The revolutionary conference that’s a must for Melbourne’s music industry

The revolutionary conference that’s a must for Melbourne’s music industry

Photo: Mitch Noakes
Words by Christie Eliezer

Make sure to put Listen Listen in your calendar.

Listen Listen is returning for another instalment this month, offering new perspectives to identify new strengths for women in music, the LGBTQIA+ community and people of colour. 

“Over the last five years, there have been huge changes in the structure of exclusion in the Australian music industry, by not only Listen (the parent group of the conference) but a number of organisations and different individuals within the music community,” explains programmer Elspeth Scrine. 

“We’ve learned from them, and we’re really trying to cover critical issues that are presenting themselves in the music industry without trying to assume we’re going to tick every box.”

This year’s workshops will incorporate the wisdom and experience of those who’ve been in the industry for decades. Local and international keynote speakers will be paired up for In Conversation sessions, covering critical issues in Australian music and beyond.   

“The idea of putting together two people, whether they are both artists or whether they’re from different professional backgrounds, was one we had early on as a way  to set up the conference dynamic and pair people up from same community or, at times, different communities. What will come out of these conversations will be really powerful for the audience,” explains Scrine. 

Speakers from Girls Rock! and Neil Morris, aka DRMNGNOW, will be talking about intergenerational music practices, while broadcast identities Namila Benson and Lucreccia Quintanilla are set to speak on parenthood in music. 

Miss Blanks is set to talk about her new agency, Point Blank Group, while Papua New Guinea born producer and vocalist Ripley Kavara will introduce FAMILI, an electronic music collective of Pasifika and First Nations queer artists.   

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✨ LISTEN LISTEN 2020 Conference INTRO ✨ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀ Our next Keynote speaker:⠀ Sian Van Der Muelen (@miss.blanks / @pointblankaus) in conversation with Atong Atem⠀ ⠀ ⠀ Sian Van Der Muelen (Miss Blanks / Point Blank Group) needs no introduction! Miss Blanks is the new face of Australian hip hop. With fire rhymes, hot style, and a stage presence like no other, Miss Blanks is blowing up the scene in a way that’s too loud for the mainstream to ignore. Her explosive debut single ‘Clap Clap’ snapped necks and blew minds upon its release, and saw the industry clamber to celebrate this new, powerful voice. Industry heavyweights like Complex, i-D/Vice, Rolling Stone, Billboard, Pilerats, Acclaim, and XL Recordings & NLV Records have all sung her praises – celebrating her confident sexuality and strong message of positivity & femme empowerment as a force to be reckoned with. That attention has seen her land supports for international stars, as well as see her snatched up to play festival spots across Australia. Alongside her music, she’s a fashion star and activist, having given talks in London for TED and in New York at NYU, all the while serving up an unapologetic rawness in all aspects of her career.⠀ ⠀ Point Blank Group Point Blank Group (PBG) is the events, touring, and artist services agency of choice for international and domestic brands and talent who set the agenda in music, fashion, art and consumer lifestyle. Providing inclusive and dynamic experiences both with and for consumers and clients, PBG’s 360-degree service suite includes events and activations, touring, talent booking. ⠀ ⠀ The conference takes place at the @brunswickmechanicsinstitute on 28/3 – 29/3. Grab your weekend pass tickets now, via the link in our bio 💖💖⠀ ⠀ ⠀ [Image description: the image features Sian Van Der Muelen looking into the camera with her mouth slightly open. She is wearing a black top and has pink hair and a nose ring. The background features a window onto the street which has bars on it.]⠀

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Boonwurrung elder Carolyn Briggs will join Central Arrernte woman, social anthropologist and Indigenous studies lecturer Dr Suzi Hutchings to speak on music, youth, justice and the transmission of culture.

Philadelphia based producer DJ Haram is going to be chatting with Roj Amedi, a writer and senior campaigner at Colour Code; a national movement of First Nations and migrant communities campaigning for racial justice. 

There’ll also be talks on accessibility in music venues and events, vocal technology, music journalism, and bystander intervention. 

Listen Listen is held at Brunswick Mechanics Institute from Saturday March 28 to Sunday March 29. Grab your tickets and find out more here.