ONE MusicFest is preparing to return for its 11th year as one of the only Black-owned live music events across the nation. Its founder, J. Carter, gave insight into how he makes it happen year after year on a recent episode of the “Black Tech Green Money” podcast.
Carter joined host Will Lucas on “Black Tech Green Money,” a platform for Black tech enthusiasts with a passion for capital, to talk about the history and strategy behind One MusicFest.
“I first had the concept and idea back in ’08, and so the first thing that I do is look for mentorship,” Carter shared. “As the owner of two clubs, with one that’s more of a live music venue, entering the festival space was a different monster, and I needed to figure out how to maneuver through it all, and I couldn’t really find anybody that looked like us in that space.”
Carter, who also serves as the festival’s chief marketing officer, found networking with other like-minds to be a solution to his problem.
“It’s the old, old adage of times. Instead of looking above, you have to look lateral, and so that’s what I did,” he said. “I just kind of linked up with people around me who shared my vision and embraced my idea, and we pushed forward attempting to make as much noise as we could until the big boys noticed.”
Part of Carter’s success has come from securing global partnerships with Adidas, BMW, Heineken, and Toyota, AfroTech reported.
Due to the pandemic, last year’s festival was canceled. Carter said it made his team think outside of the box.
“I think it made us hone in on tightening up our quote-unquote system internally,” he said. “It made us get creative in ways that we should’ve gotten creative with earlier.”
The team hosted #AtTheCribFest in place of the festival. The live-streamed experience included voices from Ro James to Chavis Flagg to Ye Ali.
ONE MusicFest is making an in-person comeback this year on Oct. 9–10 in Atlanta. Some artists to perform at the festival include H.E.R., Lil Wayne, The Isley Brothers, Burna Boy, Ari Lennox, Ty Dolla $ign, Young Dolph, Kirk Franklin, and many more.
For information on the event, visit www.onemusicfest.com.