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Face The Music 2014, in retrospect.

Words by Kinch Kinski

There was a wealth of knowledge to be had at Face the Music. I only made one whirlwind day, but here are some key bits and pieces I picked up.

Start Me Up: Tips from the Grant Genies gave advice on the art of nabbing a grant.

If you employ a grant writer, you should still have input in the process. Collaborate, don’t delegate – no one likes an application that reads like PR.

Budget properly – if your proposed budget doesn’t balance or doesn’t make sense you won’t get the grant. Those assessing grants are industry professionals; they’ll notice fluffy numbers and immediately put up red flags.

Backstage with the Agents of Live Music emphasised building a team through persistence and quality, unique and ‘premiere’ shows and well-planned regional touring to get the most out of Australia’s limited markets.

They also focused on collecting raw data from Facebook analytics and ticket sales that can be provided to promoters and – assuming it is positive – land you better gigs.

Chutzpah or Kibosh had some great insights into how to ‘give good press’. Don’t just ask editors for an interview or tell them about your show, find an angle the way journalists do and reverse engineer a story for them the way PR firms do.

Breaking Down a Breakthrough looked at In Hearts Wake’s powerhouse 2014.

The release of their album Earthwalker was hugely successful and will launch them on an international tour. Their strategy focused on creating an environmentalist ‘brand’ around the band. A nature-filled film clip was shot and trees were planted for every album pre-sale. There was even a Facebook game featuring the band as squirrels saving their forest from Tony Abbott.

The particulars of the campaign were interesting, but what tied them together were two principles:

  • Have a coherent vision of your project that shapes your decisions
  • Think long-term – the planning around Earthwalker’s release stretches back to June 2013 and forward into 2016.

The need for a coherent, long-term vision should be obvious, but it’s easy to lose sight of in the grind of gigs, rehearsals and writing. Having them burned into my brain by one industry heavy after another was my biggest takeaway from Face the Music.

Keep up to date with all things FTM via www.facethemusic.org.au


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