By Michael O'Connell Posted October 24, 2008, 12:46 PM EDT
The 2008 CMJ Music Marathon—a music industry staple that claims responsibility for launching the careers of artists as diverse as Eminem, Green Day, and Arcade Fire—concludes its five-day run this Saturday. Now in its 28th year, CMJ has grown from its under-the-radar roots to draw increasing attention from the public and marketers. More high-profile parties are popping up, including one hosted by blogger Perez Hilton tonight at the HighLine Ballroom.
“One Night in New York City” features performances by Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Semi Precious Weapons, and Lady Gaga, but it’s not the first concert thrown by Perez Hilton. With the help of producers at BMF Media Group, Hilton took the event template to a showcase at Austin’s South by Southwest in March and an after-party for Toronto’s Much Music Awards in June.
“This is a passion project for me,” Hilton told us via e-mail. “I love music and it’s definitely a thrill to be able to organize these very special events and share some of my favorite artists with my readers. I’ve recently been getting involved in many aspects of the music industry and hope to continue that in a bigger way next year. It’s a perfect fit for my brand.”
Hilton has so far limited his parties to piggyback on other major events, but he’s optimistic that might change. “The great thing about ‘One Night in…’ is that I can do them whenever and wherever,” he said, “and if the stars line up, I may be doing them in different places and at different times.” Apparently the stars are next due to line up on November 5, when Hilton takes the show to Liverpool for the MTV European Music Awards.
As for CMJ, he’s not alone in his attempts to woo the crowd of influencers. Other music-friendly brands sponsored high profile parties and initiatives this week. CMJ sponsor Microsoft Zune helped curate a week long showcase at the Bowery Ballroom and built a Web site offering exclusive festival content.