Peter Garrett - Triple J's Beat the Drum concert. Credit: Daniel Boud.

BIGSOUND, Australia’s version of SxSW has just revealed their first set of speakers for 2015’s conferences, which will take place in Brisbane from September 9-11. MIDNIGHT OIL’s (literally) larger-than-life frontman Peter Garrett will be in attendance, featuring in his own keynote seminar alongside fellow activist Brother Ali, who similarly will have his own keynote. In addition to the 20+ A&R figures announced (listed below), a large selection of the best artists from Australia will be playing the two nights of Bigsound. Last year, we were lucky enough to catch Nick Allbrook of Pond, APES and DMA’s before they exploded internationally. If last year was anything to go off, this year will be amazing.

Peter Garrett fronted Aussie Rock band Midnight Oil from the early 1970’s until their disbanding in 2002. The band broke the barrier between activism and music, peaking in the top 10 with their albums 9 times. 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, arguably one of the band’s best albums, was their first to go 7x Platinum, with their later album Diesel and Dust, released in 1987, meeting the 7x Platinum sales. The Triple J favourites helped push social issues into the homes of Australians, and eventually the world. They sung of the nuclear testing in Maralinga, the rights of Aboriginals, the horrors of the US Army and so much more. Peter Garrett’s appearance at Bigsound 2015 will mark his first major music industry appearance since joining politics in 2003.

Brother Ali will be flying to Australia to speak at Bigsound 2015 about the industry, his life and his activism efforts. Brother Ali has appeared on Late Night Starring Jimmy Fallon, and uses his influential position as a celebrity to push for social change. This is a great chance to catch the rapper after warming up his keynote position with speeches at the Nobel Peace Prize Forum and Princeton University.

BIGSOUND 2014 hosted Neil Finn of Split Enz/Crowded House, The Church and Bluesfest legend Peter Noble. Now, BIGSOUND 2015 has certainly expanded, and the international music industry has noticed. BIGSOUND programmer Nick O’Byrne found that international interest in the seminar/showcase is booming.

“The incredible success of Australian artists overseas combined with the strength, depth and quality of our local music communities mean that some of the world’s most influential labels, publishers, bookers and agents are now making it part of their annual calendar.” Nick O’Byrne noted.

With almost 1000 bands having played BIGSOUND since it’s inception in 2002, anticipation has set in for the remaining annoucements. RCA Records is the home to international stars Kendrick Lamar, The Strokes, Cage the Elephant and a seemingly endless list of other artists. This major label is sending along their Senior Director of A&R Tunji Balogun. Kanine Records, Capitol Music Group and a selection of other international industry heavyweights are in attendance, and you can check the full list out below. BIGSOUND 2015 tickets are on sale now via their website, and you’ll have to be quick since they have only released an extra 50 tickets for $350 ($450 for non-members) before the price eventually ramping up to the full price of $550-650 for full access to the three days of seminars and two nights of live music.

Peter Garrett (AUS) – Keynote
Brother Ali (USA) – Keynote
Ashanti Abdullah – Rhymesayers Entertainment (USA)
Alex Maxwell – Troubadour (USA)
Amy Morgan – Beggars Publishing / Glass Animals (UK)
Avery McTaggart – The Windish Agency (USA)
Ben Munro – Hostess (JPN)
Ben O’Connor – Chapter Music (AUS)
Eric Barleen – Another Planet Entertainment (USA)
Guy Blackman – Chapter Music (AUS)
Jacob Daneman – Pitch Perfect PR (USA)
Jacqueline Saturn – Harvest Records (USA)
Josh Moore – Bowery Presents (USA)
Julia Wilson – Rice is Nice (AUS)
Justin Sweeting – WME / Clockenflap (HK)
Laura Snapes – Freelance Writer (UK)
Lesley Olenik Golindo – Goldenvoice (USA)
Lio Kanine – Kanine Records (USA)
Lorrae McKenna – Remote Control Records (AUS)
Marshall Betts – The Windish Agency (USA)
Meg Helsel – Grandstand Media (USA)
Melissa Yong – Other Sounds / Village Sounds (SGP)
Meredith Fraser – Panache Booking (USA)
Paul Buck – Coda Agency (UK)
Phil Waldorf – Secretly Group (USA)
Rachel Cragg – Nettwerk Music Group (USA)
Robin McNicol – Superfly (USA)
Sat Bisla – A&R Worldwide (USA)
Talya Elitzer – Capitol Music Group (USA)
Tunji Balogun – RCA Records (USA)

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