3 Aussie music conferences you need to attend this Summer

Written By Lizzie Arnold on 08/29/2014


We don't all have the time or the funds to jet off to Austin Texas for SXSW, to Miami for Miami Music Week or even Amsterdam for their Dance Event conference. But does this mean we all must miss out? Not at all. Like many of our homegrown artists, Australia is starting to make its mark on the international music scene, conferences included.

Some of us have a talent but do not know how to market themselves, or need that extra push in the right direction. Others just have an unshakable passion for music and want to find out how the industry works. It's time to go beyond the gig or festival - here are three awesome and slightly more affordable conferences you need to attend this Summer, right on your doorstep!

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Sept 10-12 Brisbane

Genre: Anyone and everyone - local up-and-comers in indie pop, rock + electronica

Leading the charge for our first of the awesome Aussie music conference this season, BIGSOUND is creeping up on us ever so quickly with a line-up better than ever before. The conference is in its 13th year so it must be doing something right, with a strong international influence as well as a passion for showcasing the best of the best in local talent. Brisbane will once again play host to over 120 bands in 12 venues plus some of the biggest names in the music industry - including representatives from SXSW, Bonnaroo and St Jerome's Laneway Festival.

Why go?: BIGSOUND has been dropping speaker announcements like they were major festival line-ups - a lot of talented individuals are going to be there. However, you do not necessarily have to go to the conference to have a great time and enjoy the up-and-coming talent, both nationally and internationally, with BIGSOUND LIVE providing a much more affordable option. Plus its an A&R mega hub - the bookers want to meet you as much as you want to meet them.

Key Speakers/Artists : Alison Wonderland, Banoffee, Fractures, KLO, Spookyland, Tkay Maidza

BIGSOUND Ticket Price: Prices start from $550

BIGSOUND LIVE Ticket Price: Prices start from $51


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Nov 13-16 Melbourne

Genre: Roots

AWME has cemented itself as the Southern Hemisphere's premier roots music industry conference and showcase event, held annually in Melbourne over four days in November. This genre specific conference and festival attracts over 500 national and international music industry delegates with a divers public festival program. AWME creates opportunities for artists from the region to market their product to Australian and international buyers. In 2013, over two-thirds of showcasing artists plus countless other non-showcasing artists benefited directly from the event including national and international festival bookings, distribution, licensing, publishing, agency representation in new markets as well as increased national and international media coverage/exposure.

Why go?: It's pretty simple really, four days of the finest roots music from around the world. If you are into that genre, then this is your Mecca.

Key Speakers/Artists : Ash Grunwald, Benny Walker, Bart Willoughby, Louis Baker (NZ) + Basil Cook (ABC Music) 

Ticket Price: Early-bird prices start from $180



Electronic Music Conference (EMC)

Dec 2-4 Sydney

Genre: EDM, Dance, DnB, House + some + anything Stereosonic

The annual Electronic Music Conference is about to head into its 3rd year this December. Previously held at Carriageworks Sydney, in 2014 the conference will be relocating to the Kings Cross precinct. Like all conferences, the opportunities to network and learn are endless - A&R meet and greets, drinks with your fellow artists, masterclasses from the big touring artists, panel debates as well as keynote talks from your idols in the industry. This move across town will allow EMC to expand beyond just a daytime industry-focused conference, with EMC Play, a program of public evening showcase events, set to take place at some of Sydney’s best music venues. Think SXSW but with a serious Aussie Summer twist.

Why go?: To state the obvious, EDM and electronic music is not for everyone. However, EMC is smack bang in the middle of the Stereosonic Australia tour, making it a great time to celebrate the electronic music scene in Sydney. Everyone just wants to have a good time, artists and delegates included. Most importantly, this year's theme is 'Discovery'. The event aims to be a crucial stepping stone in connecting Australian electronic music talent with some of the world’s biggest talent buyers and A&R Executives who are coming to EMC with the goal of discovering and booking Australian talent. Want to get seen and your music heard? Then this is your chance!

Key Speakers/Artists (1st Round Announcement) : Steve Aoki, Will Sparks, Nina Las Vegas, Peking Duck, Gary Richards (Hard Events/Destructo), Lorne Padman (Dim Mak Records) & Nathan Mclay (Future Classic)

Ticket Price: Early-bird prices start from $299


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