Spotlight On: the North Queensland music scene

Friday, 08 May 2015

More than 60 music makers stepped out in Townsville and Mackay to attend Navigating the Music Industry workshops.

The series, a part of the QMusic regional program, was supported by APRA AMCOS and with the assistance of the Live Music Office, opened doors for live music from grassroots musicians with local councils and venues.

“These music workshops and forums are finding a way through performance, industry and regulation issues. For the first time in North Queensland, local government, liquor accords, venues, the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation and musicians sat down at the same table,” said John Wardle of the Live Music Office.

Along with its natural treasures of reef and rainforest, North Queensland boasts a thriving music scene. Musically, the two cities are as different as they are the same. While Mackay is thriving with rock musicians and singer/songwriters, Townsville is renowned for its blues and country acts.

According to Stacey Coleman of QMusic, “all musicians we chatted to were keen on making sure their music was protected, that they had a steady income and a creative outlet.”

“Interestingly, we met with beginners right through to ‘old hands’ looking to expand their career beyond their town. It was the interaction between the two groups which was great to see, an informal mentoring session.”

Workshop attendees learnt about band management, copyright, royalties, publicity, booking gigs and how to take the next step in their career.

Chris O’Neill of APRA AMCOS was pleased with the very real opportunities provided. “Venues and Council came together, we opened up educational opportunities, bands were introduced to festivals outside their region and we were able to share good, strong publicity leads.”

“It’s about creating a fairer playing field for artists, supporting live music venues and developing talent in every area of the country,” said John Wardle.

Check out the work of the Live Music Office

Visit the QMusic website

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