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ARIA Week: Aria Master Classes, EMC, Showcases And Awards Night

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The annual ARIA awards in Australia has been turned into ARIA Week, with numerous daytime conference events and showcases leading up to the ARIA Awards which celebrates Australia’s recorded music industry. This event report was compiled by; Jakomi Mathews Publisher of TMV and our Australian Staff writer Dana Gilden. The report provides an overview of daytime conference activities and also evening showcases finishing with the ARIA awards themselves.

Monday 26th November

There was a stellar panellist line-up for the ARAI Industry Master Class event including the European Head of VEVO amongst numerous others. Interesting statistics gleaned from panellists included the fact that 40% of YouTube videos viewed are music videos. The keynote from Denis Handlin Chairman and CEO of Sony Music Australia and also ARIA stated, “the only permanent thing in the music business is change”. Denis did outline how the industry had adapted to change and that this change would continue into the foreseeable future. 

The Asia Century Panel included some dynamic discussion around doing business in Asia and the fact that each territory is different. Apparently youth in Asia are very loyal fans and Asia is important as a territory for rights holders to exploit for growth. What was interesting was that not much focus was placed on Asia music breaking into our western markets – apart from the gimmick viral explosion of Si and his Gamin style video…

What was rather surreal was the fact that despite the room being full of both domestic and international industry executives, not one question was raised by the audience to any panel session apart from the one question TMV asked.

TMV attended the Universal Music showcase on Monday evening. The Art of Sleeping (http://www.triplejunearthed.com.au/ArtofSleeping) played a good set and Bertie Blackman (http://www.bertieblackman.com/) put on a rocking performance and it is clear she has decided to follow a bit more of an ‘in your face’ sound with her new songs.

Tuesday 27th November

TMV attended the inaugural Electronic Music Conference (EMC) held at Jones Bay Wharf with a fabulous view over the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Whilst we missed the morning sessions of day one there were some great panels in the afternoon and one where Mike Brown the International Brand Marketing Director of Twitter stated that he likes Rupert Murdoch’s tweets because they are uncensored and no PR people have had there input. Mike did also clarify he does not agree with everything Rupert tweets.

On the same panel a debate about Facebook’s promoted posts resulted in Aden Forte an artist stating he was in favour and thinks they are a good thing, where as Tiesto’s manager Toby Benson was against paying for promoted posts. Part of Toby’s reasoning was that with Tiesto’s 30 million Facebook followers paying to promote each post was not economically feasible. To cap off a great first day for the EMC Mike form Twitter also stated that Twitter needs to provide customer service on the ground e.g. a telephone number users can call in Australia and New Zealand. 

I also attended the ECM showcase event at the marquee at Crown Casino and it was good to see upcoming DJ talent display their wares. The place was rammed – but with three hours of free drinks you would expect a place to be rammed. I then ventured onto the Triple J unearthed showcase at Oxford Arts Factory. The first act to perform ASTA (http://www.triplejunearthed.com/Asta) were great but not my cup of tea and I was feeling rather tired so opted to head home early on this night and so sadly I missed the Rubens… 

Wednesday 28th November

The first panel TMV attended at the EMC was aptly titled “How to make it in Australia”. The panel consisted on some heavy weight industry personnel including Scott Horscroft, VP A & R at EMI, Shaun Barker from SB MGMT, Bev Malcolm from BPM originals and Dave Ruby Howe from Triple J and also the artist Elizabeth Rose from Melbourne. Best quote of the panel was from Dave Ruby Howe when he stated the best way to get discovered is to “just push it out and if it is good the community will help it grow”. 

Next panel up was  “Heard But Not Seen. How To Break Radio”. Frank Cotela from the One Love festival provided the solid insight into the importance of radio in breaking an artist. Tim Byrne from Kiss Fm made it very clear that his station has a clear bias towards Australian artists especially via its drive show. 

TMV’s favorite panel was the “Clubbed To Death: Where To From Here Panel?” As there was a very lively discussion between agents and promoters and where Scott Roberton from Future Entertainment stated that “it would be good to get some understanding booking agents – but they are just not wired that way” in response to a debate on are artists and agents charging to much.  Another topic, which was brought up amongst numerous panels throughout the conference was the need for an industry body to represent electronic music industry stakeholders. 

TMV have to state we were very impressed by the calibre of speakers as well as the organisation of the inaugural Electronic Music Conference in Australia. Well done to Sound Alliance that put the event together. Definitely room to grow, but for a first event it was first class. 

Wednesday evening’s proceedings kicked of with the end of EMC party at the Pool Bar at the Ivy. Great venue, even though it is not really my scene it worked well and was great for more networking. Sadly I had to leave early, as I also had to attend the Inertia showcase at Oxford Arts Factory and then the MGM showcase at the Beresford in Surry Hills. At The Inertia showcase I caught some of Grey Ghost (http://www.greyghost.com.au/) and Seth Sentry (http://www.greyghost.com.au/) and whilst not my think they sure know how to rock tha fu%K!ng house. At the MGM Showcase I caught The Trouble With Templeton (http://thetroublewithtempleton.com/) (very nice tunes folks), The Falls (http://www.musicfromthefalls.com/) and Battleships (http://www.triplejunearthed.com/Battleships) with there lovely Wilco flavours. This was music more for my personal taste so yes I’m bias…but they all rocked the house. 

Thursday 9th November – ARIA Awards Night

Well after three days and evenings of the ARIAS Week I was under the weather and so did not venture out to the ARIA Awards or after parties. However TMV’s Australian staff writer Dana Gilden was on hand to cover the red carpet, the awards and after parties and so she takes over this report from here …



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