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Feedback: A Music Conference For Young People


For all of you too young to drink or too sensible to go on a bender for the next three days, we’ve got the perfect event for your long weekend Monday. The 9th of June will see Vivid Festival Sydney host a panel of industry veterans, who will be addressing issues facing young people in the music industry. Titled Feedback, the event will be a mix of industry speakers, interactive sessions, take-home resources and networking opportunities.


Feedback – a conference for young people on the million things that happen behind the scenes in producing your favourite songs, festivals and artists.

It’s a little weird for me to be writing about a panel of speakers for a zine focused primarily around live music gigs, as I keep wanting to refer to the speakers in terms of ‘headliners’, ‘supports’ and would like to comment on the price of drinks at the venue. Since it’s gonna be at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Circular Quay, and the panel is focussed towards people aged 12-25, I don’t think there will even be drinks, and if there are they’ll be pricey. Museum pricey.

Nevertheless, headlining the event will be old mate Pykie, who will not only be giving wonderful insight into the mainstream industry but also giving a masterclass on crafting tunes built for mass consumption. Are you using a DIY/lo-fi aesthetic? Do you use polyrhythms? Does your music make listeners think? Josh Pyke and producer/engineer Wayne Connolly can help you fix that and get that demo on Triple J.

Also on the panel will be a panel/storytelling session from Winston McCall (from Parkway Drive), his manager Graham Nixon, Thelma Plum (from Thelma Plum) and her manager Leanne de Souza. Moderated by Jake Stone (Bluejuice), the panel will focus on how the groups made it in the industry from a very young age. Thelma is still only seventeen years old, so if you’re planning on doing your HSC and doing that national tour, there are definitely things to be learned here.

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Finally, we have the brilliant idea of Music Industry Speed Dating! Three minute sessions with dudes from FBi, APRA, PR and booking agencies Create/Control and Select as well as music publishers Alberts. I’ve spoken to a few people in the industry, and believe me, three minutes is more than enough – any more and it will become borderline painful. If you’re not familiar with the millions of unpaid jobs and the incessant hustling behind making a hit song a hit song, then this one is definitely for you!

This is straight up a wonderful opportunity to get some insight into the industry and the existing hierarchies in the music world – not just because it’s a great chance to meet people and see the world behind the polished products on the radio, but also because insight is insight, and what you take away from the insight is up to you.

While some kids will be slobbering at the heels of the industry and trading business cards with AJ Maddah, with any luck there will be a portion of kids whose rebellious and cynical spirits will be unleashed from having to sit through a songwriting session with Josh Pyke. It is these kids that will go away thinking the industry needs a shakeup and will end up producing the less insipid, more awesome music of the next decade. I for one welcome this hypothetical renaissance.



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June 6, 2014