Back for its second year, Indie-Con Australia is a two-day conference that examines the ins and outs of the independent music industry, including current issues and changes in the field. An initiative of the Australian Independent Record Labels Association (AIR), Indie-Con will play host to a range of industry insiders from around the globe; giving talks, offering tips, and sharing their own personal stories of success.
The conference originally started in the U.K. before being picked up by AIR over here, who wanted to empower independent record label companies, self-releasing artists and other independents in the music industry. Running from Thursday July 26 to Friday July 27 at Adelaide’s The Hindley, it’s a chance to network, get some great intel and learn more about a part of the music world that so often flies under the radar.
We’ve picked out some highlights from this year’s program worth checking out.
In Conversation With Molly Neuman
All the way from the U.S. is Songtrust’s Global Head of Business Development, Molly Neuman. Neuman is well acquainted with the independent industry, being the previous Head of Music at Kickstarter, Vice President of A2IM and working with companies like Rhapsody International and eMusic. She started out as a rockstar herself, playing drums in the riot grrrl band Bratmobile, and also founded the zine Girl Germs. Get along to her talk for loads of girl-power wisdom.
Thursday July 26, 10.30am – Main Room
Indie Label Case Study
The first of three panel discussions on day one, this case study will examine how Canada’s Secret City Records grew their business and achieved such great global results. Founder Justin West will be there telling his inspiring story, with Charles Caldas from digital rights agency, Merlin, acting as moderator. If you’re interested in learning how to grow a small label, then you won’t want to miss this talk.
Thursday July 26, 11.30am – Main Room
Independent Women: Managing Career Pathways
Moderated by AIR’s General Manager, Maria Amato, this panel discussion features seven guest speakers who’ll be sharing their stories and knowledge from their time in the industry. Made up of Songtrust’s Molly Neuman, Kill Rock Stars’ Portia Sabin, Gerry McKenna from White Sky, APRA’s Chris O’Neill, Lisa Bishop of Music SA, Leanne De Souza from AAM and Creative Victoria’s Kirsty Rivers, there’s inspiration here by the bucket load.
Friday July 27, 9.30am – Gab’s Mezzanine
Breaking The Label Hoodoo: How The Hoodoo Gurus Claimed Their Rights and A Label
Aussie rockers Hoodoo Gurus are prolific, with nine studio albums under their belt since they first came together in 1981. In this talk, you’ll be able to catch frontman Dave Faulkner and band manager Michael McMartin tell the story of how the four-piece came to acquire their record label and rights, after failing to receive payments for unpaid royalties. They’ll discuss the importance of control as an artist, and why it matters to retain some autonomy in the industry. Moderated by Glenn Dickie from Sounds Australia, this is bound to be a day two highlight.
Friday July 26, 11.30am – Main Room
Indie Con Presents: Spotify
Spotify’s Artist & Label Marketing lead for Australia & New Zealand, Tom Mee, takes the reins on this one, discussing the ways in which artist marketing is evolving. He’ll take you under the hood of Spotify for Artists; examining the tools that artists and labels can utilise to better understand and connect with listeners. As Mee will tell you, it’s important for those wanting to break into the industry to be authentic, with the ability to use data insights to personalise marketing for their target audiences. This will be an invaluable info session for musicians/label makers.
Friday July 26, 3pm – Gab’s Mezzanine
While you’re at Indie-Con, make sure to check out some of these nearby restaurants and bars for a bite and a bev.
Sunny’s has been around for a while now, and is still one of Adelaide’s best in the pizza game. Just a few blocks down from The Hindley and open ‘til late, it’s the place to go for a good old wood-fired classic, washed down with a glass of wine.
17 Solomon St, Adelaide
Bank Street Social
This underground bar is all exposed brick and soft-lighting – evoking a New York bunker feel. You can peruse the impressive list of South Australian beers, wine and ciders, or grab yourself one of Bank Street’s specialties; two-month barrel-aged Negronis and Manhattans. They also have floor to ceiling shelves of Australian gin and whisky, so there’s plenty here to try.
48 Hindley St, Adelaide
Bread & Bone
Open ‘til 11pm each night, Bread & Bone is a late-night wood grill, slinging upmarket fast food well past bedtime. There are more than eight types of hotdogs here to try, with sausage options like bratwurst, Vienna and weisswurst, as well as gourmet burgers and sides. There’s a bar downstairs too called Maybe Mae, perfect for a post-meal drink.
15 Peel St, Adelaide
You’ll find this vibrant restaurant a few blocks down from The Hindley on Leigh Street, a short – and very worthwhile – walk. It’s a menu mostly made up of sharing plates; think grilled jalapenos stuffed with Persian fetta, lemon and herbs, bacon and caramelised shallot croquettes, and beef eye fillet on garlic crostini. Make sure you come here on a Friday for some of the eclectic entertainment, which might be anything from belly dancers, to bongo drummers, or a Mexican Mariachi band.
12 Leigh St, Adelaide
This article is proudly sponsored by City of Adelaide, in partnership with Beat Magazine.