How Do You Confluence?

We get it. With two days, lots of great speakers and panels, and even more live music showcases, Confluence seems like a lot. Don’t let it overwhelm you. Here are our tips:

If You Are an Artist or Work In Music and are Looking to Learn, Connect, and Be Inspired…

Then the full Confluence experience is for you. Here’s what to do:

1Secure your all-access pass. Similar events can cost hundreds of dollars. A Confluence All-Access Pass, which includes the music, is only $75. Even if you can’t make every session, this is a great value. With an All-Access Pass, you will be able to attend every part of the conference and all music, coming and going as you please.

2Look over the conference schedule. The panels are staggered so you can catch at least part of every panel. Note the ones that most interest you.

3Scroll down for tips on how to make the most of your music experience

4When you get your all-access pass, RSVP for the Opening Party on October 17 at Middle C Jazz featuring Abby Bryant and the Echoes (you’ll get an email). Beautiful venue, great band, beer and wine, full menu available for order. It is going to be an amazing night—but space is limited.

5Pass in hand, check in at registration at the Opening Party or starting at 8:30am on October 18 at the Hamilton, inside AvidXchange Music Factory. Have your Eventbrite ticket ready on your phone, which you will show to get a badge and wristband.

6Grab your program and some Summit coffee and head to the back of the Hamilton for the first panel. Prepare to learn and be inspired.

7Don’t forget to network! There are some amazing panelists at Confluence. Introduce yourself and exchange info.

If You’re a Music Fan First…

The Music Pass is for you! Here’s how to do it:

1Get your music pass! It’s a steal at $35. The pass gets you access to every single show. Even if you can only make it out one night, it’s worth it. But…

Do consider the all-access pass. Even if you’re just industry-curious, there are some great panels, and you’ll have the chance to rub shoulders with lots of artists and industry types. At just $75, it is a steal, even if you can only hit an afternoon or two.

2Look over the music showcase schedule. The showcases are organized by genre. Choose a couple per night that interest you. Maybe there is a particular act you want to catch. Maybe you’ve always wanted to catch a show at Petra’s. This is your chance to do all of that.

3Not familiar with many — or any — of the bands? That’s OK! Look at their bios, maybe look up a couple on Spotify. The sets are all 20-40 minutes. So if you’re sitting in a venue and you’re like, yeah, this isn’t for me, just head to the next spot! Easy-peasy. Need more help? We got you.

4But be open to discovery! Confluence magic happens when you stick around for the next set by someone you’ve never heard of and are blown away.

5Note that the venues are clustered.

  • Wednesday Night
    Starlight on 22nd, Free Range Brewing, and Neighborhood Theatre are all within a mile or so of each other in NoDa.
  • Thursday Night
    Petra’s and Snug Harbor are two blocks apart in Plaza-Midwood.
  • Both Nights
    Stage Door and Pianodrome are a few blocks apart in Uptown, and Middle C is between the two.
  • Visulite
    is also very close to the three clusters above.

6Don’t try to do it all! Note your must-do’s and build your itinerary from there.

7Use ride-share! Parking can be hit or miss in these neighborhoods. They are all close. Why not be safe and save time by getting a ride to the front door of your chosen venue?

8Finally, when you discover your new favorite act, tell them! Buy merch if they have any. Follow them on social and streaming. And snap and post away. Let them know you love them, and tell a friend to tell a friend.

Looking for some music recommendations?

collage of many musicians


  • Appreciate Neo-soul like HER, Ari Lennox, or Erykah Badu? Stage Door Theater is the place for you. Four bands starting at 7 starting with Soelle and wrapping with ARSENA make for an incredible night. If you have not heard any of these acts, prepare to fall in love.
  • Or maybe country is more your thing. We’re super proud of the lineup at Free Range Brewing in NoDa. The evening starts at 7 with a round of country singer/songwriters including rising star Barrett Davis out of Brevard. Then the bands turn it up, with Drew Nathan followed by the Caroline Keller Band. We’ll put them up against any act in Nashville, no lie.
  • All of Wednesday’s showcases wrap in time to head to Neighborhood Theatre in NoDa for the headliner Of Good Nature. They go on at 10. Their sound is indescribable, the energy undeniable. Think Avett Brothers but with horns and extra soul.
  • Or you could start at Neighborhood. First up is scene stalwart and indie rocker Jason Scavone. We’ll put him and his band up against anyone you’ve heard. Jay D Jones, one of the top R&B talents in the region follows. Then comes Dane Page. Dane is special to us. He oozes talent. Great songwriter and singer, amazing sound. Then Of Good Nature takes the night home.
  • Want to keep it chill? A crazy good lineup of solo singer/songwriters will wow you at Pianodrome. Come for the incredible, intimate venue—75 in-the-round seats made entirely of upcycled pianos inside a gorgeous historic former church—and stay for the brilliant songs of Val Merza, Curt Keyz, and Colby Dobbs.
  • Then you can pop over to the iconic Visulite—a short Uber away—for the feel-good rock sounds of Carolina Vibes and Late Night Special. These acts have been packing local venues for a few years now. Want more? Start at Visulite for unique duo Lawn Friends and then Lisa De Novo, who blends rock and blues and folk with a Cranberries vibe. And remember, there will still be time to catch Of Good Nature at Neighborhood, just couple miles away.
  • Or maybe you’re like, screw all that, I want my face rocked off. Then Starlight on 22nd is for you. This hard rock showcase is headlined by rising stars Once Below Joy. Bring earplugs and be ready to smile.
collage of many musicians


  • Start early! Catch Maritzaida’s 6pm set at Stage Door Theater for some beautiful Bolero music out of Greensboro. Feeling the world vibe? Stick around for the captivating gypsy sounds of Vadim Kolpakov and friends. Vadim is literally one the best guitarists in the world.
  • From there, Stage Door shifts to some sweet soul music with Tre. Charles followed by Mercury Carter. These are two undeniable talents that will draw you in. Or, hop over to Pianodrome, a few blocks walk, for some great indie and alt-folk from across the Carolinas.
  • Or maybe you like indie pop like SZA, Kehlani, and Halsey? Check out Natalie Carr. She’s playing Petra’s on Thursday at 9pm, and you’ll be glad you saw her at Confluence before she blows up. Trust us on this one. But get there early. Emerging talent Lynsea plays first, and you’ll like her stuff, too.
  • Then you can hop around the corner to Snug Harbor for hip-hop showcases. Mason Parker is a rising Charlotte star, and Jooselord has been packing venues in Raleigh.
  • Or maybe you’re looking for something totally different? Check out Pianodrome. This intimate in-the-round performance space is made entirely of upcycled pianos and is inside a gorgeous historic church. You have to see it to believe it. Amazing indie folk lineup on Thursday night. We love the vibes of the Couldn’t Be Happiers and Elonzo Wesley. And rising star Will Overman plays at 9pm.
  • Then you can head across the street to Middle C for a couple of sweet late-night acts. Emanuel Wynter plays neo soul with a violin and he puts on a show. Close it out vibing to the Harvey Cummings Project, an inimitable mashup of jazz, hip-hop, and R&B. It’s a whole thing.
  • Don’t sleep on the Visulite! Thursday is Americana night at this iconic indie venue. Sycamore Bones brings their sweet songs from Lenoir, Featherpocket will rock you like Uncle Tupelo or the Old 97s, Aaron Chance Wilson writes an incredible song and will have a full band behind him. And closer Nathan C. Davis is the hardest working singer/songwriter in Charlotte. He’ll be playing songs off his any-day-now release, and you’ll love his California Country sound, guaranteed.