First Announcement of Buyers, Keynotes and Forums
BIGSOUND’s first announcement hits today, with the first three forums, two keynotes and a host of buyers and influencers added to the brand-new program which will be focused on participation from delegates in the unpacking of important industry issues.

The first three forums will include ‘The New Music Business’ a forum for participants to float brand new ideas and ways of making things happen in our diverse industry. A place for participants to challenge the status quo and “old school” rules, this session will create important debate and a real opportunity for change.

The second forum will ask the question “What would the current music industry look like if it was invented by our First Nations people?”. Instead of starting from a position of how we ‘integrate’ First Nations music into the existing industry framework, BIGSOUND will turn things on its head to search for and celebrate lessons and ideas that we can learn from Indigenous perspectives. This community-focused session will be a unique opportunity to listen, learn and take on board Indigenous perspectives to allow for real innovation across our sector.

“Changing Music Industry Behaviour” will take a mature and complex look at how change can occur. We’ll look at the psychology of change and how our industry can create sustained momentum. This will be your chance to discuss the ups and downs of your culture change efforts and get some advice from the wisdom of the crowd.

“In following with the times, this year BIGSOUND is putting content front and centre as the core element of the conference,” said BIGSOUND programmer Maggie Collins. “With information readily available at anyone’s fingertips, we wanted to move further away from a talking-heads format and create an interactive environment for true ‘IRL’ conversations to take place. Our motivation in building this year’s program is to create the neutral ground on which our industry can progress in a uniting, nurturing and welcoming way. Our two first keynote speakers encompass this idea perfectly, with one of the most badass label execs turned indie company CEO Mardi Caught, and the mother of Rock herself, Virginia Grohl.”

Virginia Grohl, mother to Foo Fighters frontman Dave and author of ‘From Cradle to Stage’ has lived what it’s like to raise a rock star. Her book interviews the mothers of Michael Stipe, Adam Levine, Amy Winehouse, Miranda Lambert, Kelly Clarkson and Dr Dre, looking at how these amazing women encouraged and nurtured future industry leaders and how they dealt with the dangers, excitements, joys and milestones in their children’s lives. And whether they still remind them to pack a warm coat before they leave on tour.

Mardi Caught was one of Australia’s most respected label executives as Warner Music’s General Manager and is now launching her own independent marketing services company The Annex. With over two decades rising to become one of the most senior females in the Australian record industry, her keynote will explore the challenges and opportunities surrounding the new music economy, independence, gender equity and entrepreneurship.

But the announcements don’t stop there. BIGSOUND also welcomes its first range of buyers and influencers including massive list of industry from across the world including Paradigm Talent Agency (USA), Line of Best Fit (UK), C3 Management (USA), Universal Canada, Maybe Mars (China), CIE (Mexico), DFSB (Korea), X-Ray Touring (UK), Domino (USA), Vinyl Me Please (USA) and many more. You might see these people popping up on panels, watching bands or grabbing a drink at the bar, but in traditional BIGSOUND style, these are the people (along with a massive second announcement still to come) that will be shaping the future of our showcasing artists.

BIGSOUND artist applications are open now at and have been extended with a new closing date of May 17. With alumni including Gang of Youths, Flume, Tash Sultana, Courtney Barnett, San Cisco, Violent Soho, King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard, Methyl Ethel, The Jungle Giants and many more, the event has become a rite of passage for Australian musicians breaking out onto the world stage.

Showcasing artists are also eligible for the $100,000 Levi’s® Music Prize which has resulted in $25,000 each for Stella Donnelly, Alex Lahey and Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever since last year’s event to help them achieve their export goals with two prize announcements still to come. Levi’s® are also pleased to announce that this year’s prize will also increase to include $5,000 to each winning artist in travel from Stage & Screen.

“It’s fantastic to see BIGSOUND continue to go from strength to strength off the back of multi-year support from the Australia Council. It’s a great example of the kinds of innovative programming and opportunities that can be achieved through this type of investment.” Australia Council Director of Music Paul Mason

BIGSOUND’s music tech is also expanding to provide even more hands-on opportunities for delegates to experience the future of music and applications are open from today for those wanting to participate. The successful BIGSOUND visual arts showcase (which last year launched the now infamous BIGSOUND octopus) is also open with applications closing on May 20. For more details on the tech and arts programs, visit




Mardi Caught – The Annex (AUS) – KEYNOTE
Virginia Hanlon Grohl – Mothers of Music (USA) – KEYNOTE
Alexandra Berenson – Vinyl Me, Please (USA)
Alison Rosenfeld – Aperture Music (USA)
Amber Carew – Saddle Creek (USA)
Ben Rafson – We Are Free (USA)
Bernie Cho – DFSB (KOR)
Brontë Jane – Third Side Music (USA)
Carlos Lopez – Domino (USA)
Eric Fritschi – Mtheory (USA)
Fabrizio Rafael Onetto Pedetti – OCESA Seitrack (MEX)
Jessi Frick – Citrine Management (USA)
Joe Greenwald – C3 Management (USA)
Jon Box – Universal Canada (CAN)
Katie Garcia – Secretly Group (USA)
Lucy Pitkethly – Eat Your Own Ears (UK)
Madison McCabe – Hidden Track (USA)
Markell Casey – Pulse Music Group (USA)
Nevin Domer – Maybe Mars (CHN)
Owen Mallon – Paradigm Talent Agency (USA)
Paul Bridgewater – Line of Best Fit (UK)
Rachel Cox – Sad Grrrls Club (AUS)
Shaun Faulkner – X-Ray Touring (UK)
Tim Luckow – Stem (USA)
Tom Wironen – Friendly Announcer (USA)

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