the guy have decades of experience putting on large-scale music festivals like Glastonbury, Leeds, Reading, and others, but he’s putting those years of experience to work right here in Orlando, with the upcoming Orlando Calling music festival. If nothing else, maybe Benn will actually spill the beans on some frickin’ details about that very festival, namely, you know, the who/what/how much. Even if he doesn’t, he’s got miles of stories to tell, so it should be entertaining at the very least.
The keynote interview (conducted by Allison Hagnedorf of Fuse TV) will take place Saturday, April 9, from noon-6 p.m. (surely he won’t be speaking for six hours, though!) at the Beacham Theatre.