Last Thursday and Friday, Adelaide hosted members of the local and national music industry for the Indie-Con Australia conference; two days of panels and forum discussions on matters that are particularly important within and to the independent music sector.
Attendees were able to learn more about business development, online music services and the reach of global publicity, partnerships and artist management in today’s age of self-publishing and ownership.
While it would seem quite an overwhelming program for any first-timer (trust us, one look at it could have any novice running for the hills), Indie-Con Australia provided a great platform for sharing, learning and networking. Many questions were asked and the answers were delivered directly without any PR jargon or back and forth that can often clutter inboxes and cloud perception at a BIGSOUND label party, say.
Main takeaways we found from the conference were that now, more than ever, the artist is gaining control of their output once the music leaves the studio, and the engagement between their art and its reach has never been more pertinent.
The music industry now is in a state of flux, perhaps more than it has been before. The digital age has ensured that consumers are accessing music at a faster rate than before; the filters have been lifted and the level of material being released is huge. How do musicians tackle that or hell, how do you make a mark and leave with some kind of financial gain?
This is the type of topic that Indie-Con attempts to answer, while also giving the platform to creatives who have also stepped into the arena off stage, like keynote speaker Molly Neuman, current head of Global Business Development at Songtrust and founding member of Riot Grrrl band Bratmobile. Or Hoodoo Gurus frontman and Australian Music Prize Chairperson, David Faulkner. Or Adalita. Or Stella Donnelly. Or Andy Mak.
The emphasis of artists being involved in these otherwise stiff-sounding business conversations is one that we found Indie-Con really attempted to champion; inviting attendees and particularly, the artists who’d come along, to voice their own stories and share opinions while using the open floor to learn more themselves.
“We have one of the strongest most vibrant indie sectors in the world,” Programmer Stu Watters said early on. “Gatherings like Indie-Con are designed to help make our sector and the industry more broadly a better place to do business, putting our artists at the centre of the conversation.”
In amongst the action of Indie-Con was the 2018 AIR Awards, which was a fitting inclusion here, celebrating the independent music sector and the artists and labels creating, producing and distributing music within it.
While some would be right in arguing the ‘status’ of some nominees not really reflecting their place in some of the categories (What classifies ‘independent’ these days?), when watching the likes of Alex The Astronaut, Caiti Baker and Stella Donnelly perform dynamic and impactful music on stage, it was evident that the Australian music community is currently home to some of the most powerful and unique voices who are thriving ahead on their own terms.
Indie-Con Australia took place at The Hindley in Adelaide on 26th and 27th July 2018. For more details about the event, head HERE.