Must-See Panels At This Year’s WAM Festival

5 November 2015 | 5:44 pm | Staff Writer

Brought to you by the masterminds behind the event.

Few WA music events rival that of the WAM Festival, and its new four-day format kicks off tonight with the awards ceremony before unleashing a wealth of industry speakers and bands loose on Perth venues.

With so many top-notch guests flying in and many homegrown legends providing their expertise, it can be hard to navigate which panels and speakers to pen into your schedule, that’s why the fine folks over at WAM have put together their picks from this year’s run for us.



Now clearly as I am on this panel it may seem that this is a bit of a self-spruiking exercise; rather I list this session despite my involvement. The health of live music is not just a local issue, it is a global problem that needs all of our attention. Just like how Australia rode on the sheep’s back in the 1950s, the health and wellbeing of music and musicians in many ways rides on live music’s back. Come and see two highly qualified and articulate panelists (Joe Algeri and John Wardle), the good Doctor (Christina Ballico) and me; not solve the issue but certainly discuss what is being done/needs to be done to make things better.

Don't miss a beat with our FREE daily newsletter

Session: Friday 2.25pm – 3.15pm @ Rehearsal Room 2


Ah, come back my misspent youth. Days spent traipsing through mud and blood and guts…, hang on that’s granddad’s WWI experience. However some mud and blood were probably involved, but mostly paddocks, crowds and music memories I still hold dear to this day. Festivals were an important rite of passage for more than one generation and to an extent they are still with us but the evolution of festivals is significant. Lead by the hirsute Damian Cunningham, David Chitty, Phaedra Watts, Coel Healy, Harley Evans and Archie Hamilton pretty much cover off anything and everything festival related. Festivals are still important and I for one want to know where to next for them.

Session: Friday 11.20pm – 12.20pm @ Rehearsal Room 2


Of course were this called Complete Control rather than Total Control I could quote The Clash and be pretty cool; but I have nothing to offer other than that I thought Martha Davis from the Motels was damn hot when i was a mere kid. Larry Heath will have his hands full with Archie Hamilton, Rosco Stewart and Justin Sweeting with their lengthy experience both in putting on events and then having to fight the government and their representatives from stopping those events going ahead. Rules and regulations are there to protect us…, but from whom, what and why? This will be fascinating and informative.

Session: Saturday 12.15pm – 1.00pm @ Rehearsal Room 2

JESSICA THOMAS — WA Business Manager


Revenue from streaming hit the $1 billion dollar mark in the first half this year, and the music consumer is suddenly in control with immediate, on-demand delivery from massive libraries. Being heard will depend upon a sound digital strategy, centering on socials. My picks to make sure streaming revenue is part of any musician’s income are:

Sessions: Keep On Streaming, Friday 3:30pm; Get Smart On Socials, Saturday 11am


Income diversity and good management help to ensure longevity and sustainability in any business, and music is no different. That’s why these two sessions are a must for anyone looking to build a business in this industry.

Sessions:  Syncing And Publishing 101, Friday 2:25pm Friday; The Biz – Starting A Successful Music Business , Friday 1.10pm

GREG SANDERS — WAM Festival Coordinator

Fred Pessaro

Our keynote presentation this year comes all the way from NYC! Heard of Vice? Well Fred is the music editor. He also writes for a few small time blogs you might have heard of, like Brooklyn Vegan. So yeah, he’s kind of a big deal! Tastemaker, I believe, is the term. I’m really looking forward to hearing his keynote address, which will no doubt contain heaps of fascinating insights into the world of blog culture and hipster music journalism, from someone who steers the ship!

Speaking: Keynote Address, Friday 10am @ State Theatre Studio Underground

Simon Winkler

It’s easy to get swept up in triple j culture on this side of the country, and a common mistake a lot of bands make is to overlook how important community airplay on a national scale is in order for your band to “break”. Meet Simon Winkler, Music Director for RRR in Melbourne, hands down one of the country’s best community stations. Simon’s hear to listen to your recordings and watch you play, definitely a great contact to make before your next east coast tour.

Speaking: All The Things Panel, Saturday 2.45pm @ State Theatre Studio Underground

Edwin Tehrani

Edwin is one of the senior agents at New World Artists, which makes him one of the most respected booking agents in the country. And guess what? NWA are not shy about signing WA artists, with their current roster boasting the likes of Tired Lion and The Love Junkies, to name but a few! It’s not all about getting deals with these guys though, they are often the people you pitch your band to about playing supports and getting on tours. So don’t be shy, get in touch and let him know all about what your band is up to and when you’re playing.

Speaking: Showcase Me Panel, Friday 1.10pm @ State Theatre Rehearsal Room 2

For tickets and more info on WAM Festival see their official website.