Peter Garrett’s ten big lessons at BIGSOUND

BIGSOUND 2015 was opened by Peter Garrett AM. You know his credentials: 13 top ten albums, eleven ARIA Awards, induction into the ARIA Hall of Fame, former Australian Conservation Foundation president, Parliamentarian for nearly ten years as well as Ministerial portfolios that encompassed art, environment and education.

True to form Garrett acknowledged the Traditional Owners of the lands BIGSOUND took place on, as well as famed poet and conservationist Judith Wright and some of Queensland’s music greats.

Then he did us all a favour and summed up his presentation in quintessential clickbait style.

“I wanted to come and speak because I think this is a fantastic event,” he said, going on to say he’d watched from afar and seen a lot of vitality at BIGSOUND over the years.

“I haven’t been speaking much, I’ve been writing,” he said. “And I know that when you speak you can go on and on a bit and it can get kind of boring, I probably did make some boring speeches when I was a pollie.”

He went on to deliver a one minute version of his presentation ahead of the full talk. Here’s Peter Garret’s top ten lessons from his lifetime in the music industry.

  1. it’s about the song
  2. you’ve got to believe
  3. team work makes it happen
  4. the small print is as important as the headline
  5. if at first you don’t succeed, pull your finger out and try again
  6. respect your audience, protect your copyright
  7. there’s always room for dissent, there’s always room to experiment
  8. everyone’s a fan
  9. you’ll meet people on the way, and then you’ll meet them again on the way down
  10. (and in a homage to his road crew, of whom there are many, who kept him going for 30 years in the business)… it is a long way to the shop if you want a sausage roll, but it tastes pretty good when you get there.

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Peter Garrett’s biography will be available later this year.

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