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Outlast the Marathon: 7 Tips to Survive CMJ Music Marathon

posted by Laura Baker-Finch on October 08, 2013

New York City -- You'll need more to survive this marathon than your CMJ Badge. These are the 7 must-know tips for CMJ Music Marathon.

1. Arrive Early and Have a Backup Plan


Photo via Billboard

Many CMJ venues are small and tend to fill up quickly, especially when an event is free with an RSVP. Even if you have a badge, you will be turned away at the door if the venue is at capacity. If you don't want to be stranded on the sidewalk after Plan A falls through, keep a festival guide or CMJ's mobile app handy so you know where to go next.

2. Bring a Big Bag


Photo via Hypebeast

Whether it's the CMJ registration gift bag or your own version, a large bag will come in handy for keeping your iPad or notebook for panels, business cards for networking, and a jacket to transition from daytime to nighttime temperatures. Plus, some showcases will be sponsored, and you know what that means - free stuff!

3. Bring Business Cards, Not Resumes


Photo via Careerealism

Every industry player and their mom come to NYC for CMJ. If you're a band or aspiring industry insider, pass our your business cards like candy and make small talk. You never know what opportunities may arise from networking, but don't be too forward - save the resume pushing for your next meeting.

4. Get Charged


Photo via Mophie

We're huge fans of the Mophie Juice Pack this festival season; I'll choose a battery case over carrying around a charger any day. Between instagramming your new favorite band to following your Google Maps App to the next event, your phone is bound to die before the last show of the night.

5. Download a Subway App


Don't be these guys

Both Hop Stop and Google Maps combine subway, bus, and walking directions to get you from Point A to Point B at specific times. Have a few bucks to spend? Download NextStop; it includes real-time arrival estimates. When getting around is this easy, you'll save a fortune avoiding taxis.

6. Hit the Right Outfit Balance


Photos via CMJ Street Style

You want to impress during the daytime panels, but showcases are more casual. To strike the perfect balance, dress nicely and respectably but keep the heels at home if you plan on showcase hopping. Black denim is always a good bet; it can be made to appear like business pants in the day yet pairs well with a leather jacket at night.

7. Keep Our Pocket Guide Handy



Want to share some tapas before heading to Bowery Ballroom? How about lunch near CMJ's headquarters? Our pocket travel guide to CMJ has you covered on where to eat, sleep, shop, party, and explore around the Marathon's venues in both Manhattan and Brooklyn.

For more tips and festival insights, pick up a copy of our free pocket-sized guide or view and download it online.

Follow @laurajbf on Twitter

See Also:

Get Your Free Copy of Cultivora's Travel Guide to CMJ
CMJ Neighborhood Spotlight: Madison Square Park
Music Monday Playlist: CMJ Music Marathon 2013