AIR Indie-Con: An integral conference for everyone in the music industry to attend

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AIR Indie-Con: An integral conference for everyone in the music industry to attend

Words by Jacob McCormack

The Australian Independent Record Labels Association or AIR acts as a driving force for change within the music scene in Australia. Supporting musicians, labels and organisations that work with record labels in the independent sector.

In 2023, AIR will present their annual awards night.  The AIR awards are a landmark event in any given calendar year, but they’re also responsible for curating and arranging Indie-Con: an Australian conference that will feature over 70 speakers across 16 sessions from Wednesday August 2 to Friday August 4. The Awards night will be on the second night of the conference.

The conference returns to Kaurna/Adelaide this year due to the ongoing support of the South Australian Government’s Music Development Office. The Mercury Cinema will host the conference.

Keep up with the latest music news, features, festivals, interviews and reviews here.

This year’s rendition of the conference will host international industry mainstays such as Neeta Ragoowansi – the Executive Director of Folk Alliance International (USA), Noemí Planas the Chief Executive Officer at (WIN) Worldwide Independent Network (Spain), Polyvinyl’s Marketing Director – Natalie Dávila, (USA) Co-Founder of The Numero Group (USA) – Rob Sevier and Colin Keenan from ATC Live (UK).

But in combination with the international knowledge base that will be in attendance, Australia’s very own domestic pillars of independent music will be participating in the conference. One of which is musician and music industry professional Sweetie Zamora. With over 15 years of experience working with independent record labels, music festivals, publicity services and specialist radio, Zamora is leading the charge in independent music in Australia.

“It’s been quite a few years since I was a practicing as an active musician,” laughs Zamora. “But a body like AIR is a great resource for independent artists and independent record labels. The Women In Music program has seen hundreds of musicians and industry professionals mentored by incredible people across the spectrum of the industry.”

The heralded importance and value that Sweetie places upon an organisation like AIR is starkly apparent – they directly supports the work she engages in. Yet the work she does with Remote Control Records (where she sits as head of labels and promotions), as well as her very own Pointer Recordings, directly assists in propping up independent musicians in Australia.

“At Remote Control and Pointer Recordings we’re privileged enough to work with incredibly talented artists across our rosters,” she says. “Our aim is to work collaboratively with our artists and their teams to achieve the best results we can. Everyone’s version of success is going to be completely different – but we do our best to help our artists achieve their goals and have career longevity. We’re proud to be a completely 100% independent record label.”

The Indie-Con event acts as professional development for all involved in the independent record label and music scene in Australia. Whether you are an artist, industry professional or sit somewhere on the spectrum of it all, the event will provide integral information and insight.

“Indie-Con is a chance to gain invaluable insight from Australian and international industry minds on a variety of topics,” she says. “The AIR Awards are also an opportunity for the independent artist, independent label and wider music industry community to come together and celebrate the incredible music Australian independent artists have made and released in the past year! Also – as a reminder it’s FREE for independent artists to become AIR Members!”

As the conference sits just around the corner on the first weekend in August, Sweetie is anticipating a wealth and breadth of insight and knowledge across the entirety of the curated panels and discussions.

“I’m hyped to hear from our international guests and get their perspective on the topics at hand,” she says. “I’m very lucky to be moderating a panel with the minds behind some of the best publicity campaigns we’ve seen from Australian independent artists this past 12 months!”

And yet the conference isn’t solely focused on the panels and discussions but does of course feature the annual awards night. An evening of celebration for what independent artists are bringing to the Australian, and global scene.

“Looking at the list of artists nominated in the AIR Awards is just a massive reminder that so much of the best music in Australia – across all genres – belongs to artists who are committed to remaining independent and partnering with independent labels… King Stingray, Confidence Man, Genesis Owusu, Body Type, Flume, Julia Jacklin, Big Scary, Northlane, Jesswar, Jen Cloher, Mildlife, Surpise Chef… and so so so many more!”

It’s no surprise AIR are putting on the events they are this year, as the independent music scene gains more and more traction in Australia. The music scene is as potent as it has ever been and the support is growing in respect and appreciation of artists and industry professionals.

Find tickets to AIR Indie-Con here. You can also visit their website here and follow AIR on Facebook and Instagram.

This article was made in partnership with AIR Indie-Con.