The Florida Music Conference is coming to Orlando this weekend

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Musicians and industry professionals from Florida, Nashville and beyond will congregate at Ace Cafe this weekend as the Florida Music Conference lands in Orlando.

Two days of networking, seminars, conversations and live music are coming to downtown Orlando on June 24-25 as the new event takes shape. The conference, which includes two stages and 25 artists, is presented by the same minds behind the Florida Music Festival, which ran for 18 years from 2000.

“We were serving many sides by educating students, giving artists a chance to showcase themselves, and bringing the industry to town,” said Sean Perry, Florida Music Festival founder and co-owner of aXis Productions & Events. “We had the biggest people in the business, like the guy who started Bonnaroo, the guy who started Warped Tour. We had record company CEOs. We brought them all here to Orlando.

Additionally, Perry recalled some of the headliners from Orlando’s live music heyday and past festivals.

“We had 14-year-old Taylor Swift perform in front of 50 people. We asked Pitbull and Zac Brown to play,” he said. “We wanted to give artists the chance to be exposed and make that connection for the next level. We ended the night at the Wall Street Plaza with Third Eye Blind or Flogging Molly.

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After a four-year hiatus, the event returns as a more focused conference and festival that focuses on local musicians while also spotlighting successful artists. By bringing together both emerging talent and established artists with Floridian roots, conference organizers hope attendees can share knowledge and make connections.

“It’s something new. It’s a new idea, not this kind of grand 125-band event,” said Jonnie Morgan, a conference organizer who will also be performing with his band. “It’s an experience where up-and-coming artists can come and learn from bigger bands, ‘How did you do? What did it take?

On Friday night, an industry talk and mixer will open the conference, followed by a singer-songwriter showcase with free general admission, which will feature Central Florida artists including Dan Taylor, Theo Moon and The Beat Brothers Band.

Saturday involves keynote discussions from musicians Brock Berryhill, John K, The 502s and Kyle Lemaire (aka Circa). After another industry mix, an evening of live music will begin as John K, The 502s, Cat Ridgeway and the Tourists, Wilder Sons, Ashley Picanza and more take to the festival stages.

“We started with the premise of being focused on celebrating artists regionally and telling their stories, making those connections…I think it’s going to be a very productive 48 hours,” Perry said, while Morgan added. “Florida hasn’t had anything like this in a long time, so this is our way of giving back. The community needs it right now.

The Florida Music Conference runs from 5 p.m. to midnight on June 24 and from noon to midnight on June 25 at 100 W. Livingston St. in Orlando. An all-access pass costs $15 in advance or $25 once the conference begins. Tickets for the Saturday night concert are $10 in advance or $15 on the show date. For more information and tickets, visit flameusicconf.live.

Find me @PConnPie on Twitter and instagram or send me an email: pconnolly@orlandosentinel.com. For more fun things, follow @fun.things.orlando on instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

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