2022 DIY Musician Conference Preview

Exciting keynote announcements, session details, and more!

With 60,000 new tracks released on Spotify every day, you need an advantage that will help your music rise above the noise and get noticed amidst that daily mountain of new music.

You can’t leave it to luck. Your advantage will come from work, strategy, connections, and collaboration. And you can find all of that at the DIY Musician Conference.

That’s right, after three years, the best artist conference is returning to Austin, Texas. And this year we’re hosting the conference virtually too, so you can participate from anywhere in the world. It’s all happening August 26-28.

Want a sneak peak at the opportunities and experiences you can be a part of?

Check out our conference preview below. You’ll learn how to best prepare, what you’ll accomplish over three action-packed days, and how to get selected for performance and pitch sessions.

How can I attend the DIY Musician Conference?

Tickets for the whole event are just $179.


You can also book two nights at the Hilton in downtown Austin and get your Conference ticket FREE.

[This offer is available until all rooms are booked, which won’t be long!]

Just follow these steps to get your free ticket:

  1. Book your hotel for 8/26-8/28 at the Hilton Austin.
  2. Email a copy of your paid confirmation to [email protected].
  3. You will receive an email back with a coupon code.
  4. Use that coupon code on Eventbrite to get one free ticket.

Good for ONE ticket per room booked, regardless of occupancy. If hotel reservation is canceled prior to the conference, the complimentary ticket will be voided and invalid.

Attend the conference virtually — from anywhere in the world.

And finally, if you can’t make it to Austin but still want all the expert advice, insider knowledge, and inspirational keynotes, you can livestream many of the sessions from anywhere in the world!

The same ticket gives you the option to attend in person or online.

Who attends the DIY Musician Conference?

The DIY Musician Conference attracts all types of people from across the music industry, including:

  • Solo artists looking to network and collaborate with others
  • Bands/groups who want to strengthen their bond or improve their live set (more on that later!)
  • Managers wanting to sharpen their skills working with indie artists
  • Publicists seeking new artists to connect and work with
  • Show bookers who want to discover great acts during live showcases
  • Anyone in the music industry who wants an advantage in this tough business

How to get the most from the DIY Musician Conference

There’s so much to see and do at the DIY Musician Conference. With everything we’ve packed into just three days, you’ll want to plan ahead to get the most from your time in Austin. Here are some tips to make your experience the best it can be:

Be prepared!

The old Boy Scout motto holds true.

While you’re likely packing for a plane trip to Austin and can’t bring too much, here’s a handy checklist of what should be in your bag:

  • Comfortable shoes, warm weather clothes (it’s Texas in the summer, after all!), some layers for the air-conditioned hotel, plus an outfit for performing if you’ll be onstage
  • Cash for the restaurants, coffee shop and bars in the hotel (no need for groceries)
  • Your instruments for either performing onstage, jamming or both
  • A water bottle to stay hydrated (there are plenty of water fountains for refills)
  • Phone and laptop for notes and creative workshops

Keep an open mind

When you browse the Conference schedule preview, some things understandably stand out more to you than others. We all have our comfort zones and things that interest us.

But the DIY Musician Conference is also about challenging yourself, getting out of your rut and exploring different avenues in your music career.

Maybe you still think TikTok is just a fad. Or maybe you’re not even sure where to start with short-form video? The Conference is the place to reshape your preconceived notions and learn new skills.

The DIY Musician Conference welcomes musicians from all stages of success, all genres, all skill-types; from the cautious upstart to the seasoned industry professional, indie-folk songbirds to jazzheads to death metal shredders, artists without a single to their name to award-winning decorated singer-songwriters. All are welcome on an equal playing field.

Arrive with a goal

Related to that “be prepared” ethos up there, but more mental preparation than physical. The fact is that there is simply too much happening at any given time at the DIY Musician Conference for one person to experience.

Review the schedule and speaker list. Mark things you definitely want to see and do, and then check your finished three-day itinerary to see if there any gaps. If so, go back and look for a few things you might not normally be into and add those.

Or if you’re done socializing for a bit but still want to check out a keynote or performance, you can always head back to your room and watch it on the livestream!

In a band? Bring your bandmates! There’s strength in numbers at events like this. Assign different events to each members, then divide and conquer. Reconvene later and compare notes so no one misses anything important.

Keynote speakers at the DIY Musician Conference

After three years away, we had to come back with our strongest slate of keynote speakers ever. And we’ve delivered!

Our eclectic group of keynote speakers is here to provide their expertise on a wide range of subjects relevant to the modern music industry:

  • Kara DioGuardi and Ross Goland — These multi-platinum and Grammy-nominated songwriters will sharpen our writing and production skills, as they put volunteers’ music in the hot-seat for our “Shark Tank” style critique session. Between the two of them, they’ve written songs for Maroon 5, Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Kelly Clarkson, Celine Dion, Meat Loaf, and dozens more.
  • Austin Kleon — This NYT-bestselling author will help you unlock a more fulfilling creative process that showcases your true artistic voice. 
  • Tom Jackson and Amy Wolter— These legendary “live music producers” are back by popular demand to transform an artist’s performance right before our eyes. This is always a conference highlight.
  • Enrique Chi and Making Movies — This celebrated songwriter and eclectic band will teach us how to create music that crosses distances and changes hearts.
  • Carnage the Executioner —We’ll kick off the whole event with an inspirational performance from this amazing live-looper, beatboxer, and rapper.

Live band makeover

Back by popular demand! The live band makeover is one of the most talked-about events at the DIY Musician Conference.

What is it? As mentioned in the keynotes section above, Tom Jackson and Amy Wolter are live music producers. That means they’re experts in live performances. They know how to engage with an audience, what works and what doesn’t in a live setting.

One lucky band will be chosen to perform onstage in front of Jackson, Wolter and the crowd at the Conference. Jackson and Wolter will then critique their performance, from stage presence to song structure to audience interaction.

Want to put your name in for consideration? There are only two criteria:

  • You must be a five-piece band.
  • You must ROCK!


Workshops at the DIY Musician Conference

This is the real core of the conference. While there are three keynote events, there are tons of workshops to take part in.

Want to strengthen your songwriting? Or learn how to market your music better? Or get inspiration to write your next (or first!) hit song? There’s something for everyone at the DIY Musician Conference workshops.

Our experts on the DIY Musician Podcast have picked their favorites for you to get a sampling of all there is to choose from:

Chris’ picks:

  • Alberto Chapa: Live looping
  • Henry Roland: Livestream setup demo
  • Rick Barker: Major Marketing on an Indie Budget
  • Indepreuner: How the 502s went from zero to millions in four years
  • Me & Jeremy Gordon Carter: Viral Success for niche music on TikTok

Cristina’s picks:

  • Damon Grant: Get the Gig, Keep the Gig!
  • Ari Herstand: Touring in alternative venue spaces
  • Suzanne Polinski: Good Grief! Overcoming Loss and Embracing Change as a Post-Pandemic Artist
  • Judy Stakee: It All Starts with a Song: A Methodology for Songwriting Success
  • Kareem Guy: Promote Your Music the F.A.S.T. Way

Kevin’s picks:

  • Tom Jackson’s live band makeover
  • Austin Kleon’s keynote
  • 50 Promo Ideas in 50 Minutes with Chris and Cristina
  • Simon Tam: Touring in a post-pandemic world
  • Justin J. Rhodes: These Beats Ain’t Free: From “DIY” to “DRE”

Performing at the DIY Musician Conference

Our main performance applications are closed, but there are plenty of other opportunities to play in front of the Conference audience, including:

  • Showcases throughout each day, like impromptu sets during lunch breaks and after hours
  • A video showcase hosted by YouTube
  • An open mic on Friday night
  • Countless jam sessions throughout the weekend

Bring your instrument(s)! Make some friends. Make some music!

What else does the DIY Musician Conference offer?

Keynotes, performance opportunities and workshops are the big attractions at the DIY Musician Conference. But there’s lots more to do at the Conference and in Austin, including:

One-on-one mentorship

  • Work directly with the best professionals from all areas of the music business
  • This gives your music career guidance and direction
  • Get feedback about your music and career from experts

These mentorships are limited and might sell out. If you can’t reserve a spot, arrive at the Conference with ONE GOOD QUESTION. This can be a great ice breaker, but also gives some shape to your conference with a priority focus. You can ask that question of dozens of people, and piece together your answer.

Networking and collaboration

  • Make connections and friendships with artists and other like-minded people that last a lifetime
  • Network with industry experts, DSPs, services, managers, etc.
  • Meet up with attendees in real life at the Conference and virtually
  • Jam with other artists in the jam room or in one of the many pop-up jams that start in the hotel lobby
  • Get ideas for collaborations while watching live performances
  • Learn not just from experts, but from one another in a creative environment

Book a gig or do a tour

Austin is the Live Music Capital of the World. And you’re already on the road! Take advantage of the many venues in Austin by booking a gig or two. Or make it a stop or starting point on a larger tour. You can even hit several other cities just in Texas if you only want to stay in-state before heading home.

See the sights of Austin

Aside from the DIY Musician Conference, Austin is just a great town with a ton of attractions when you’re not rocking out or hearing a keynote at the hotel.

Those include:

  • Bats! 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats roost under the Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge. It’s the largest urban bat colony in the world.
  • Barton Springs! A public pool three acres large. Bring your favorite float and bask in the Austin sun.
  • Food! Some of the best tacos and barbecue you’ll ever eat. Yes, Austin has other cuisine, but come on. We’re here for the tacos and BBQ.
  • Live music! It really can’t be exaggerated how many live music venues are in Austin. The Hilton is a block away from the city’s famous 6th Street, which is packed with venues. And there are hundreds more within a short walk or car ride from the hotel.

Read to experience everything the DIY Musician Conference has to offer?


Credits: 2022 DIY Musician Conference Preview