Gold Sounds: The revolutionary conference that’s a must for the Victorian music industry

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Gold Sounds: The revolutionary conference that’s a must for the Victorian music industry

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Gold Sounds Music Conference is bringing together the regional and inner city music communities of Victoria.

Promising to be one of the most invaluable events for emerging artists, musicians and the music industry in its entirety, Gold Sounds Music Conference is bringing together great minds from varied facets of the music community for four days this October. 

Running from Thursday, October 13 to Sunday, October 16, Central Victoria’s biggest music conference returns for its second year, rounding up Victoria’s regional and Melbourne music communities for a host of panels, workshops, networking events, and a youth program.

Keep up with the latest music news, festivals, interviews and reviews here.

Held on Djarra Country in Castlemaine, the conference is creating something unique and accessible in the Australian music calendar with sessions covering a myriad of topics and playing host to an extraordinary array of music industry professionals including artist managers, booking agents, musicians, academics, activists and more.

In its first year, the inaugural conference featured keynote speeches by industry heavyweights Jen Cloher and Liz Stringer alongside workshops run by two of the region’s biggest stars, Dallas Woods and Jess Ribeiro. 

Held as Victoria was emerging from lockdown in late 2021, the Conference was delivered as part of Music Victoria’s Regional Music Development program and attracted more than 100 people from the music industry and community across the weekend, and won the Mount Alexander Shire Council Community Event of the Year. 

Now back for round two and set to be bigger and bolder than ever, Gold Sounds promises to be a pivotal moment in the 2022 calendar. Let’s dive into what’s on offer across the four-day conference. 

Day 1: Thursday

​​The conference kicks off in style at The Phee Broadway Theatre on Thursday 13 October with a launch of television and radio broadcaster Myf Warhurst’s book The Time of My Life. With music shaping Myf’s life from the get-go, the much-loved music quiz show host’s book has been described as “a captivating and joyous memoir of wisdom, humour and heart that unleashes the music within us all”. 

A giant within the music industry, and one whose pure love of music has shaped her lifelong career, Myf will feature in conversation with Gold Sounds Director Fionna Allan, as she shares funny, fabulous and occasionally fraught tales while sharing a behind-the-scene ​​perspective to work, fame, feminism, failure, love and success.

As a bonus, there will also be a pop-up bar on site and all tickets include a signed copy of Myf’s book.


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Day 2: Friday

Fuel up with a coffee and croissant and make your way to the Phee Broadway Theatre in the centre of Castlemaine for the second day of the inspiring event. 

Conference programming on Friday will feature sessions on mental health wellness, music and activism, regional festival and venue programming, opportunities and tips when applying for grants and funding, a session on creative collaboration and the regional launch of Green Music Australia’s Sound Country resources with a live performance from Carissa Nyalu. 

Gifting an insight into regional programming, Dina Bassile (Director, Tibi Access/Groove Tunes), Emma Ireland (Director, Chill Out Festival Daylesford / Spring Bliss Hanging Rock), Rebecca Young (Collective Artists) and Justin Rudge (Program Director, Port Fairy Folk Festival) will lead a thoughtful discussion with ‘Where it’s At: Regional Festival & Venue Programming’. 

Another highlight will be ‘Identity: The Music, The Mind, The Me’, where Music Victoria’s Mental Health Clinician/Consultant Bree Chapman-Stewart will lead a thought-provoking conversation with Benny Clark (Drummer, Baker Boy), BATTS (Musician/advocate) and Kiwat Kennell (Musician and Community and Project Manager at Music Victoria).

“As our industry recovers from the last few years, focusing on how to look after our own and others’ mental health is as important as ever,” says program director Fionna Allan. 

“Coupled with sessions on how grant funding organisations work, how regional festivals and venues are programmed, and the desire to make important work, either solo or with others, Friday has something for everyone.”

Finish the day with a brew or two at Phee Broadway Theatre, where conference goers will gather in a relaxed environment to mingle, reflect and connect over the day’s events. 

Day 3: Saturday

Saturday’s programming will focus on songwriting copyright and licensing, community radio,  marketing and PR, with the addition of youth-focused events curated in direct response to young people. 

The Youth Program will include access to Industry sessions at The Phee Broadway Theatre, including Yarning Strong, Marketing & PR, Community & Public Radio and Copyright & Licensing, as well as further youth-only sessions yet to be announced.

For all industry people, our eyes are on the practical session led by music broadcaster Jane Gazzo, ‘Talking to a Stranger’ – a three-hour session that will equip radio presenters and musicians with the skills to undertake great interviews. 

There’s also a wonderful discussion outlining why Community and Public Radio is so important, with Meagan Loader (ABC’s Head of Music & Creative Development), Shane Horman (Assoc Professor, Monash University) and Richard Moffat (Programming Coordinator, MainFM). 

Saturday will also feature a special Yarning Strong panel from Support Act, focusing on breaking down barriers for First Nations artists, including incredible artists Mitch Tambo and Dallas Woods, and Artist Manager/A&R Warner Music Larissa Ryan. 

“The conference panels are a great opportunity to hear about the journeys of a diverse group of industry legends, from the lessons they have learnt over the years to where they are heading. The Yarning Strong session has Dallas Woods returning to the conference again, sharing his knowledge and experience alongside other talented and passionate First Nations people,” says Allan.

Another highlight for Saturday will be a special live performance from Laura Jean, who returns to the Theatre Royal for the first time in three and a half years, previewing her forthcoming album Amateurs. A rare talent, Laura Jean live is a must-see. 

Day 4: Sunday

The final day will feature magnificent and invaluable songwriting clinics featuring Cash Savage (of critically acclaimed, internationally renowned six-piece Cash Savage and the Last Drinks), held by APRA AMCOS. 

Running from 10am until 4pm, the Cash Savage’s ‘321 sessions’ are a fantastic opportunity for those looking to sharpen and hone their songwriting skills. These sessions provide a no-pressure environment for songwriters to collaborate outside their usual creative zones. Successful 321 applicants (you can apply here) will be matched in a session with two other APRA AMCOS members/artists to write in a studio space for two hours to create a new song! 

“Having esteemed songwriters like Cash Savage shares their knowledge and sit with our local musicians to create something together brings us back to the heart of what we do – producing great music. These sessions are supportive, inspiring and a great springboard for budding songwriters to take that next step,” said Ms Allan.

Gold Sounds Music Conference will also feature music interview training and other practical sessions.

Tickets are on sale now via the Gold Sounds website. You can also view the full program online. 

This article was made in partnership with Gold Sounds Music Conference. Gold Sounds Music Conference is made possible with the support of Creative Victoria.