Atlanta is overstuffed with festivals, concert series, seminars and conventions. February brings Devil Stole the Beat, a three-day event at Smith's Olde Bar with a surplus of industry muscle.
Inaugurated in 2004, Devil Stole the Beat draws together several local players, including publicist Caren West, graphic designer Chad Shearer, Ticket Alternative head Ian Bluitt, and music blogs DriveAFasterCar.com and ConfessionsOfAMusicAddict.com. All these tastemakers add weight to what is essentially an influents' concert party.
Shawn Moseley, former A&R executive for Epic Records and principal organizer behind Devil Stole the Beat, invites "what's left of the music industry." But with major labels decimated by layoffs and tanking record sales, he believes it's more important for musicians to build a DIY team.
"In years past, we would try to wrangle a lot of A&R people in town. That's stopped really being necessary," he says, noting that a major-label deal isn't a primary goal for most artists anymore. Event headliners include Judi Chicago on Friday and Modern Skirts on Saturday. Tessa Horehled from DriveAFasterCar.com says those two bands, as well as all the various companies that help present the event, emphasize the Atlanta scene's many hues.
"Atlanta has a segmented music scene across social groups and genres," Horehled says. "Devil Stole the Beat helps try to fight that and create more unity."
Devil Stole the Beat takes place Thurs.-Fri., Feb. 21-22. $6. 7 p.m. Smith's Olde Bar, 1578 Piedmont Ave. 404-875-1522. www.smithsoldebar.com.