Bigsound 2022: #MeToo Founder Tarana Burke, Viral Star Rebecca Black to Deliver Keynotes
Tarana Burke, the activist, author and founder of the #MeToo movement, and Rebecca Black, the “Friday” viral star, are among the international speakers confirmed to the 2022 edition of Bigsound.
Announced Tuesday (June 14), Burke will take the stage to “raise the important issues that impact the music industry” and to spark conversations “which continue to require the spotlight to be shone on them,” reads a statement from organisers.
It was Burke who founded #metoo in 2006, a social movement against sexual abuse, sexual harassment, and rape culture. The wave crashed thanks to her work and in 2017, she was one of the “silence breakers” named to TIME’s Person of The Year.
U.S. pop identify Black will also speak at Bigsound to explore her “tumultuous and life changing career,” reads a Bigsound statement, one that went global the moment her “Friday” music video hit YouTube back in 2011.
Black gave the middle figure to haters, reinvented herself and recently presented her new music project to the industry at Brighton’s The Great Escape showcase event.
Following the release of Rebecca Black Was Here, which enjoyed a four-star review from the NME, she’s prepping for the release her debut album.
Also confirmed to the keynote lineup are Mushroom Group CEO Matt Gudinski, independent artist and advocate for change Jaguar Jonze (Deena Lynch), and Brisbane-based U.K. electronic artist Example (Elliot Gleave).
Speakers include ARIA CEO Annabelle Herd, Chugg Music director Andrew Stone and Heidi Lenffer of green FEAT. (Future Energy Artists) and AMP-winning act Cloud Control.
After skipping the 2021 edition due to the pandemic, Bigsound promises to go extra-large with 150-plus bands performing across 21 venues over three nights.
A record number of artist showcase applications were received for this year’s 21st event, which will run Sept. 6-9 in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley.
Also announced is the return of First Nations House, a space for supporting, promoting and celebrating First Nations music, and for creators to gather and share their art.
First Nations House is guided by “Elder in Residence” Uncle Kev Starkey, musician and Founder of Darkwood Studio RLS, and forms part of a commitment to First Nations programming, which will be threaded throughout Bigsound.
The daytime programme “represents the long-awaited opportunity for us to reconnect, engage and celebrate each other and the global music community we are a vital part of,” comments conference programmer Tom Larkin.
“Our first announcement highlights our keynote speakers and the insights and stories they offer that point the way to a richer, more vibrant industry.”
Also threaded into the conference and showcase event this year will be country music.
Fanny Lumsden is the inaugural ambassador for Bigsound Country, which will flow through this year’s show in the form of parties, gigs, dedicated panels and a special performance featuring some of Australia’s finest country music artists.
As previously reported, QMusic, producer of the annual industry gathering, expects 16,000 festival attendees to rock up, including 1,500 delegates for the in-person, daytime conference.
This year, adds Larkin, “we want to reflect the massive changes and innovation we have seen over the past two years and also pack the program full of advocates for new Australian music, the champions who actually sign artists and want to elevate their careers on a global level.”
Bigsound 2022 speakers:
Tarana Burke – Author / Speaker (US) – KEYNOTE*
Rebecca Black – Artist (US) – KEYNOTE
Matt Gudinski – Mushroom Group – KEYNOTE
Jaguar Jonze – Artist – KEYNOTE
EXAMPLE – Artist / Producer – KEYNOTE
Annabelle Herd – ARIA
Andrew Stone – Chugg Music
Casey O’Shaughnessy – Select Music
Eric Tobin – Hopeless Records (USA)
Heidi Lenffer – FEAT. / Cloud Control
Jake Taylor – In Hearts Wake
Jess Keeley – Music, She Wrote
Joan Westerberg – Moda Dao / Pizza Party
Johann Ponniah – I OH YOU
John Mullen – Dew Process
Josh Taylor Anderson – Call & Response
Kate Duncan – The PUSH Inc
Rebecca Young – Collective Artists
Regan Lethbridge – Lemon Tree
Sarah Joy – ATC LIVE (UK)
Shaun Faulkner – X Ray Touring (UK)
Tom Taaffe – Paradigm (UK)
Will Church – ATC LIVE (UK)
*Live Digital Keynote