Last week was Bigsound Festival 2019! This means a whole week of the hottest up and coming bands, music industry events and workshops, parties and generally good vibes in sunny Brisbane.
As soon as the festival dates for this year were announced a few months back, September couldn’t come fast enough as far as I was concerned! And not just because it feels like Melbourne winter will never end.
For those who couldn’t make it this year, here’s the low down! Watch the video below to get a sense of the week (although there were way more workshops and actual talks I went to then were shown because it wasn’t appropriate to film at most of them and I was busy taking notes).
Please excuse my dodgy editing, it’s been a long time since I did YouTube!
Recap of Key Activities
NOTE: I’ve left links to all the bands that played below. If you’re a band looking to play at BigSound next year, I highly recommend you check out this year’s selection to see the types of achievements and following they have.
Day 1: Tuesday 3 September
- Networking at the Media Hub – Caught up with old and new friends who work in media and PR
- Check into Airbnb with Byron from Behind The Scene music blog
8.00pm – Scabz (Crowbar Black)
8.10pm – Being Jane Lane (Crowbar Main)
9.00pm – Freedom of Fear (Crowbar Main)
9.50pm – Reliqa (Crowbar Main)
10.50pm – Redhook (Woolly Mammoth)
Day 2: Wednesday 4 September
- BigTech Pitch
Saw presentations for a bunch of cool music industry apps including Drytabs (cool tab site that links to Spotify and actually looks good), Paperchain (advance payouts for streaming revenue and realtime reporting – they won the $5k grant), Spiritlab (Uses AR and VR technologies so bands can connect deeper with their fans) and more!
Find out more here: https://www.bigsound.org.au/conference/tech
- Heavy Music Specialists – Hookup
I got to sit down with a bunch of rad people from the industry including the booker of Download UK, Manager of Of Mice & Men (amongst others, and agent for XRay Touring (The Chats, Fever333 and more) and ask ANY QUESTION I WANTED. Wild.
- Publishing and Sync – Hookup
Sat down with industry pros from around the world to talk all about publishing and sync licensing – how to get your music in movies, on TV and more!
9.00pm – Dregg (Crowbar Main)
9.40pm – The Dead Love (Crowbar Black)
10.40pm – Scabz (Crowbar Main)
11.20pm – Bakers Eddy (Crowbar Black)
Yep…stayed at Crowbar all night, chatted, caught up with old friends I hadn’t seen since Bigsound 2017! For those who don’t know, Crowbar is Brissy’s home of heavy music.
- Dodgy Uber Eats Pad Thai…many regerts.
Day 3: Thursday 5 September
- YouTube Music Presentation
You can hear all about this in the video. It was basically a presentation of the platform. They couldn’t tell me how much artists get paid per stream and the whole thing seems to be geared towards labels which is disappointing.
- Vivian Goldman – Revenge of the She Punks
A powerful presentation with punk musician Vivien Goldman about combatting sexism and ageism in the music industry. Some stories from some audience members brought me to tears. Blogs or a podcast on this coming soon I’m sure.
- Agents – Hookup
Sat down with a bunch of agents and spoke about how bands can get an agent, how it works in each territory and what to expect when you have one.
- Festivals & Promoters – Hookup
Got to chat with bookers and organisers of festivals around the world. Talked about branding, getting on festivals and how to put a festival together – super interesting!
9.40pm – Wither (Elephant Hotel)
10.30pm – Outright (Elephant Hotel)
11.20pm – Redhook (Crowbar Black)
12.00pm – Waax secret show (Crowbar Black)
- Good times with good people and shots at 6am…whoops
Networking is Key
The music industry is a relationships-based industry. This is something MANY of the pros I spoke to emphasised. There’s a lot to be said for being seen somewhere, putting yourself out there and meeting people so others can put a face to a name.
Not only does this help you venture into circles that will be beneficial later on, but shows people you are serious and builds trust. Your mannerisms and personality aren’t as effectively communicated over the internet and human contact goes a long way.
Read my post on How to Network Like a Boss here.
Imposter Syndrome Sucks but Many People Feel it
When I first came to Bigsound 2 years ago I was incredibly nervous and found myself feeling an overwhelming sense of imposter syndrome. For those who don’t know, imposter syndrome is a psychological phenomenon that leads you to feel like a fraud or that any success is from luck and not hard work. It was originally discovered in a study of high-achieving women but it’s now been proven men also suffer from this.
Imposter syndrome leads those suffering from it to have a sense that they’ll be ‘found out,’ at any moment – you should Google it, it’s very interesting and as mentioned, commonly felt by high-achievers like professionals, actors and musicians.
Although I was with my HEAVY Mag boss at Bigsound 2017, I still felt so out of place and like an outsider amongst many of the industry folk I admired that I almost wanted to go home! Seriously! Luckily this feeling died down eventually (after about 24 hours). I had the best week and made so many amazing new friends along the way.
This year I surprisingly had similar feelings particularly on the Wednesday after spending most of the daytime alone. Everyone I knew seemed to have important meetings lined up back to back or were in bands playing, doing interviews and photoshoots. And here I was wandering around by myself, representing my small business and unsigned band.
After a strong pep-talk from my bestie I ended up snapping out of it pretty quickly and had an amazing night! I ended up sharing this experience with quite a few people I knew and to my surprise pretty much all of them had shared the same feelings over the course of the week.
It is hard to put yourself out there. Especially if you’re an introvert (I’m about 50/50 introvert and extrovert). But everyone at these things is in the same boat feeling just as socially awkward as you, even if they don’t show it!
There are so many other cool takeaways but I’ll leave it here. Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and if you like this post, feel free to share it as it helps me out a lot!