This was my first year attending BigSound16 which featured as a music festival + conference in Fortitude Valley, Brisbane. It's not just any music event, it's regarded as THE largest music industry event in Australia with peeps flying in from around the globe. For some, more than others, it's a significant investment but you can't take money with you, right? Here are my top three ways to waste your time (and money) at BigSound.
#1 dON'T iNTRODUCE yOURself
If I had a dollar for every time I had to ask a fellow BigSound delegate, "Who are you?", I would have made a killing. It's one thing to wear your delegate lanyard proudly around your neck, but at the risk of being caught checking you out + dependent on which way the wind was blowing, it wasn't always easy to read a name badge without looking completely awkward. TIP: Perk up, introduce who YOU are + why you're at BigSound. For example, "Hi, I'm Ellie D from elliedofficial.com + I'm here as a radio annoucer, editor + publicist". See - easy! Work on your elevator pitch so you're able to clearly identify who you are, which band you represent or what you're hoping to achieve. We're not all mind readers, and you may never know who you're standing next to if you don't open up the conversation. This is a collaborative industry and you can bet that the person waiting next to you for the next conference session is keen to have a chat.
#2 skip LISTENING SESSIONS
You're at BigSound because you're about to release your EP/LP so why wouldn't you attend a Listening Session or four. Big love to the AMRAP team for coordinating the Listening Sessions that gave us all a chance to put music directly in front of representatives from PBS, 3RRR, RTRFM, 2SER, FBi, Triple J, Double J + ABC Local Radio. I regard these sessions as a highlight of my conference attendance, and I'm sure other attendees would agree. It's one thing to physically or digitally send a copy of your album to a radio station, but to gain an understanding of the inner workings at each station plus have your music listened to with immediate feedback - priceless.
#3 RELY SOLELY ON A PAPER MAP
Aside from paper tearing when you get it wet *cue drink spillage*, I highly recommend grabbing the free app downloadable with a comprehensive schedule of all music showcases, conference sessions and a venue map. It'll not only make you look like the coolest kid at BigSound, it'll also save you time looking for the paper map you left at the last venue.
What I'm saying is it really IS worth saving the date for BigSound17. Whether you're a festival goer or interested in growing your knowledge at the conference, the only thing you'll find disappointing is that you couldn't be in two places at once.
Ellie D first started in community radio back in the noughties whilst completing tertiary studies. Experienced in hosting podcasts, and as a regular radio announcer on community radio in Melbourne, she is incredibly passionate about giving a voice to music artists yet to be discovered. Now editor + publicist for international acts, Ellie brings to you a transparent insight into the world of music. Click here to get in contact.