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News August 26, 2022

UNIFIED, Lonely Lands Showcase at Bigsound 2022 Is Three Years In the Making

Senior Journalist, B2B
UNIFIED, Lonely Lands Showcase at Bigsound 2022 Is Three Years In the Making
Image: Photo by Ming Nomchong

When the industry migrates to Brisbane next month for Bigsound, UNIFIED will be holding nothing back.

The Melbourne-based independent music power plant will be in force at this year’s edition, with a pack of executives, managers and artists making the trip.

“We’re always looking for new talent,” explains Ash Hills, recently promoted to general manager for UNIFIED’s artist management activities in ANZ. “Bigsound is one of the prime opportunities to witness it.”

Three years have passed since the industry last made its pilgrimage to the Fortitude Valley, a blight we can blame on COVID-19.

For its coming-out party, UNIFIED and its affiliated booking agency Lonely Lands will host a special showcase, headlined by Budjerah, the inaugural Michael Gudinski breakthrough artist winner at the ARIAs, and reigning APRA Award champ for most performed R&B/soul.

Also tapped for the showcase starting five — Teen Jesus and the Jean Teasers, The Rions, The Terrys, and Little Green.

“It’s another opportunity for our artists to play in front of a wider industry,” comments Hills, who manages Teen Jesus and will be on the ground at Bigsound.

“There are so many events and showcases on over those days, it’s a chance for us to put them in front of a new audience and for them to showcase what we’ve been working on and building for the last three years.”

Set for Thursday, Sept. 8 at The Prince Consort, it’s just the second UNIFIED/Lonely Lands’ BIGSOUND showcase, following the inaugural edition in 2019.

Led by group CEO Jaddan Comerford, a confirmed speaker at Bigsound 2022, Unified continued to expand and explore new ventures when the pandemic stopped all the fun. On the management side, Unified has swollen to 18 managers across its Australia and North America activities.

Hills and several colleagues were promoted in recent weeks as the business restructured for growth.

“We’re pretty unique in Australia, there aren’t many large management companies,” Hills tells TMN. “We’ve welcomed a lot of new team members this year as well.”

Ash Hills

Ash Hills

And will Hills and Co. scout potential additions to its management team? “100 percent,” she says.

Bigsound is set for its biggest-ever festival and showcase program, organisers say. This year’s 21st edition show attracted over 1,300 artist applications, with programmers boiling down that longlist to the 182. That’s 38 up from the last in-person gathering.

Hills is amped to show-off what the team has got. “It’s cementing all the growth and all hard work we’ve put in the last couple of years and now we can finally start to see some of it come to life.”

Spread over the four days and three nights of Sept. 6-9, Bigsound will play out across 21 venues in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley.

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.

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