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The CMJ Music Marathon is probably not happening this year

Written by
Tolly Wright

Despite CMJ’s claims to the contrary, things aren’t looking good for the annual Music Marathon.

For the past 35 years, CMJ has been a highlight of the fall concert season, boasting well over a thousand established and scrappy up-and-coming musicians performing in venues across Manhattan and Brooklyn for a five-day marathon. Now, just weeks before the festival’s usual October run, CMJ appears to be woefully unprepared for the major undertaking.

RECOMMENDED: Guide to CMJ Music Marathon

A quick investigation into this year’s fest reveals that not only has CMJ not updated their website or social media account in months, but also Pitchfork and Stereogum report that venues and booking agents haven’t been contacted yet. United Talent Agency's David Galea confidently told Pitchfork, “[it’s] 100% not happening this year.”

CMJ, which started as a magazine back in 1978, has recently come into major legal problems that might explain the lack of preparedness. The publication is currently being sued after a failed merger with Metropolitan Entertianment due to unpaid loans connected to running the Music Marathon. The company could have its day in court sometime in the next few months and faces claims that total nearly $1 million. Yet, the company’s CEO Adam Klein promises, “CMJ will absolutely happen this year.” The question of when this festival will take place, where and with who, however, remains a mystery. 

UPDATE: A press release sent out this afternoon from Klein stated that CMJ is "totally committed to protecting CMJ's unique and 'live' heritage while adapting to the ever changing demands of artists, fans and the music industry." He added, "A little patience and a whole lot less wild and unsubstantiated speculation is what we need right now." So guys, lay off their backs. They're trying here. 

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