What we learned at this year’s Face The Music Conference

Nestled perfectly in the hustle and bustle of Melbourne Music Week, Face The Music successfully united musicians, industry professionals and lovers of live performance under the same roof, and gave The State Library Of Victoria a rare, exciting buzz.

The two day conference held a diverse number of panels, but one topic seemed to prevail throughout all of them – the rise of online streaming and its impact on how we consume music.

The Beyond The Big Smoke: Regional Touring In Victoria panel fired off the conference where the likes of Harley Evans from Moshtix, Amy Findlay from Stonefield and Amanda Sherring from Forte Magazine brought light to the absence of live music in regional Victoria, describing the problem as “a cultural mentality that needs to be shifted.”

The Experimedia room in the library was filled to the brim as audiences sat in awe of artists Alex Lahey, Nai Palm (Hiatus Kaiyote) and Ainslie Wills performing intimate, stripped back versions of their well-known songs, as well as discussing the songwriting process and facing writers block as a musician.

Sign interpreter Amber Galloway finished off day one of Face The Music with a bang with her inspiring and captivating keynote session, teaching the audience about music and the brain, the psychology of music and most importantly, her ongoing work of bringing access to the deaf community in the music industry. Face The Music audience members were able to watch the debut screening of Amber’s latest upcoming project with organisation, Not Impossible Labs, as well as  a spontaneous performance of the well-loved hit I Like Big Butts by Sir Mix-A-Lot.

Friday at Face The Music was a smorgasbord of live music. The Melbourne Music Week program on the steps of the State Library showcased local acts Nico Ghost, Good Morning, Dorsal Fins and Ecca Vandal. Excited fans queued down the streets to see Alex Lahey, All Day, Mallrat, UV Boy and more at the 10 Years Of triple j concert in Queens Hall. Face The Music closed with the Women In Electronic Music Showcase where Corin, Linying, Buoy and GL played until early hours of the morning in true Melbourne style.

The Friday panels proved to be as engaging and exciting, with appearances from well-loved Youtuber Anthony Fantano as part of the Youtube: A Mind-Blowingly Big Music Platform panel as well as his own keynote, Anthony Fantano Vs. The Internet where he explored the inner workings of his content and accompanying memes.

Looking at the changing landscape of broadcast media in Radio: The Format That Just Won’t Quit, radio moguls including triple j’s Gemma Pike, Triple R’s Simon Winkler and SYN 90.7’s Gloria Brancatisano combined to discuss the future of the Australian music and radio industries.

Legendary radio personality Zan Rowe warmed the hearts of Face The Music audiences in her keynote, taking the crowd through the highlights of her career so far, and giving advice for budding writers emerging into the exciting and ever changing music industry.

There was no possible way to end the two-day conference on a more positive note and with a vibe to celebrate into the evening at one of the various live performances happening around the city.

Originally published in Beat Magazine: http://www.beat.com.au/music/what-we-learned-years-face-music-conference

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