Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Face The Music Conference + The Hidden Venture

I went along to the Face The Music conference last Friday and Saturday at The Arts Centre (Melbourne). I felt completely out of my element surrounded by so many professionals and was also so inspired by how absolutely amazing everyone was. So much wisdom, oh and 'what happens on tour stays on tour' type of stories to share. Met some very cool people and it was also so bizarre how many people looked familiar yet I had no idea who they were.

The conference is such a great idea and was so stoked to have gone and I've picked up some great info and made some great contacts. I highly recommend anyone to go next year who is or wants to be involved in the music industry in any way.

I'd like to shout out a couple of big thank you's to:
Face The Music
Peter and Tania (The Push).

Friday 18th November:

The Live Landscape.
Facilitator: Jaymz Clements (triple j Magazine)
Panel of Melbourne booking agents:
Sarah Guppy (Revolver), Paris Martine (Grace Darling Hotel, Phoenix Public House), Mary Mihelakos (Yah Yahs), Andy Moore (Pony), Anita Nedeljkovic (Way Over There), Amanda Palmer (The Tote), Darve Smith (Ding Dong Lounge), Emily Ulman (Toff in Town), Neil Wedd (Greyhound Hotel, Regal Ballroom).

Some great tips for bands, agents and managers on trying to book at their venues. Great insight.

Festivals Of The World.
Facilitator: Seth Jordan (Songlines UK, Global Carnival, Limelight Magazine)

Panel made up of some of the worlds biggest and most amazing festival managers:
Jason Ayoubi (Future Music, Summadayze, AUS), Chris Frayer (Winnepeg Folk Festival, CAN), Jerome Galabert (Sakifo Festival Reunion Island, FRA), Christina Haetta (Riddu Riddu Festival, NOR), Malcolm Haynes (Glastonbury, UK), Peter Hvalkof (Roskilde, DEN), Fred Lachaize (Reggae Sun Ska Festival, FRA), Jason Mayall (Fuji Rock, JAP), Peter Noble (Bluesfest, AUS), Erwin Schellekens (Festival Mundial, NL), Warren Smith (Sierra Nevada World Music Festival, USA), Fruszina Szep (Sziget Festival, HUN), Annette Tripodi (Womadelaide, AUS).

I was only able to stay for the first 30 minutes as I had to head off to another panel but so worth just staying for that. Hearing the highs and lows from each panelist including the hilarious story of Fruszina from Sziget Festival in Hungary finally securing Prince through to the absolute tragedy of the 9 people that were killed whilst Pearl Jam were playing the Roskilde Festival in Denmark back in 2000. The look on Peters face was still all too much. Very very tragic.

What's Your Story? Tell it!
Facilitator: Jeff Jenkins (Freelance Author)

Panel: Dom Alessio (triple j), Evan Alexander (Heapsaflash), Shane O’Donohue (Inpress/Street Press Australia), Chrissie Vincent (Chrissie Vincent Publicity & Management)

This panel was for bands doing interviews and idea's on how to make them different to the usual and stand out. I went along hoping to get something from the other side of things as an interviewer although I also work with a band. This turned out to be one of my favourite panels of the day. Excellent.

Feature Interview with Dan Rosen (ARIA)
The Australian Music Industry: Where are we going & how do we get there

Facilitator: Lars Brandle (Billboard, The Music Network)

As CEO of ARIA and PPCA, Dan was a little too business for me :) but had some very interesting things to say about the future of music in Australia.

Doing It The Indie Way
Panel: Jess Beston (Tiny Monster), Vanessa Picken (Run DNA).

This was another great panel from two industry insiders that had both previously worked for large labels and left to pursue their own passions. A great insight into how an independent band could get themselves out there by really tapping into what the internet has to offer and more. Really enjoyed this a lot.

Saturday 19th November:

Viral Marketing is a Scam – Tell Everybody
Facilitator: Annmarie McMath (I Hear Motion)

Panel: Ben Abraham (Musician), Gerard Pidoto (The Statics), Nick Russo (Bright Knights), Mark Stewart (Jonesez)

I could not even begin to share the stories that we heard about ways to make your band go viral using Youtube! The craziest was Mark's about signing up to a medical trial to fund his next release and then documenting it all on the internet! Crazy but awesome. One thing though that I feel was missed was, yes, they all had stories that went viral on the net in varying degrees, but how exactly did that translate into raising the bands profile and sales.

APRA Songwriter Speaks with Paul Mac
Facilitator: Karl Broadie (APRA|AMCOS)

How Paul Mac works when writing, recording and collaborating with other musicians. Very enlightening and a great insight into an amazing songwriter.

Everything You Have Ever Heard Is True... And Then Some: Ted Gardner
Facilitator: Nick O’Byrne (AIR)

One of the world's most incredible and as it turns out, hilarious tour and artist managers. This was one I was really really looking forward to and I wish it went on for the next week. Some mind blowing stories about musicians Ted has worked with including Frank Zappa, Jane's Addiction, The Brian Jonestown Massacre and Tool to name only a few. Afterwards I asked Ted if he has written a book, he laughed. A question he would get asked every few minutes I would imagine, he said the problem is that most of them are all still alive! The guy is an absolute legend. I would like nothing better than to kick back and have a few drinks with him. Oh yeah, I also may have picked up a few useful things here and there... I can't quite remember as my sides are still hurting from the laughter!

I chatted with a few people across both days that were amazing, Tania Wilson - (The Push, missmanagement - Fare Evader / i, said the sparrow), Phoebe Pinnock (Heaven The Axe), Zerafina Zara (musician and vocal coach), Evan Alexander (Heapsaflash), Vanessa Picken (RUN DNA), Ted Gardner (Cross Section), Cassie Walker (Prince Bandroom, SYN Media), Jen Barratt (Rize Artist Management - The Hidden Venture / The Switchblades) and Alex Hayes (The Hidden Venture) to name only a few... there were a lot, apologies to those I have forgotten to mention! Mental overload!

I get a few CD's here and there handed to me, to listen to and I have to say that I am completely stoked that I met Alex from The Hidden Venture. I listened to it on the way into the conference on the Saturday morning and kept repeating it. 4 songs that are all absolute killers. From beginning to end the release is amazing. I have no idea why I haven't heard of them before. A Melbourne band definitely worth keeping an eye out for. Alex described them to me as something like where Stoner meets Rock. It is beyond Jimi Hendrix and Josh Homme's love child, The Hidden Venture kick arse!

The Hidden Venture - From The Drip Into My Arm (Live)

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