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Archie Roach & Tina Arena Lead BIGSOUND 2017 Speaker Line-up

11 May 2017 | 10:00 am | Staff Writer

They'll be joined by a raft of experts from all corners of the music industry in Brisbane this September

The annual BIGSOUND Festival has promised that 2017 will be its biggest event to date in more ways than one, and its organisers continue to deliver on that promise with today's first line-up of guests, led by keynote speakers and local music legends Archie Roach and Tina Arena.

As is tradition, they'll be complemented by an array of Australian and international experts and tastemakers from all corners of the music industry, including multi award-nominated music supervisor Mary Ramos — responsible for the soundtracks of a pile of Quentin Tarantino films such as Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill Vol 2 and Jackie Brown, as well as Robert Rodriguez's seminal flick From Dusk Till Dawn — plus triple j mainstay Zan Rowe and newly minted music director Nick Findlay, a mini-keynote from Alison Wenham of the Worldwide Independent Music Industry Network (WIN) and Bandcamp chief curator Andrew Jervis.

That's not even beginning to tap into the list of international labels and agencies attending the festival after signing previous performers, including Peter Berard of Domino Recording Co (Middle Kids, US), Stuart Meyer of Sub Pop (Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, US), Isla Angus of ATC Live (The Goon Sax, UK) and Adel Hattem of D Music Marketing (Flume, South America).

Additionally, there will be appearances by personnel from the likes of 4AD Records, Trouble In Mind Records, Ninja Tune, Vevo, Collective Artists, Seventh Street Media, All My Friends, Festival Republic and tonnes more — and this is just the first announcement.

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"It is my honour to welcome our esteemed first keynote speakers to the line-up this year, Tina Arena and Archie Roach — two Australian icons who have contributed so much to our cultural identity over the past few decades," BIGSOUND programmer Maggie Collins said in a statement. "I know they have a lot to say, and I absolutely can't wait to hear it.

"I'm also so excited to finally reveal just a glimpse of the many exciting, hungry, and passionate people that are chomping at the bit to come out to BIGSOUND. They're gagging to discover their next favourite Australian band, and work with them around the world."

But it's not just the straight-up musical side of things getting love in 2017; complementing BIGSOUND's recently announced Visual Arts Showcase — exhibition entries are open till 30 June, by the way — is a fellow new initiative in the Music Tech Showcase, open to emerging Australian music-tech companies with products at the prototype stage.

If that's you, organisers have opened submissions at the BIGSOUND website, and are offering successful applicants a full day of mentoring in the lead-up to the festival plus the chance to market-test their product with the music industry. Only 10 prototypes will be selected for the showcase, and entries close 30 June.

"Technology is arguably the biggest influence over today's music industry, so it's fitting that BIGSOUND becomes more inclusive of the tech sector," QMusic executive officer Joel Edmondson said in a statement.

"The new Music Tech Showcase is something we hope establishes itself over time as being as valuable to the tech sector as BIGSOUND's artist performance opportunities are for emerging musical talent."

Plus, the $100,000 Levi's Music Prize — which is open to this year's performers as well as alumni from the past five years — is still taking applications and will be until Monday 22 May, so if you're an eligible artist and keen to get your hands on some sweet, helpful cash, find out more here.

The 16th BIGSOUND Festival returns to Brisbane's Fortitude Valley precinct from 5-8 September; see the website for more information.

BIGSOUND 2017 — First Industry Speakers/Buyers Line-up

Archie Roach (Aus) — Keynote
Tina Arena (Aus) — Keynote
Adel Hattem — D Music Marketing (Brazil)
Alison Wenham — Worldwide Independent Network (UK)
Andrew Jervis — Bandcamp (US)
Ash Kerley — Girls Rock! (Aus)
Bill Roe — Trouble In Mind Records (US)
Bob Van Heur — Le Guess Who? Festival/Belmont Bookings (NL)
Eva Trifonas — Ninja Tune (Aus)
Isla Angus — ATC Live (UK)
Ivy Yuen — Magnetic Asia Limited (Hong Kong)
James Clarke — Aeroplane Agency (Aus)
James Moodie — Vevo (UK)
Jane Abernathy — 4AD Records (US)
Jenn Yacoubian — Goldenvoice (US)
Lucy Wood — Festival Republic (UK)
Mary Ramos — Saturday Music Inc. (US)
Mazin Tappuni — Communion Music (UK)
Mel Brown — Impressive PR (UK)
Melissa Woods — Third Side Music (US)
Mike Ajayi — All My Friends (UK)
Nick Findlay — triple j (Aus)
Paul Adams — New Community Management/Roc Nation (US)
Peter Berard — Domino Recording Co. Ltd. (US)
Poppy Reid — Seventh Street Media (Aus)
Rebecca Young — Collective Artists (Aus)
Ric Leichtung — AdHoc (US)
Roy Amar — Bear Parts Music (Aus)
Stuart Meyer — Sub Pop (US)
Sullivan Patten — Sullivan (Aus)
Sylvie Piccolotto — Rock City (Argentina)
Zan Rowe — triple j (Aus)