Musos conference in the ‘maine

Music Victoria’s regional music coordinator for Mount Alexander Shire, Fionna Allan (at front) with local musicians and music industry professionals in Castlemaine last week ahead of this month's debut Gold Sounds music industry conference. Photo: Eve Lamb

Much of the region’s live music muscle will be headed to Castlemaine this month for a debut three-day music conference aimed at helping the industry rebound from COVID-19.

To be staged at Castlemaine’s Phee Broadway Theatre, Senior Citizens Club, Town Hall and Theatre Royal over Friday to Sunday, November 19- 21, the inaugural Gold Sounds conference will bring together the region’s musos and other music industry professionals and will feature key speakers from the local area and Melbourne.

“The Regional Music Development program is designed to lead COVID-19 recovery efforts while addressing the needs of musicians, music professionals and music communities,” regional manager at Music Victoria, Sarah DeBorre said.

The new conference is part of the Regional Music Development pilot program funded by Creative Victoria and delivered in partnership by Music Victoria and Regional Arts Victoria with support from Mount Alexander Shire Council.

Music Victoria’s regional music coordinator for Mount Alexander Shire, Fionna Allan, said the conference was designed to create a lasting legacy and empower the regional music industry with all it needed to recover from the pandemic’s impacts.

“We hope that it will strengthen connections across the shire, and beyond,” Ms Allan said.

Set to start with a venues day, the three-day event aims to unite all of the shire’s live music venues while inviting venues in neighbouring areas including Macedon Ranges, Hepburn Shire and City of Greater Bendigo.

“The venues day will be hosted roundtable style and look to upskill our live music venues and their staff in key areas,” Ms Allan said.

“Friday afternoon will take a youth-based focus bringing together the Mount Alexander Shire FReeZA committee and neighbouring committees in a short series of professional development sessions, and a panel session from touring artists, curated by young people.”

Saturday of the conference will feature programming geared to both regional artists and industry.

“The day will kick off with a keynote address from acclaimed artist Liz Stringer, and will include panel sessions covering topics such as access, inclusion and safe spaces, artist promotion, and taking care of mental health,” Ms Allan said.

“The day will finish off with a keynote address from musician Jen Cloher, and there are still more speakers to be announced.

“The conference will be rounded out on Sunday by a series of dedicated invitation-only songwriting workshops, which we are really proud to be delivering in partnership with APRA/AMCOS.

“These workshops will be curated by musicians and songwriters Jess Ribeiro and Dallas Woods.”

A host of talented industry professionals are set to participate in the sessions including Eliza Hull (producer, musician), Richard Moffat (Groovin’ The Moo, mainFM), Tom Larkin (Shihad, Tiny Triumphs Management), Casey Rice (producer, engineer), Anna Laverty (producer, engineer), Aimee Chapman (musician, event producer), Bree Chapman-Stewart (Music Victoria) and Jem Moloney (HALT, Dead).

Enquiries to Fionna Allan at