Indie-Con 2019 programme announced

Posted on: Thu 27 Jun 2019

Indie Con, Australia’s leading independent music industry conference, is back in Adelaide. This July, the two-day conference will empower attendees with insights and knowledge and provide professional development sessions on leadership, HR, financial literacy and marketing, as well as talking about well being in the music industry.

Maria Amato, General Manager of AIR, the Australian Independent Record Labels Association, spoke with Soph Landau ahead of the event and they began by discussing what AIR does for the independent music industry.

Maria Amato: AIR is a non-profit, non-government organisation that was founded twenty- three years ago to promote the interests of the independent label members Australia -wide.

Soph Landau: What does it mean to be an independent artist in Australia?

MA: Well, I like to think of it as the world is your oyster and you have complete freedom and choice as to the content you create; how you’re going to promote it how you’re going to get it out there; when you will tour; who you’ll tour with — all the decisions are in your hands. That also comes with challenges because you may not be equipped with understanding of how to run a business, understanding ofhow to get out there. And that’s what AIR tries to do by putting together a conference to connect people with industry figures to give them professional development so that you can learn how to get your music out there. Start your own label, etcetera.

SL: Could you tell us about the AIR Awards?

MA: For the last thirteen years, we’ve been holding an annual AIR Awards event to celebrate the success of the independent sector leaders. B eing the launchpad for some artists, it’s the first time they’ve received international on domestic recognition for their success. Some of our independent artists include Gotye, Paul Kelly, A B original, who cleaned up here in Adelaide in 2017 with four — with quite a few AIR awards. Fanny Lumsden was one of our performing artists and winners last year. The list goes on. Flume, John Butler — just an endless array of talent in this sector.

SL: Could you tell us a little bit about Indie-Con and what it aims to achieve?

MA: We started Indie-Con here in Adelaide, the UNESCO City of Music, three years ago as a professional development opportunity for our members, to hear from speakers globally that can all converge on Adelaide to brainstorm ideas to discuss challenges and opportunities f acing the industry in the present time and looking forward into the future as to capturing ideas and jumping on opportunities and predicting what they may be.

SL: And so have you found that there are a lot of obstacles the independent artists come across?

MA: There’s lots. Not enough funding because you’re not being signed to a major, so you don’t have an advance. You’ve got to come up with the funds yourself. You may not be aware of t he latest innovations in technology; may not be connected to the right people on the global scene. Which is why this conference is important because, for the first time also, we’re going to be giving attendees the opportunities to have one- on- one meetings with all the speakers.

SL: There is a huge array of guests in the programme. Can you tell us some more about them?

MA: Yes, Well, we’ve got a press release happening today, and all the details of the conference will be on our website. But basically, some of the topics that we’re focusing on this year are: What will a label look like in five years’ time? T hen we’re exploring the idea of artists as entrepreneurs, which they are — they’re creator s of their content as well as being in charge of how their material is being heard. And we’ve got another one on sync, streaming, marketing. We’ve got professional development presentations on financial literacy, on leadership, on HR, on marketing. And we’re also having an Insight into China panel with two guests from China to help us connect with our largest neighbour as well as explore opportunities to tap into that market. We have Graham Donald from the Seven Network joining us to give us an insight into the world of sync in TV. We’re lifting the lid on streaming, and we’re also going to be exploring tech with some International speakers joining us for that session, including Bill Wilson from Entertainment One.

Jackie Louez Schoorl from Jaxta and Thaddeus Rudd for Mom and Pop Records is one of our keynote speakers from the US. And Helen Smith from Impala in Brussels is joining us as our opening keynote. So we’re very excited. We’re also taking a time out to explore well being in the music industry and exploring how you can make it yours and how important it is. And Correne Wilkie is actually moderating that panel for us. She’s an AIR label member from the Cat Empire , and we’re really excited to see what she’s bringing to the table.

We’re also going to have Katie Wighton from All Our Exes Live in Texas j oin a panel on copyright, which will be very interesting. And you don’t have to be an AIR member to attend. You can buy a ticket and come along. If you’re an artist or you have a label and you want to find out more.

SL: The event will be taking place on Thursday, July 25 and 26 at Lot Fourteen. Maria, who would you encourage to come along to the event?

MA: Anyone who has their own label or an artist thinking about starting their own label. You’ll find it really interesting.

Maria Amato, General Manager of the Australian Independent Record Labels Association, speaking with Soph Landau. Indie-Con will take place at Lot Fourteen on July 25 and 26. For tickets and more information, head to


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