The New York Times’ Jon Caramanica – who we spoke to recently – laid out the persistent vibe from any journalist covering a festival like CMJ/SXSW/etc. That vibe’s name is ugh:

If you let it, the CMJ Music Marathon will eat your world. Day parties and panels and night parties and just the sheer effort to shuffle among all those events are enough to exhaust all the air for a whole week. It’s not gratifying, especially this year, in which the lineup has been less urgent than in years past. Without a narrative worth chasing, the festivities bore quickly.

Given all that, on Thursday night, the most plausible response was to escape altogether, into the parallel slipstream that encompasses parasitic unofficial events as well as shows that just happen to overlap with the festival, attracting fans who may not even know that CMJ is happening.

And today, the Village Voice took a stab at recapping the panels of CMJ – and hated every fucking second of it.

To save you the trouble of being crestfallen in person next year, I have distilled the most often repeated vague refrains (many of them contradictory!) of the whole shebang into the below summary, followed by their subtext. Good luck, you little go-getter, you! Now, make with the famous!

So, you are an aspiring artist, producer, manager, entrepreneur, or music executive. Let’s talk about how you should get started. (Subtext: Thanks for spending $549 on your CMJ badge! That was step one to achieving your goal—you’re one of us now! But be prepared not to get anything out of this discussion, because half the time will be given over to panelist bios, decrying the current state of the industry, and self-anthology.)

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