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News April 24, 2023

Bigsound 2023 Announces First Round of Speakers

Bigsound 2023 Announces First Round of Speakers

The Bigsound 2023 daytime programme is taking shape.

Announced Monday (April 24), senior reps from Roc Nation, Netflix, Paramount, Soundcloud and Interscope will speak at this year’s industry gathering, set for this September in Brisbane.

Heading the speakers line-up is Omar Grant, co-president of Jay-Z’s Roc Nation and former road manager for Destiny’s Child.

Over time, he has worked with the likes of Rihanna, Big Sean, Shakira and Belly, and managed songwriters and producers, including No I.D., who has produced songs for Kanye West and Jay-Z.

“Australia is at an exciting place right now musically and I can’t wait to head down under to discover some great new artists,” comments Grant in a statement.

“Some of the most innovative artistry in the world comes from Australia and in an industry that’s often so caught up online these days, getting in a room with passionate music people and discovering real talent performing live is a true privilege.”

Hazel Savage

Hazel Savage

Also confirmed: Michele Ronzon, A&R coordinator for Interscope / Geffen / A&M Records; Hazel Savage, the Australia-born London-based spearhead for AI business Musiio and now VP of music intelligence at Soundcloud; Flighthouse CEO Ash Stahl; The Orchard co-founder and JKBX chief Scott Cohen; Netflix manager, soundtracks, strategy & operations Andy Kalyvas; Paramount Television Studios vice president of music Vanessa Palmer; Downtown Music Publishing’s director of sync and A&R Cabrea Casey and more.

“We approached this year’s Bigsound with a singular vision : deals mean meals,” comments programmer Tom Larkin. “Every person we are bringing to Australia can further an artist’s career immeasurably.”

All told, more than 100 international and national buyers, agents, music supervisors, bookers and “industry decision makers” will participate in this year’s event, further details of which will be announced in due course.

The daytime and evening showcase events will once again take place across the Fortitude Valley’s entertainment precinct, from Sept. 5 – 8.

Produced by QMusic, Bigsound recently scored a leg up from state government to the tune of $3.8 million over a four-year span.

The investment was made during the 2023 Queensland Music Awards, and should put to rest any concerns from the domestic industry that the incoming SWSX Sydney conference and showcase event could overshadow the established Brisbane powwow.

The recently announced increase in funding from the Palaszczuk Government will “further boost Bigsound’s global reputation and programming to include the best talent and industry leaders from around the world, showcasing the incredible First Nations arts and established and emerging artists that Queensland has to offer,” comments Qld Minister for the Arts, Leeanne Enoch.

The support for QMusic through Arts Queensland is of the government’s commitment “to the state’s live music industry and strengthening our offering in the lead-up to the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games,” Enoch adds.

With government tipping in nearly $1 million each year, a separate announcement on Bigsound’s “Artist Support Package,” which enables showcasing acts to apply for funds to assist with transportation and accommodation costs associated with their trip.

An additional pool of $30,000 will be accessible via application by First Nations-identified artists, artists living with disability and artists from regional and remote areas for travel to showcase at the international event. 

Bigsound also announces a dedicated “Artist Green Room,” a chill zone which should allow performers some downtime during the frantic industry fest.

Artist applications for Bigsound 2023 are open at bigsound.org.au/music-festival/apply.

Read more here

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