Twelve months ago, my friend Dave Carter came to me with a concept called UnConvention, which originated in the UK a couple of years ago. He described it thus:
UnConvention celebrates music. It’s purpose is to provide a forum for those of us who work at the grassroots. For artists and musicians that want to understand how to get their music heard and how to practice their craft. For labels who want to champion this music and to spread the word. For people who want to work with music whether they be promoters, publicists or creatives.
UnConvention understands that the most interesting stuff happens on the margins. We don’t mind the mainstream. We just don’t find it relevant.
UnConvention is a forum for ideas, for creativity, for shared experiences and knowledge and for seeing and hearing great artists.
UnConvention doesn’t believe in ‘do it yourself’. We believe in ‘do it together’.
Dave is a lecturer at the Queensland Conservatorium in music technology, and an acclaimed researcher (check out his online marketing research paper here, which was presented at last year’s Big Sound music conference). So I said: sure, let’s make this happen here in Brisbane.
We asked Brett Wood – managing director of local indie label Starving Kids Records – if he wanted to get on board; he said the same thing. And as we set a date and found a venue and ironed out who we wanted to be involved, Maggie Collins – triple j radio presenter and manager of Brisbane bands DZ, The John Steel Singers, and Skinny Jean – approached us with enthusiasm. So we said: sure, you’re welcome to join us.
Next weekend, 12-13 June 2010, the first UnConvention Brisbane will take place at The Edge, the State Library of Queensland’s digital culture hub. As the venue is in the heart of the city’s arts precinct, it’s the perfect location. There’s a poster to the right which describes what will take place: click for a closer look. Some information from the event website is below.
UnConvention Brisbane is a grassroots-led music conference for independent promoters, labels, entrepreneurs, writers, technologists, innovators and artists. The goal of UnConvention Brisbane is to bring together like-minded individuals to discuss the future of independent music and how it will develop and flourish in the technological age. The weekend event will comprise panel discussions and networking events focussed around creating sustainable careers within the music industry.
Access to both days costs $20, and tickets are available via OzTix.
On the Sunday, I’m presenting the music & media panel discussion, which features the following lovely people.
Sunday June 13, 2010, 1pm – Music and Media
Music journalist and blogger Andrew McMillen will discuss the opportunities for mixing a passion for music with blogging, journalism, radio, marketing, publicity and other shady practices with:
- Paul Curtis (Founder, Valve Records / manager, Regurgitator, I Heart Hiroshima)
- Sophie Benjamin (Journalist and music blogger, whothehell.net)
- Crystle Fleper (Editor, FasterLouder QLD)
- Christopher Harms (Editor, Rave Magazine)
- Steve Bell (Editor, Time Off)
- Michelle Brown (Sponsorship & Promotions Manager, 4ZzZ community radio)
- Matt Rabbidge (Partner, Lick It Media)
- Graham Ashton (Executive Programmer of Big Sound and founder of Footstomp Music Services)
- Chris Johnson (Manager, Australian Music Radio Airplay Project [AMRAP])
Check out the full program details here.
We’re also proud to be presenting a free, all-ages showcase of some of Brisbane’s best independent acts on the Saturday night, which is sponsored by creative media educational institution, SAE.
The showcase will feature:
It’s a pleasure to be involved with an event that seeks to investigate how to sustain careers within Brisbane’s independent music industry. It’s important than ever to have these conversations. After spending a couple of years working in and around the local scene, I’m glad to be in a position to give something back.
Follow UnConvention Brisbane on Facebook or Twitter if you’re so inclined. The weekend Facebook event is here, and the free, all-ages showcase event is here; keep an eye on the website to see how it all unfolds.