Aussie music to start globe-conquering run at MIDEM and South by Southwest

The Australian Trade Commission (Austrade) will help deliver unique Australian sounds to markets on both sides of the Atlantic by supporting a strong Australian presence at the world’s largest business-to-business music tradeshow, Midem (Cannes France, 27-31 January), and the South by Southwest Festival (Austin Texas, 12-16 March), one of the world’s most exciting industry showcases for new talent.

Austrade’s Export Adviser for Arts, Culture and Entertainment Matthew Proft, said both events complemented each other by offering a different emphasis on pathways to global success:

“The business-to-business focus of Midem, the world’s largest music trade event, brings nearly 10,000 international music industry labels, publishers, artist managers and music professionals together in Cannes. On the other hand, South by Southwest (SxSW) has proven itself as a vital platform for Australian acts to push their credentials through live performance in the vital US market and beyond.”

At Midem starting this week on Sunday, more than 20 Australian music businesses will take local sounds to the international market, including Rubber Records, the Melbourne independent responsible for launching ‘Jet’ onto the world stage.

“Rubber Records continuing commitment to MIDEM shows why it is one of the best places for independent acts to negotiate festival opportunities, as well as touring, synchronisation and licensing deals,” says Proft. Rubber Records’ Director David Vodicka agrees:

“We’ve been coming to Midem for many years because decision makers from most major markets converge on Cannes every year. As an independent, you have the advantage of finding everyone in the same place, which means value when it comes to introducing our catalogue to customers from around the world.”

In 2007 more than half the Australian participants at Midem made sales, with deals into the US, Japan, Canada, Asia and Europe.

Tony George, Austrade’s Business Development Manager at the Australian Music Office in Los Angeles, says South by Southwest 2008 in March would offer potential customers a unique mix of Australian talent. This year mainstay artists such as Paul Kelly and Aussie Hip-hop pioneers the Hilltop Hoods will perform to US and global tastemakers alongside more recent Aussie success stories such as Cut Copy and Ash Grunwald.

On 30 January Austrade will hold boot-camps to assist Australian bands and music industry representatives prepare to do business at South by South West 2008. The event will include business tips from senior music industry representatives.

Proft says Austrade has been “actively involved in promoting Australian music overseas for many years now and we are now seeing exciting growth, with a real increase in the numbers of artists and labels winning international deals.” Austrade works closely with music industry associations such as the Australian Independent Records Labels Association (AIR), the Australian Music Publishers Association Ltd (AMPAL), the Australian Performing Right Association (APRA) and the Australia Council for the Arts, to promote Australian music internationally.

In 2006-07 Austrade helped 124 music businesses achieve export sales worth more than $28 million.