Report: Despite uncertainty, head of CMJ says it ‘will continue as an innovative force’

There’s been a lot of speculation lately that New York City’s annual CMJ Music Marathon would not be happening this year. Reports in Stereogum and Pitchfork this week suggest that’s likely the case, and the relative silence from organizers — the CMJ website still reflects its 2015 lineup and its social media has not been updated since June — only compounds the notion. Plus, CMJ usually takes place in mid-October, so imagine the task of booking and organizing the festival as we’ve come to know it over the years, with more than 1,000 bands across roughly 80 venues, in what amounts to about seven weeks of prep time.

For the past two years, Vanyaland has co-organized a CMJ showcase with Berklee College of Music — last year’s party featured performances by Lili N, mar | co, Honeysuckle, Oh Malô, Eternals and others at Carroll Place in Manhattan — but were told by our own sources a few weeks ago that CMJ would not be happening. It would instead be replaced by a more tech-based conference, though it was unclear who would be the driving force behind it.

Today, Pitchfork has a statement from CMJ CEO Adam Klein, who says the fest will happen this year. Klein asks for patience, and says there will be a 2016 “program” from CMJ; of course, exactly what that entails, remains to be seen, but it appears CMJ is not completely dead in the water just yet. How it reinvents itself will be worth watching.

Read Klein’s statement below:

CMJ 2016 and beyond

CMJ has perhaps the richest history as ‘the’ platform for emerging artists to be exposed to New York and is credited by so many of the greatest artists as where they broke through.

We are all totally committed to protecting CMJ’s unique and ‘live’ heritage while adapting to the ever changing demands of artists, fans and the music industry by embracing supplementary engagement through digital and mobile media connectivity.

We invested into our 2015 Music Marathon which had such great energy and fresh experiences showing part of where we are heading with CMJ.

A little patience and a whole lot less wild and unsubstantiated speculation is what we need right now. CMJ will continue as an innovative force and a strong presence going forward. We’ll share more about our 2016 and 2017 program soon.

Adam Klein