Fuse Festival 2011 ended with a splash on Friday 18th, with a strong crowd persisting against the wet weather to watch the talented line-up put together for the Fuse @ Fringe stage of Adelaide Fringe Opening night.
Events kicked off on the Wednesday with both the Management and Songwriting Masterclasses taking place at Carclew. Ariel Hyatt ran attendees through her extensive knowledge on how best to use new media to grow your fan base.
Key points were:
-Know your numbers
-Know your market
-Know your fans
-Use this to build a strong emotional connection with your fans
The afternoon featured three of Australia’s most prominent managers, Gregg Donnavan, Catherine Haridy, and Bill Cullen. They were quizzed by attendees for advice on how to work with artists to build a successful and rewarding career.
Fuse West on Wednesday night kept concert goers on their feet as they navigated venues to catch the many band showcases. The Fuse Team heard buzz about:
-Sincerely, Grizzly, who opened the upstairs stage at Tuxedo Cat (taking to the stage just moments after it was finished being drilled together!!)
-The Blackchords playing Jive
-An energetic set by the Paper Scissors at Rocket Bar
-The thumping blues of The Widow Birds at The Promethean
-Sietta (winners of the Sonicbids/Music NT slot) at Casablabla
-Smells Like September, who packed out The Grace Emily
The Fuse Music Industry Conference began on Thursday, with an opening Keynote interview with Michael Chugg and Iain Shedden. Chuggi has long championed the Australian music scene, but criticised commercial Australian radio for not playing near enough Australian music.
John Watson followed with a Keynote speech, and the six principles that he has found repeatedly guide his day-to-day work. These were:
1. Define what success means to you
2. Don’t be boring
3. Listen to the audience
4. It’s all about momentum
5. It’s all about people and relationships
6. It’s all about songs
Roundtables were a great chance for bands to meet speakers face-to-face for tips and advice under the “shade” of the freshly constructed Fringe Club. Unfortunately, on a 35 degree day shade only goes so far, water and sunscreen were a welcome guest at the party!
Fuse East took hold of the city on Thursday night.
-Carclew hosted a night at the Adelaide Unibar with previous Off the Couch participants including Pimpin’ Horus who attracted many of the speakers attention with their innovative marketing techniques
-The Fringe club opened it’s doors to the public for the first time attracting the likes of Luke Bevans and even Chuggi himself to watch out-of-towners Sam Buckingham and Matt Walters
-Arcade Lane returned for another year with a smashing line-up and a pink theme to boot!
The drop in conference attendance on Friday was testament to the success of Fuse East, but there was still a strong turn out for the morning’s keynote sessions. The Music Network’s Christie Eliezer led an essential panel running through the decisions of a hypothetical band’s journey.
Vince Bannon from Getty Images then ran the final keynote of the morning, energetically (and explicitly!) explaining how his company had revolutionized online image distribution and no longer fear piracy. There parallels with the music industry were clear, and Vince’s presentation was a talking point for the rest of the conference.
The afternoon’s panels closed with the Music Listening Panel, a chance for bands to have their music critiqued by a variety of industry representatives. Despite a small hitch that led to the first track sounding like a chipmunks remix, the session went smoothly, and was a valuable experience for all.
Our final event for 2011, Fuse @ Fringe, was threatened by rain all afternoon, but thanks to a wonderful backstage crew managed to be an exciting climax to the three days preceding. Triple j Unearthed winners The Cairos kicked the show off (quite a challenge through the steady rain!). Everyone fell in love with Microwave Jenny who do a slamming cover of Hanson’s ‘M-Bop’. Youngins San Cisco rocked our soggy socks off. Locals The Honey Pies, 20th Century Graduates, The Salvadors, and City Riots did what they do best (complete with bubbles and audience participation). Triple j darlings The John Steel Singers finished the night with a bang to a crowd of an estimated 2000 (thanks to all who braved the rain and mud!).
Check out pictures below:
Courtesy of Michael Selge, Craftypics 2011.
Thanks to all who attended, we look forward to seeing you all again in 2012!
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