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Some 2015 FTM panel action
Some 2015 Face The Music panel action

This time next week, the annual Melbourne music industry talk-fest Face The Music (November 17-18) and Melbourne Music Week will be well and truly under way. As the event publicity tells us, “Whether you’re a label honcho, a media hack, a misunderstood artist or just an enthusiastic punter, Face the Music is taking all the flavours of the industry and putting them in a doggy bag for you to take home.” This year Face The Music has left the confines of the Arts Centre to set up camp at the State Library/RMIT precinct. It’s quite apt that such a great learning opportunity will be conducted at these highly regarded educational facilities. One look at the 2016 Face The Music program will tell you that there is much to see, hear and do and many sessions will occur at the same time, therefore a degree of planning is recommended. We suggest you have a scan of the event floorplan too when you get there, in order to familiarise yourself with the new surroundings. Here’s just 10 events we plucked from the program (in no particular order) which you might not want to miss.

Let’s begin with the obvious, the headliner. Zola Jesus … Nika Roza Danilova to her parents or even Nicole Hummel to her Wisconsin school mates. The Phoenix-born, Seattle -based American singer songwriter who, “crafts a shape-shifting mix of cinematic synth pop and darkly anthemic balladry, dominated by her operatic vocals,” is also known for her articulate and considered answers in interviews. Her thirst for knowledge and musical adventure should make for a compelling session in her keynote conversation with RRR’s Sara Savage.
10am Thursday 17 November. Queens Hall

Respected music journo Chris Johnston hosts a session with three talented female Australian songwriters, each at a different stage in their career development. Alex Lahey, Ainslie Wills and Nai Palm (Hiatus Kaiyote) will chat about their influences, their songwriting process and will also perform for you at Experimedia on Thursday November 17 from 11.30am-12.30pm

What’s the point of attending a music conference if you don’t get to experience some new music. Join Jawn, Stopgap and Jaala from midday on Thursday November 17 at the event forecourtNico Ghost and Good Morning offer your Friday November 18 lunchtime entertainment. The event is in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD, so there is no shortage of food options. Rock with your roti or shimmy with sushi but don’t miss this fine array of new talent.

Once upon a time when rock magazines were all printed on paper and those who wrote for them seemed to know what they were talking about, to a large degree we trusted their opinions. In the internet age, of course everyone has an opinion on everything, so it’s no surprise that a large number of tastemakers have emerged out of their bedrooms and onto YouTube. Does it matter what your genuine major rock magazine staffer thinks anymore? Well come along to the ‘Everyone’s a Critic: The Relevance of Music Criticism’ session and judge for yourself. Speakers include; Jake Cleland, Mikey Cahill, Brodie Lancaster, Shaad D’Souza and Uppy Chatterjee. It’s on Friday November 18 at 2.35 at the Lecture Theatre RMIT.

Speaking about the relevance of music critics, here’s one of the new breed. American internet identity Anthony Fantano has built a large, global following on his YouTube channel ‘The Needle Drop’, for his in-depth, informative, no-holds-barred music reviews. In a live multimedia presentation, Anthony is sure to stir the pot in his Keynote session on Friday November 18 at 1.15pm in Queens Hall.

‘Going Global: Music Business Beyond Australia’ will be a great session for those artists considering taking their music to the world. There are ways and means to take your music overseas. Touring internationally and having your music distributed outside of Australia doesn’t necessarily mean huge bucks and big record companies, as these notable spokespersons will tell you. Featuring Johann Ponniah (I Oh You), Leigh Treweek (Alex Lahey), Taylor Brode (Sacred Bones USA), Si Jay Gould (Wondercore Island) and Emma Barnes (Emma Barnes Management), the session will be held on Thursday November 17 at 2.35pm in Queens Hall.

The guys from acclaimed Australian act Peking Duk, with their posse of managers and agents open a tour bus full of anecdotes and ideas in their session, ‘Peking Duk: ‘Australiana’ – A Tour Under The Microscope’. It’s a case-study of Peking Duk’s 2016 Australiana tour featuring members of the band and their support team including manager, agent, production manager, sound director and visual director. Friday November 18 at 2.35pm, Queens Hall.

Ok, quite possibly the most boring subject in music but perhaps also the most important. In this workshop senior music finance professionals will give a step-by-step presentation on how to budget for tours, track income and costs, and plan for better outcomes. All participants will take home templates of their in-house designed tour budget, accounting tools to simplify processes and tips on how to use them to full effect. You need to register for this one as spaces are limited. Hosted by White Sky’s Tom Harris, it happens on Thursday November 17 at 2.35pm at the Conference Centre.

This is a macho-free session for young girls and gender diverse folks to network your socks off with some of Melbourne’s most respected female music industry identities. Meet mentors and gain invaluable career advice, inspiration and contacts with women leading the way in the music industry including artists, venue bookers and label managers. Each participant will meet with 3 mentors for 10 minutes, round robin style. This is another event which requires registration. It occurs Friday November 18 at 12.40pm in the Red Rotunda.

Say what you want about the amazing networking opportunities available at this year’s Face The Music conference, the drinks session on Friday afternoon at Sol-Lux is where you really need to be. This is the music industry in its element … drinks, food, music and chat. Here’s your opportunity to ‘accidentally’ bump into the person you’ve been trying to reach for two days. Everyone is winding down from hours and hours of structured discussion, here’s your chance to chat casually with possibly some of the most important people you might ever meet. It only takes one or two vital pieces of information or the meeting of one crucial person to make your whole Face The Music experience worthwhile. Friday November 18 RMIT from 4pm


Face The Music Website:
Face The Music tickets can be purchased here:
Full Conference Pass: $120.00
Student / Concession Full Conference Pass: $96.00 (Student and Concession Pass holders will need to provide ID on collection.)
Day Pass: $80.00
Members of Music Victoria, APRA AMCOS , AAM, The Push and FReeZA are eligible for a 10% discount off a full conference pass. Please contact member services at your relevant organisation for your discount code!

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