News June 24, 2021

#MeToo founder Tarana Burke & Henry Rollins to keynote BIGSOUND 2021

#MeToo founder Tarana Burke & Henry Rollins to keynote BIGSOUND 2021

BIGSOUND has announced the first two speakers for its upcoming event in September.

The music industry conference will feature a keynote address from #MeToo movement founder Tarana Burke.

Punk rock icon Henry Rollins (Black Flag) is also slated to deliver an address.

Both panelists will present their keynotes via live stream from the USA, with guests having the opportunity to ask them questions about issues facing the industry.

Burke was named TIME Magazine’s Person of the Year in 2017 and has recently released a book alongside Brené Brown, You Are Your Best Thing: Vulnerability, Shame Resilience, and the Black Experience. She will use her speech to offer an insight into the #MeToo movement and share her perspective on racial justice and sexual violence.

“I’m looking forward to sharing my story at BIGSOUND in what has been a 25-year journey laying the groundwork for a movement that amplifies the voices of millions of survivors and addresses issues of respect, dignity, and power dynamics in schools, workplaces, communities, and politics,” Burke said today.

BIGSOUND 2021 will also introduce a new First Nations-led initiative named Little BLAKSOUND, presented by Indigenous youth arts organisation Digi Youth Arts and BIGSOUND organisers QMusic on Monday, September 6.

The program will see co-curators Sycco, Jem Cassar-Daley, DOBBY, and Loki Liddle team up with BIGSOUND First Nations programmer and producer Alethea Beetson to spotlight and celebrate emerging and current First Nations artists and industry professionals.

Beetson said Little BLAKSOUND will provide a much-needed space for Indigenous creatives to share their vision of the future, connect and demand change within the music industry.

“Indigenous young people are so incredibly important as they are the youngest generation of the oldest surviving cultures in the world,” Beetson added.

QMusic CEO Kris Stewart said that this year’s BIGSOUND would serve to unite Australia’s music industry after the turbulence of the past 18 months.

“This year, we have the incredible chance to reconnect, recharge and experience the magic of discovering new music with one another again – friends, colleagues, and music-obsessed strangers – who, for too long, have been separated by geographical borders,” Stewart said.

“It’s an absolute honour to have the calibre of talent in Tarana Burke and Henry Rollins to bring their powerful insight to BIGSOUND for what will be an important piece of the puzzle as the industry grapples with the big issues to progress real, positive change.”

Other personalities to be involved in this year’s BIGSOUND include conference programmer Tom Larkin, festival programmers Ruby-Jean McCabe and Dom Miller, conference programming advisor Sosefina Fuamoli and accessibility consultant Dina Bassile.

BIGSOUND 2021 will also instigate a strict patron Code of Conduct and Safety Response Team for this year’s event, which arrives in the wake of a report from The Industry Observer that shed light on the alleged rape of an artist at a previous BIGSOUND conference.

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