#2: Jessica Ducrou & Paul Piticco - Secret Sounds, CEOs
Jessica Ducrou was taking a break from her accounts job at Rolling Stone magazine in Sydney when she met Paul Piticco in a Byron Bay pub. Piticco was managing an emerging band called Powderfinger at the time – he gave her a demo and the pair kept in touch. When Piticco eventually travelled with the band to Sydney, Ducrou was booking Lansdowne Hotel and soon became Powderfinger's booking agent. In 1996 Ducrou founded Homebake festival in partnership with International Music Concepts (IMC), and then established domestic booking agency Village Sounds in 1999 before co-founding Splendour In The Grass with Piticco in 2001.
In the late '90s, Piticco formed Secret Service Artist Management, then launched independent record label Dew Process (2002) before launching Dew Process Publishing (2008). In 2012, Piticco launched another record label, Create/Control. That same year it was announced that he would become co-promoter, alongside Ducrou, of Falls Festival. All of the pair's respective companies united under the Secret Sounds banner in 2016.
THE YEAR THAT WAS
Secret Sounds is probably recognisable to most as the team behind Splendour In The Grass, Spin Off Adelaide, Falls and Download festivals. Splendour In The Grass took home the NSW Tourism Award (Gold) in the Major Festivals & Events category in 2018, with the annual Byron Bay festival selling out less than half an hour after going on sale. Secret Sounds Touring presented some massive 2018 tours by artists such as Lana Del Rey, George Ezra, Halsey, Bloc Party, Vance Joy and G Flip. Another Secret Sounds Touring highlight was the War Child benefit featuring The Wombats, which took place at Oxford Art Factory as part of ARIA Week, with a limited amount of double passes available through a prize draw for those who made a $10 donation to the child protection charity. Secret Sounds Connect, the company's sponsorship division, once again successfully created a diverse range of brand-led consumer experiences in 2018, with clients including Visa, The Iconic, Rimmel, Jack Daniels and Carlton United Breweries.
Just one of the stars on the Dew Process label, Mallrat's Gold-certified Groceries single came in at #7 on the 2018 Hottest 100.
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Piticco was also kept busy launching the new 3,300-capacity Brisbane music venue, Fortitude Music Hall, which he backed together with Powderfinger bassist John Collins and Scott Hutchinson (Hutchinson Builders), that is due to open mid 2019.
And Ducrou, as one of five founding board members who joined forces to launch the groundbreaking Australian Festival Association (AFA), was a key driver in assembling some of the Australian music industry's leading figures and festival promoters who have collectively committed to delivering safe and well run events.
2018'S CROWNING ACHIEVEMENT?
Ducrou: "It's fair to say this is a collective effort from the Secret Sounds team: they are integral and the reason we do so much good shit."