It's now in its eighth year and Face The Music's Conference Director Peter Chellew shares, "It's really like the people's conference for us." Responding to feedback from last year's music industry conference, Chellew noticed attendees "want more structured networking". "So we're putting a couple of early morning networking sessions in before the conference starts," he continues. These sessions will take place across the road from Arts Centre at MPavilion and he enthuses, "This year the architecture at MPavilion's gonna be amazing. They've got these glass lilypads that you're underneath and it's a real kinda indoor-outdoor vibe... I think Alex [Gow] from Oh Mercy's doing one of the slots and DD Dumbo's doing the other slot, which will be great."
Chellew praises Sounds Australia, Australia's contemporary music export agency, because they're "internationally recognised for creating great opportunities for Australian managers and bands". This year Sounds Of Australia will be present at Face The Music "to run a practical workshop on stage with bands and equipment, backline and instruments". Chellew elaborates: "They're gonna talk to people about: 'When you're showcasing at international markets, you've gotta get on stage and off stage very quickly. You need to be able to get your sound set. Here are a few hints as to how to set the stage up so you can get on and off without too much hassle.' Sometimes they've got five minutes to get their gear on, tune up and be ready to belt it out and so there are special little techniques that Sounds Australia are gonna tell us about ways to set your gear up and have it pre-ready to go."
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One Of One, an online community developed to celebrate the achievements of women in the Australian music industry largely came out of last year's Hens In The Cockhouse panel, which returns with an extended snappy title in 2015. "This year we're looking at practical initiatives that really help those younger women coming into the industry get support and get help and mentoring," Chellew details. He then confirms Anna Laverty as one of this year's panellists. "There aren't a lot of high profile women working in the production industry and that's just a crying shame, and why is that?" He continues, "[Laverty's] really passionate about supporting other women into that recording studio space and so she'll be on the panel."
"Another one I wanna tell you about, which I think's really exciting, is that we're bringing together all the triple j decision makers from all their key channels in the programming area — so across triple j, Double J, Unearthed and ABC local radio — with a panel talking about the behind-the-scenes processes," Chellew enthuses. Panellists will include Dave Ruby Howe (Music Director, triple j Unearthed), Nicole Cheek (Senior Producer, triple j Unearthed), Dorothy Markek (Music Director, Double J), Lochlan Watt (triple j's The Racket) and Josh Merriel (triple j's SHORT.FAST.LOUD.). We'll learn about their "decisions about playlisting" and "placement of interviews", and Chellew anticipates "a real practical, 'This is how we do it and here's our strategy for supporting Australian music'" session.
Wanna get in these people's faces to spruik your wares afterwards? Well you're in luck. After this panel these aforementioned triple j and Double J peeps will then be available for one-on-one meetings so artists and managers can "pitch their music", Chellew reveals. "On the website we'll have a link where you can click through and apply for a session. It's a competitive process, obviously, and there are only gonna be limited spots but, yeah! We'll try to open it up as much as we can. I mean, we've gotta think about what they're looking for: they're looking for great music, aren't they? And there's a lot of great music in Melbourne, so..." Be sure to make a note that applications for these sessions close on 28 Oct.