Face the Music 2010
The annual Face The Music conference and industry summit provides artists and music industry workers with the relevant information and tools to take them to the next level.
After the past two events sold out, this year's summit was made even bigger and spread over two days. On Friday 19 and Saturday 20 November 2010, a total of 37 music industry workshops were held at the Southbank Arts Centre in Melbourne, allowing participants the opportunity to hear established music industry professionals discuss various topics. The summit also ran alongside the Australasian World Music Expo (AWME).
Face The Music 2010 featured an impressive array of music businesses, media, artists, booking agents, publishers, record label directors, music lawyers, publicists and artist managers.
The sessions were structured as interactive panel discussions, keynote presentations, one-on-one artist development interviews, networking sessions, music showcases and practical workshops. To hear industry professionals talk about their experiences and give firsthand advice was an amusing but valuable opportunity.
Key notes from Michael Parisi
The keynote speaker for Friday morning was Michael Parisi, owner of management and consultancy company Michael Parisi Music. He said it was important to teach young people about the music industry and where it was going, because they would be taking over the industry in years to come.
As a former worker at Warner Music Australia, Festival Mushroom Records and Sputnik Records, Michael was able to give artists advice from a manager's point of view.
"It's not enough for bands to just have talent," he said. "You need to have a vision for the band, know what you're doing in the studio, and where you're going." He advised artists not to devalue their musical work and intellectual property by giving away all of their music for free.
He also forecast new ways of packaging music to keep consumers buying songs, as the popularity of the album has been decreasing since the rise of digital music.
Michael cited Melbourne as being the indie music capital at the moment, due to the variety of venues, live music, and the community support behind local music.
Festivals and critics
The Festivals of the World workshop featured a panel of six professionals who had worked on major music festivals, such as the Oslo World Music Festival, Fuji Rock Festival, Glastonbury Music Festival, and the Sierra Nevada World Music Festival. They discussed the difficulties and challenges of organising large-scale festivals.
Common issues included the logistics of organising large numbers of people and selling tickets simultaneously online, the over-saturation of the festival market, attracting the right crowd, and adapting to the culture of different countries.
A third workshop held on Friday afternoon concerned the role of music critics today. A panel of journalists spoke about the changing journalism industry and the importance of keeping up with culture and keeping people interested.
Age and Rolling Stone freelancer Michael Dwyer beautifully described his role in music critiquing when he said he enjoyed "quantifying something in words which is beyond description".
Other workshops held on Friday included releasing a record, getting instant feedback for new music, artistic development, copyright laws, distribution, publishing and songwriting.
More workshops on Saturday
Saturday had four lots of workshops throughout the day. It kicked off with keynote speaker Carl Cox discussing the evolving dance industry and the future of clubland.
At the same time there were workshops on exporting music overseas, writing grant submissions, signing to record labels, marketing and touring in North American and Europe, songwriting, booking agents, music publishing and copyright, preparing for tours, and dealing with success.
How a radio station works
For those interested in how a radio station works, triple j's Lindsay "The Doctor" McDougall and Amelia Chappelow hosted a small discussion group.
Half of the group was made up of bands, who were given advice on how to use triple j unearthed to achieve radio play. The other half of the group consisted of people who were interested in working in the media.
Lindsay and Amelia were able to give helpful advice on all aspects of radio. Because the workshop was small, it was easy to have a two-way discussion.
Holding successful events
One of the highlights of Saturday afternoon was a workshop about holding successful events, such as a CD launch. The advice provided by the panel of five industry professionals was very practical.
They explained that working as a volunteer on projects could lead to job opportunities, and it was better to start off with small events and sell those out before moving on to bigger events.
Utilising indirect and direct communication was integral to maintaining a strong relationship with fans to build a solid fan base, with the most efficient way to do so being online.
"Give fans some sort of value and make a connection with them," said Paige X. Cho from digital distributor Valleyarm. Jaymz Clements, the music editor of Beat magazine, similarly recommended that artists empower fans and make them feel a part of what they're doing.
The panel stressed the importance of not rushing things, instead taking the time and putting in the hard work and research to ensure the band is in the best position to take advantage of opportunities that may arise.
Alicia Moreau, the promotions manager and artist coordinator for Forum 5, advised artists to "always be gracious and humble to the people around you. It will go a long way." Even something as small as a thank you note or a free CD could leave a good lasting impression.
Don't miss next year!
Over the two days there were 37 different workshops for young people to attend - too many to mention them all here! The response from participants was overwhelmingly positive.
If you have an interest in any aspect of the music industry, the annual Face The Music summit needs to be on your list of events to attend. Check out the Push website (new window) for details.
Articles Written by Ruth
Reviews written by Ruth
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