CPAC's Music Infusion Gives Conservative Ammo for Future Culture Battles

Now that the dust has settled from all the excitement of the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC 2014), and we’ve had a chance to reflect on the event and how things went for those of us who were there, one thing is certain; there are those who talk about the need to change our culture and there are those who actually are doing something about it.

Two weeks ago, for the first time in the conference’s 41-year history, live musical entertainment was incorporated into the program throughout the 3-day conference, courtesy of the artists from BigDawg Music Radio.

This was our second consecutive year making CPAC history, but odds are you likely didn’t hear or read much about this significant milestone for right-leaning artists unless you happen to frequent a few liberal websites that were less than complimentary, so here’s the recap:

This year the BigDawg team included two new radio hosts and eight musical acts prominently interspersed throughout the program at various locations in the Gaylord National Harbor Resort & Convention Center, the venue for CPAC 2014. In spite of some technical issues on Radio Row on day one, Raymmar Tirado hosted our morning broadcasts, interviewing guests ranging from conservative authors to media personalities, comedians to Congressional candidates like a seasoned pro. Tirado has since launched his own radio show, Ray-D-O.

Radio row at CPAC

Our other new radio host, John Publicover, President and Founder of Project Red Leaf, accompanied by Vice President, Michael Magnotto, skillfully conducted interviews with young college Republicans discussing a wide range of issues affecting Millenials.

You can listen to all three days’ podcasts in our On Demand section here.

This year’s featured musical artists, who flew in from Oregon, California, Mississippi, Ohio, New York, and Florida on their own dime, thoroughly enjoyed providing some acoustic entertainment for conference attendees in what they said felt like a "coffee shop atmosphere" (in the CPAC Hub). Performing original songs in genres ranging from folk to country, contemporary Christian to pop and political rock, were “BigDawgers” Anna & JohnBrock Lawley (with bandmates Ethan Olney and Tim Neely), Chip Murray, Buck Allen, Anne Marie HarpenMichael Marino (front man for Chloes Open Socket), Michaelantonio, and Ben Nanke.

The artists who performed on the main ballroom stage between panels and speakers (Chip Murray, Anna & John, Ben Nanke, Brock Lawley & Ethan Olney, and Michael Marino), were especially thrilled to be able to share their talents with a captive audience of enthusiastic conference attendees, garnering them generous praise from several new fans.

As was to be expected, a handful of coy journalists feigned interest in our mission, smiling as they interviewed several of the artists. They turned out to be nothing more than liberal hacks who not only took great pleasure in trashing the artists but went as far as fabricating points to embellish their hit pieces.

For the record, Ms. Wyler, contrary to your report, not only did this writer not perform a single song during the conference (due to last-minute schedule adjustments), and not only is our co-founder, Lisa Day, still in “the picture”, but my "dog whistle abortion ditty" you referenced was actually a song about God’s forgiveness...and yes, I forgive you for your less-than-honest reporting.

The old WWII saying "If you are not taking flak, you're not over the target..." applies here and we are just getting warmed up.

The positive feedback received at our booth and by the artists who performed, indicated the inclusion of live music in the program was a much-welcomed and refreshing addition. BigDawg Music Radio booth visitors often mentioned how the music brought a whole new energy or “cool vibe” to the exhibit hall and they loved it.

The artwork we shared at the booth by some of our talented artists including Rich Gibbs, Scott Wilke, Frances Byrd, Rob Hartman, Antonio F. Branco, and Kate Barnett, was also admired by many.

CPAC booth

Reflecting back on the impact of the addition of live performances to the program, one CPAC organizer said: "Having live music at CPAC this year served as a reminder that conservatives, too, participate in mainstream American pop culture. Despite what liberals may think or promote, many conservatives can and do thrive as artists as well."

BigDawgers can hold our heads high for not only are we talking the talk, we are walking the walk which is a far cry from the armchair quarterbacks and naysayers who do nothing more than decry the downfall of our culture, waiting for that one band or one artist that meets their approval who they feel will save our culture.

We wait for no one. As Thomas Paine famously said: "Lead, follow, or get out of the way."

This is #WAR.


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