Midwest Industry Night: Empowering & Nurturing Emerging Creatives

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On May 18th, the sun smiled down on us, beaming with pride for putting on our 9th successful networking event in a row. TopView’s Midwest Industry Night is our networking event where creatives from all walks of life can connect. 

Blessed to outgrow our space, we relocated to downtown’s hidden gem, Inspire Music Collective. This space houses studio equipment, seating areas, dope art and now — Midwest Industry Night! For those who have never been, this event consists of networking sessions, free drinks, food, side interviews, a dope music industry guest panel and our most popular listening session (artists are able to play unreleased music for us,  get creative feedback and new fans!) Sounds like fun, right?

We created this event last year in March to eliminate that Indianapolis stereotype of  everyone hating on each other and that our city is boring. Anyone who comes to our event can see that that couldn’t be further from the truth! The amount of connections, jobs and regular event goers that come from this have shown that we’re doing something right. 

If you’re not familiar with me, I’m Airika Lewis! I’m a music blogger and event host for TopView and it warms my heart to connect people and put people onto good music. For the past two years, I’ve hosted Topview Tuesday — a show where we give artists a platform to share their story. Event hosting is a more recent skill I’ve acquired, and honestly, I’m still learning. Thanks to my regular guests at Midwest Industry Night, I felt no nerves at all on May 18th. I now feel like I’m talking to my people, my family. 

It’s mind blowing that we are at our 9th event, time has really flown by! This past event we had Leon Williamson from iheartradio, Myles Bell from 199XSound and MsEKlass who has had decades of radio, PR and event hosting experience! We focused on presenting yourself as an artist, being memorable and the importance of tapping in with the right people. Our panel guests shared their backstories, which is my favorite discussion because it humanizes them. These people with these crazy experiences started out in the same position as us and gave everyone a positive motivation. The seemingly impossible is most definitely possible for an Indiana kid with a dream. The love in the building was definitely felt!

We were joined by Myles from 317A&R, a platform based in Indianapolis that does artist interviews. Doing my interview felt funny, since I’m used to being the one who asks all the questions. I was more than happy to share my thoughts on how much Midwest Industry Night has grown and even give others advice on hosting and putting on their own event! Gaby from GABY’S CBD came by as well with a menu that left our guests raving about her meatballs. Rasta from City Flooderz added a shopping experience to the event with his dope clothing brand. We also had our first live performance from a new artist on the scene CC! His new single “Stuck On You” had everyone singing the chorus for days! 

I thought I hit my peak during our All Star Weekend event when we had over 300 RSVPs and platinum producers in the building. I had this same feeling at our last venue that was packed to the brim and we were joined by BSwift and Drew Harley. That picture still gives me chills. Maybe it’s how much my confidence has grown with public speaking, or seeing our regulars continue to show up. For some reason, this event felt different. 

I want to express how proud I am of my city. After the event, everyone was posting their cool stories and portraits by JShootin, that’s a given. The love that everyone continued to show their new peers was the most heart warming part. The perfect timing of a few artists dropping music soon after the event gained them new supporters. This is the point of the whole event, this is what we like to see come from Midwest Industry Night! It’s one thing for the TopView team to say we’re eliminating the stereotype — but to see my people being living proof gives me a ton of hope that our city will become a booming entertainment hub in a few years! 

I look forward to our 10th Midwest Industry Night and everything that’s to come after. Summer is here and we’re outside!


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