News May 10, 2018

First keynote speakers revealed for 2018 BIGSOUND, three forums also announced

Former Assistant Editor
First keynote speakers revealed for 2018 BIGSOUND, three forums also announced

Australia’s most prolific music industry festival and conference, BIGSOUND, have today unveiled their first round of speakers for the 2018 event, taking place on 4-7 September in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley.

Major label exec turned indie company CEO Mardi Caught, and the mother of rock’n’roll, Virginia Grohl (yes, Dave Grohl’s mum) have been announced as the first two keynote speakers.

BIGSOUND programmer Maggie Collins says: “In following with the times, this year BIGSOUND is putting content front and centre as the core element of the conference.

“Our motivation in building this year’s program is to create the neutral ground on which our industry can progress in a uniting, nurturing and welcoming way. Our two first keynote speakers encompass this idea perfectly.”

As one of Australia’s most respected label executives when she was general manager at Warner; now launching her own independent marketing service The Annex, Mardi Caught will explore the current challenges facing Australia’s music industry, from the new music economy and entrepreneurship to gender equality.

Virginia Grohl, mother of Foo Fighters’ frontman Dave Grohl, will share the wisdom she gained from her experiences, as well as from interviews with the mothers of Michael Stipe, Adam Levine, Amy Winehouse, Miranda Lambert, Kelly Clarkson and Dr Dre, to pen her book From Cradle To Stage.

Grohl’s speech will look at the role of parents in nurturing future industry leaders, and share the ups and downs of juggling the rollercoaster of their children’s lives.

The announcements continue, with the first three forums also revealed, each in-keeping with the participation-first theme. Delegates are encouraged to be hands-on in the unpacking of important issues facing our industry throughout the BIGSOUND conference and participate in debate, discussion and dedication to real change and progress. 

‘The New Music Business’ will be an opportunity for delegates to brainstorm and debate brand new ideas and ways of challenging the status quo and shaking up the old school ways of thinking in our diverse and evolving music industry.

The second forum asks “what would the current music industry look like if it was invented by our First Nations people?” The session aims to move the conversation away from ‘integration’ into the current framework, and instead create a community-focused approach to listening, learning and growing from Indigenous perspectives that will stimulate innovation and change.

Lastly, ‘Changing Music Industry Behavior’ will approach change from a psychological standpoint, examining the complex ups and downs of cultural shifts and discuss ways for the music industry to sustain momentum.

BIGSOUND has also welcomed its first range of influencers and buys from around the world, including Paradigm Talent Agency (USA), Line of Best Fit (UK), C3 Management (USA), Universal Canada, Maybe Mars (China), CIE (Mexico), DFSB (Korea), X-Ray Touring (UK), Domino (USA), Vinyl Me Please (USA) and many more.

As previously reported, BIGSOUND announced a raft of format changes for this year’s event, and announced Alethea Beetson in the inaugural role of First Nations producer.

Stay tuned in the coming weeks for more BIGSOUND news!

BIGSOUND artist applications are open now at, and have been extended with a new closing date of May 17. Tickets on sale from $370.

Related articles