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Face The Music

Back for its third year, Face The Music is just around the corner – and it promises to be the best one yet. The Push's annual music industry conference has not only doubled in size since 2009 (from one day to two), it has also collaborated with the Australasian World Music Expo (AWME) to ensure that it will deliver the most diverse range of information and opportunities possible. The two days are jammed full of practical workshops, networking sessions, guest speakers and numerous other events, which cover everything from performance to music business. Intrigued? Well here's Face The Music guest speakers Catherine Haridy, Jen Cloher and Lindsay McDougall to provide some more insight:
 
Catherine Haridy (Catherine Haridy Management, Dirt Diamond Productions)
Catherine launched her own artist management company, Catherine Haridy Management and label, Dirt Diamond Productions, in 2006. She now manages Eskimo Joe, Bob Evans, The Chemist and others.
 
Jen Cloher
Jen Cloher is a self managed independent singer/songwriter based in Melbourne. Her first album was nominated for an ARIA and her second album was named as one of the top 10 releases of 2009 by The Age and nominated for three “Age EG Awards”. In 2010 she has played sell out dates with Jordie Lane and spent time overseas writing for a new album.
 
Lindsay McDougall (Triple J, Frenzal Rhomb)
Lindsay has an impressive reputation on and off stage, as both the guitarist for Australian punk band Frenzal Rhomb and as radio presenter, The Doctor on Triple J.
 
What makes for a good music expo program?
Jen Cloher: The most important element is how to manage your own career. Most of us start off without a manager so we need to understand how the business side of our industry works in order to operate in a way that is realistic and financially sustainable. I'm always interested in artist self-empowerment and I think music expos can be an effective way of engaging with other independent artists and building a sense of community.
 
Lindsay McDougall: You just need a wide variety of people from the music industry, musicians, managers, record company people and such, that aren’t afraid to tell you the stories you need to hear. To talk about how crap and amazing it is for a muso at the start, the poverty and excitement. How horrible it is to be a record company at the moment, how disheartening but amazing it can be to be a publicist. The stories are the key.
 
Catherine Haridy: A varied number of topics in the conference program that have current and interesting speakers and topics of discussion that relate to issues and changes facing the music industry at large currently. Drilling down into the two different elements of the trade which is the creative and the business. What are the key elements that should always be included?
 
LMcD: Both young and older musicians, so you get the experience and stories, and also find out what younger people are doing musically and business-wise, because that stuff is always changing.
 
CH: I like the idea of an artists panel and listing to the actual music-makers talk about how they see the business. Why do you think expos like Face The Music and the Australasian World Music Expo are important?
 
JC: I've just come back as a punter from a week at the Seed Management Workshop which is run by John Butler and his crew each year. I applied for the scholarship as I'm always keen to hear about how our industry is moving forward and what other people are finding effective – from recording technology to online marketing campaigns to taking your music to a broader audience overseas. The workshop was affirming as I was able to see how much I have learnt as well as the areas of my business I could improve. What I have come to learn is that it's about the team of people you build around you – from your band, booking agent, label and distributor, publicist and accountant. Build a strong team who get where you are coming from and you have a solid business model.
 
LMcD: Because without them, new music industry people are just flailing wildly in the dark. There were no expos for me to go to when I first started out in a band, but I don’t think any number of expos could have saved Frenzal Rhomb... But for other bands, artists and music industry people it’s so important to hear from people who have already done it and made all the mistakes, so you don’t have to.
 
CH: They're a chance for people who work in various parts of the industry to get together and hang out or make connections with each other, and they are also invaluable for budding learners to get invaluable information directly from people who work in their chosen fields every-day. What will you, as a speaker, get out of the expos/What will you take away from it?
 
CH: Face The Music will be an incredible chance for Melbourne to show the rest of the country how exciting and vibrant our musical community here is. It's the biggest year yet and it's absolutely stacked with amazingly experienced pundits from around the country. I'm excited to see my city take centre stage in Australian music. What made you want to be involved with the expos in the first place?
 
CH: Face The Music is not only extremely well organised by The Push, but it's going to provide people interested in getting involved on stage or off stage, with a lot of very useful information which may help to further their careers. What do they do for the music industry?
 
LMcD: Hopefully make it better by sharing the wealth of knowledge of so many combined years of experience and give music industry elders a chance to give something back. What will you be involved with for Face The Music?
 
CH: I'm facilitating a hypothetical panel called ‘Musical Chess’. I've got some of the most wonderful people in their field on the panel including Justin Cosby, A&R Director from Inertia, Heidi Braithwaite from Riot House Publicity, Scott MacKenzie from Premier Artists booking agency and Frank Varasso, Director of Varasso PR. These people will be taking the audience through the development of an artist and how they each contribute to an artist’s successes.
 
JC: I will be on the panel as a speaker for 'The Traps And The Trappings' with Lindsay McDougall, Charles Jenkins and Michael John Haydon from The Middle East. The discussion will focus on looking at your success in context to the opportunities that have been afforded you whilst also building towards long term career goals. Success to me isn't just about commercial achievement, it's about having a vision, putting it to a realistic timeline and then taking daily action to see that vision come to life.
 
Any last words?
LMcD: It's such an important thing because you really don’t know what you’re in for until you hear it from people who have already done it.
 
FACE THE MUSIC 2010 is coming to The Arts Centre on Friday November 19 and Saturday November 20. Guest speakers include: Mick Harvey, Catherine Haridy, Jen Cloher, Lindsay McDougall, Deborah Conway, Myf Warhust, John Campbell from Lamb Of God, Adalita from Magic Dirt, Mark Wilson from Jet, Jon Hume from Evermore, Frank Stivala, Richard Moffat and heaps more taking part in the expanded two day conference, including respected international guest speakers, keynote presentations, panel discussions, one-on-one artist development interviews, networking sessions, music showcases and practical workshops. Tickets are on sale now. Head to thepush.com.au for all tickets and details.