New Orleans’ first nola Downtown Music and Arts Festival

The Music Business Institute (MBI) announced details of the "nola Downtown Music and Arts Festival" as part of this year's 19th Annual Cutting Edge CE (formerly the Cutting Edge Music Business Conference and Roots Music Gathering) conference in New Orleans. The nola Downtown Music and Arts Festival will take September 22 – 24, 2011 in Lafayette Square and locations throughout Downtown New Orleans while the conference which runs from September 21 – 24 is being held at the Pan American Conference and Media Center on Poydras and St. Charles Avenue.

The festival, co-produced by Eric L. Cager and Vincent Sylvain who combined have decades of experience producing music events will feature local, national, and international acts from places as far as Canada, London, and Guadeloupe featuring various genre of music. "As we approach our 20th year the Cutting Edge opens its new chapter with a new event and new collaborations. We anticipate this event, nola Downtown Music and Arts Festival will become the signature event of Downtown New Orleans, particularly for the young professionals who work and live downtown. Additionally, if New Orleans is to achieve the master plan goal of 13.7 million annual visitors by 2018, it will have to see significant growth in all segments of the travel industry, with the greatest growth potential being that of the young professionals" says Cager.

Sylvain adds, "Not since Tulane University was downtown has New Orleans' CBD had such a cultural mix of commercial, residential and artistic scenes. From the art, music and culture of the Ogden Museum, the renovations of the Saenger Theater, the Contemporary Arts Center, to the new developments of the Hospital District, the re-opening of Hyatt Regency, Roosevelt and other downtown hotels, the new trolley line and developments such as the Rouse Supermarket, "Downtown New Orleans is the Place to Work, Live and Enjoy! That's what makes this festival a natural."

The Cutting Edge brings together music industry personnel from across the country; including ASCAP, the largest U.S. Performing Rights Organization, representing more than 410, 000 U.S. composers, songwriters, lyricists, and music publishers of every kind of music; and BMI, the entity responsible for collecting license fees on behalf of more than 475, 000 songwriters, composers and music publishers and distributes them as royalties to those members whose works have been performed. Panels consist of "crash courses" and "hot topic" which provide proficiency within the music and film industry. The areas of interest covered are the Cutting Edge Business Sessions, Cutting Edge Entertainment Law Seminar, and Cutting Edge Film Workshop. The sessions also includes the NewWorks Showcase for new and emerging artists seeking special exposure to record executives, booking agents, managers and the media. Showcases are arranged in the evening at nightclubs and other venues. The Cutting Edge showcases all styles of music.

This year, Cutting Edge has also collaborated with events produced by the New Orleans Actors Resource Center and the New Orleans Songwriters Festival which will take place during the conference.

Environmentally-conscious, the festival and conference will feature some of the latest innovative green technology as well as some green vendors and eco-friendly service demonstrations.

The nola Downtown Music and Arts Festival, will span three days, the epicenter of activities will be Lafayette Square. The festival will feature:

• Popular music acts from the national and local music scene.
• The art organizations, such as, the Art Council's Arts Market of New Orleans and others will be approached to participate in the Downtown Arts Market.
• Energy/Green efficient lifestyle products demonstration.
• Exhibit Booth from entertainment businesses and organizations featured in our Business Opportunity Expo.
• 24 Hrs of Films presented Downtown.

The Cutting Edge Lounge Tour 2011 will make the rounds at Downtown nightspots. The scheduled activities follow by day.

Thursday, September 22
5:00 – 8:00 pm Music on Fulton Street (TBA)
8:00 - 24 Hrs of Films Begin
9:00 – 1:00 am Lounge Tour Begins

Friday, September 23
5:00 – 8:00 pm TGIF Music in the Square
9:00 – 2:00 am Lounge Tour
10 – 1:00am Featured Concert

Saturday, September 24
10:00 – 5:00 pm Arts Market
11:00 - 5:00 pm Industry Expo
11:00 – 8:00 Music in the Square

Musical acts will be announced at a later date.

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