With WAMCon confirming their final list of speakers earlier today and the conference set to kick off in one week, the State Theatre Centre of WA will be the place to 3 — 4 November.
A diverse spread of industry experts and all-round legends from across the globe will come together and try to crack the secret to success, analyse the past year in music, predict the struggles ahead and more.
We caught up with a handful of speakers to see what they believe will be the industry's biggest challenge over the next 12 months.
Hayley Ayres (Director, 360 Artist Logistics)
It's becoming increasingly difficult for musicians to earn a living from their original music. I see a lot of musicians slog it out with the idea that it will get easier. But as earnings go up, so do all the expenses affiliated with upgrading your shows and promo. With government funding becoming harder to come by, and more people finding a way to take a slice from an artist's pie, artists are often working jobs on the side to subsidise their living and are worked to the bone. It's time for the industry to acknowledge it's not acceptable.
Katie Rynne (Booking Agent, Select Music)
n light of the Harvey Weinstein debacle and the #metoo campaign over the past couple of weeks, I think we're going to get a massive uprising of women in the industry finally speaking up and working together to put a stop to the alarming amount of sexual abuse and assault that female musicians and industry face. Hopefully the spotlight that this shines will encourage more diversity on line-ups (not only for women, but for the queer community and people of colour), safer spaces, and a change to the way certain powerful men in the industry treat women.
Caleb Williams (Senior Artist Manager, UNIFIED Music Group)
The amount of artists that can tour successfully now is creating a massive saturation in markets. Venues have to be booked a year in advance in some cases to get your ideal tour routing. With bands having so many different ways of reaching people via social media, streaming, Youtube and downloads now it can create a log jam at venues. But it that really and issue or is it a healthy industry?
Sarah Tout (Director, Voice Box Media Training)
I'm interested to see where the conversation about gender representation in line-ups will take us. People have finally started to pay attention to that. More broadly we need to find a way as an industry to talk about safety at gigs, venues and festivals. There needs to be a conversation about intimidation, harassment and abuse. And then there need to be steps committed to and taken by everyone from punters to promoters, venues, and musos themselves to do things just so much better so that no one gets hurt, or excludes themselves from fear of not being safe.
Andrew Fuller (Managing Director, Clearview Legal Counsel)
More than any other creative industry, music is a digital business. The largest platform for music is YouTube but currently the payments to creators and rights holders is minimal. Music drives the YouTube platform and there is dissatisfaction with the royalties paid for the use of music on the platform. The platform has received no shortage of criticism for paying what many feel are insufficient royalties to creators (particularly songwriters) publishers and labels. YouTube also makes music creators jump through many hoops to get infringing material removed from the platform. This needs to be improved.
Check out the WAMCon website for all the details.