Face the Music 2011
Face the Music (new window) is Melbourne's - and arguably Australia’s - biggest and most extensive music conference, catering for anyone involved in the music industry at every level.
2011's conference was appropriately held at one of the capital's most recognisable and stunning concert halls: The Arts Centre. Stretching over two days and packing in as much music-related discussion as possible, this non-profit event featured more than 100 industry speakers, presentations, discussions, practical workshops, artist development and networking sessions, as well as live music and in general the highest concentration of music industry professionals Melbourne will see all year.
So with so much happening in one place, where were the hot spots to be? I hit as many as I could and my brains are consequently full to exploding point with musical knowledge!
Keynote speaker - Brent Grulke
First cab off the rank was the Keynote interview with Brent Grulke, who is the creative director for the SXSW Festvial, the insanely popular music, film and interactivity conference held annually in Austin, Texas. More than anything Grulke stressed how important it was to get involved in your local music industry.
For Melburnians, that means getting down to local gigs and supporting our thriving music scene. Grulke went on to say that a large part of the success of SXSW is due to the city of Austin itself. The amount of music venues it has, the public transport, and the accommodation to house the thousands of temporary residents - all of these things come into play.
Perhaps most important of Grulke's tips was to never get too caught up in your work. Everyone needs an outlet.
Booking for bands and bookers
Following Grulke came a massive panel of Melbourne live music venue bookers. Professionals from Revolver, Grace Darling, Yah Yahs, Pony, The Tote, Toff in Town, Ding Dong Lounge, Greyhound Hotel and The Corner were there to give their advice to bands and fellow bookers on how to book and be booked.
The need to be professional in the way you approach a venue was a common view held by most of the bookers. Know the venue, know how many people it can fit, know their audience and most of all know what you want from the venue. Most bookers receive hundreds of emails a day, so unless yours is straightforward, easy to read and has links to your material, chances are you wont be getting booked.
The next discussion covered how to go about getting grants. For some musicians the issue isn’t their music, but the money behind the music. Leading members of the creative world told the audience just how many funds there are out there for young up-and-coming musicians and how so many of them are incredibly simple to obtain.
Festivals, viral marketing and touring, oh my!
Another discussion featured a panel of representatives from international music festivals like Glastonbury, Roskilde, Fuji Rock and Sziget. The speakers explained how diverse the festivals are and how each country has such different tastes for various genres. Another notable discussion was Doing It The Indie Way, which looked at how sometimes it’s favourable for artists to independently release their music rather than trying to sign to a label.
Other discussions included Viral Marketing Is a Scam - Tell Everybody, which taught people how important using the internet is when starting out as a band, and Touring Europe & North America, which looked at how a band could go about touring internationally.
Overall, Face the Music 2011 was an incredible two days of networking and learning that made it evident how much opportunity there is out there in the music industry can be - you just need to know the secrets.
Articles Written by Jack
Reviews written by Jack
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