Country Radio Seminar kicked off March 13 right here in Nashville at the Omni. It’s an annual event that brings together the country music community for a jam-packed three days of networking, educational seminars, events, and of course, live music! As a first-time attendee, I can honestly say that nothing quite prepares you for the CRS experience which was equal parts overwhelming, tiring, entertaining and enlightening.
From the minute you enter the Omni, the networking begins. You never know who you’ll run into wandering the halls of the seminar as it brings together radio personalities and executives from every state along with artist managers, record labels, publishers and more. Nashville Noise was on hand as media (along with other media outlets) to cover the seminars, get further education and interview artists. I did all of that – and more!
Admittedly, the beginning of CRS was the most overwhelming. It was sensory overload walking into the Omni Hotel, immediately networking and getting to know so many people that I have long admired and engaged with on social media. Luckily, that didn’t last long.
Out of everything I got to experience during CRS 2023, the panels were the most rewarding for me. Garth Brooks’ keynote speech with CRS Executive Director, RJ Curtis, is the one that sticks out the most. Brooks discussed the importance of radio in country music, saying it’s more than just a platform for the genre.
“You’re in the pie. Make it bigger,” he said onstage as he encouraged radio programmers and attendees to “lead with love.” “Think about what you say when you open your mouth on those airwaves. Think about the music you play. Do the people listening to your station feel better about the future than they did [before]?”
On top of incredible seminars and great connections, CRS also provides top-notch entertainment. The showcases, label lunches and even side events kept the 15-hour days entertaining. There is truly nothing like attending this event and seeing more than 30 diverse artists perform in multiple venues and settings like the Team UMG at the Ryman luncheon, the Next Women of Country Happy Hour and even the midnight hotel lobby jams. It was truly one of the most exceptional experiences to be able to hear each and every artist perform over those three days and nights. The ability to showcase so many talented individuals and allow them the space to share new music really sets CRS apart from any other industry event.
I left CRS 2023 exhausted, but I also left energized and excited about what the future of country holds. I can’t wait to do it all again next year!