Thursday, April 26, 2018


In less than a month the 2018 NON-COMMvention will open its doors to “music discovery” folks from around the country. 

We have attended eight previous NON-COMMventions and we highly recommend this homegrown event.

Paul Marszalek, editor and publisher of The Top 22 blog [link], provided us with most of the information for this post. 

Here are the NON-COMM basics:

3025 Walnut Street in Philadelphia
The 2018 NON-COMMvention is being held Tuesday evening (5/14) through midday Friday (5/18) at WXPN’s World Cafe Live, located adjacent to WXPN’s offices and studios at 3025 Walnut Street in Philadelphia.

The official conference hotel, The Sheraton Philadelphia University City, is sold out. Rooms are still available at overflow hotels near WXPN. A free shuttle will be running between World Cafe Live and hotels throughout the NON-COMMvention courtesy of ATO Records and Red Light Management.

Complete information about all aspects of 2018 NON-COMMvention is available at The Top 22 website [link].

• TUESDAY May 15

Registration opens at 3pm

4pm – 7pm – Opening Night Party sponsored by NPR & WXPN’s World Cafe.  Meet hosts Talia Schlanger & Kalleo.

7pm – 11:45pm – Music showcases in two locations:

Parquet Courts

The PRX Stage (upstairs) – Live music by Craig Stickland, Parquet Courts, Nilüfer Yanya, Lucy Dacus and Gang Of Youths

The NPR Music Stage (downstairs) – Appearances by Sunny War, Mitski, Phoebe Bridgers and Rayland Baxter


9am – 10:15am Conference Session: Forever Young

What are stations doing to attract new and younger audiences? During this session we’ll explore what it will take to stay relevant. We’ll discuss programming strategies, how to connect with local artists and music communities, development of new station talent, and more.

Thomas Hjelm

10:30am – 11:30am Conference Session: The Future of Radio

NPR’s Chief Digital Officer Thomas Hjelm and consultant/blogger Fred Jacobs explore the emergence of Smart Speakers and the Connected Car — and why you need to invest in the technology.

Noon – 1pm – Music Showcase featuring live music by Titus Andronicus and Courtney Barnett

1:30pm – 2:30pm Conference Session: Staying Engaged and How To Measure The Impact

Social media strategies stations are using to engage with our audiences, and how labels and artists are most effectively using social media.

Steve Ralbovsky
2:45pm – 4pm Conference Session: The NON-COMMversation with Steve Ralbovsky

WXPN’s Dan Reed talks with Steve Ralbovsky, founder and president of Canvasback Music. Ralbovsky is one of the most highly regarded artists and repertoire professionals in the music industry today. He is responsible for discovering and cultivating such major acts and artists of the past few decades as The War On Drugs, David Gray, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Soul Asylum, the Strokes, Kings of Leon, My Morning Jacket, LL Cool J, the Beastie Boys, and Ray LaMontagne.

Low Cut Connie
7:00 – 11:05 PM – Music Showcases in two locations:

The PRX Stage Rock’s Not Dead (upstairs) appearances by Ricky Hell & The Voidboys, White Denim, Starcrawler and Jeff Rosenstock

The NPR Music Stage (downstairs) featuring Jacob Banks, Mt. Joy, Natalie Prass and Low Cut Connie

11:15pm – Late Night Party


9:15am – 10:15am Conference Session: Slingshot

Slingshot is an unprecedented collaboration by NPR Music and the VuHaus affiliated noncom music stations. Together, they’ve worked to leverage their collective curatorial impact to the benefit of emerging artists.

Lindsay Kimball

10:30am - 11:30am Conference Session: #ShePersisted – Women Pursing and Achieving Success in Radio and the Music Industry

Lindsay Kimball from 89.3 The Current leads a discussion abput the unique opportunities and challenges women face when pursuing and achieving success as artists, radio programmers, and industry professionals. 

Only an estimated 10% radio programmers are women, a number that has remained flat for the past decade.

Noon – 1pm – Music Showcase: Free at Noon featuring Jade Bird and Brandi Carlile

1:30pm – 2:3opm Breakout Sessions

The New Alt in Town Alternative rock stations are rising nationally. A radio and industry panel will take a close look at the competition for noncommercial Triple A stations.

Music Station Fundraising Station folks look at the challenges that Triple A stations face when raising listener-sensitive revenue. The panel will discuss ways music discovery stations can leverage their engagement with local music communities to build membership.

Community Stations Roundtable Kari Hedlund from KAXE, Grand Rapids, Minnesota and Jim Manion from WFHB, Bloomington, Indiana host a discussion of issues unique to community based stations.

3pm – 4pm – Live taping of NPR’s World Cafe
Angélique Kidjo

7pm – 11pm – Music Showcases in two locations:

The PRX Stage (upstairs) will have live music from William Prince, King Tuff, Hop Along and Sweet Spirit

The NPR Music Stage (downstairs) will present The Wood Bro and Angélique Kidjo

• FRIDAY May 18

8:30am – 10am – Gospel Roots Brunch – sponsored by WXPN’s new initiative Gospel Roots Of Rock & Soul

10am – 11:30am – Conference Session: The Music Meeting

Songlines founder Sean Coakley leads the annual rate-a-record session with conference attendees and a group of WXPN listeners.

Noon – 1pm – Music Showcase Free at Noon with music from Belly and British alt rockers Editors


There is good news for the majority of Triple A, Alternative Rock and Americana stations in PPM markets that subscribe to the Nielsen Audio ratings.

Spark News tracks listening data for 19 stations in PPM markets. Eleven of the 18 stations (61%) for which we have complete data, increased their estimated weekly listeners in March 2018 compared with March 2017.

WFUV, New York had the biggest numerical gain, adding over 100,000 new weekly listeners during the past year. Stations showing double digit percentage gains included WFUV, Alt Rock WERS in Boston, WYEP in Pittsburgh, Americana KDRP Sun Radio in Austin, WMNF in Tampa, KTBG The Bridge in Kansas City, Americana WMOT in Nashville and WSGE near Charlotte.

Several stations had double-digit declines when comparing weekly listener data from March 2018 with March 2017. Stations experiencing more than a 10% drop in estimated weekly listeners included KCMP The Current in the Twin Cities, KKXT in Dallas, KRCL in Salt Lake City and KVOQ OpenAir in Denver.

No comments:

Post a Comment