Aussie market a 'cashcow'

AS LONG as music is packaged right, people are happy to pay.

At least that's what Ruuben Van Den Heuvel from Gateway Entertainment told delegates at Bigsound's Art Vs Commerce In The Digital Age discussion panel on the second day of the Brisbane conference on Wednesday.

The discussion was one of many topics at this year's event which also included Country Is Not A Dirty Word (or the other "c word" as some call it) and The State of Independence in various venues around Fortitude Valley.

Van Den Heuvel, who has worked with Sony, admits the question, "what was your first album?", is redundant because you don't feel an emotional connection with a song stream.

Earlier in the day Jessica Ducrou from Splendour in the Grass and Ken West from Big Day Out were involved in a discussion on whether artists are being paid too much.

While most artists would say no, the festival promoters said the cost of acts, particularly international ones, were what was driving high ticket prices.

"We got a lot of shit for our ticket price," Ducrou said, of the 2011 event. "But the reason it was so high is we paid a shitload for talent."

West went on to say the Australian market is considered a "cashcow" internationally.

Music industry folk and punters alike flocked to Brisbane on Wednesday for the three day conference and showcase which is in its 11th year.

Melbourne singer-songwriter Hayden Calnin, who is set to play on the triple j unearthed stage, said the event was a great opportunity for artists.

"I'm here to get exposure, meet people and see a lot of bands," Calnin said.

Ball Park Music, Flume and Velociraptor were among the highlights in the first night of showcases according to punters.

While Loon Lake, Clare Bowditch and The Aston Shuffle set tongues wagging on the final night of live music.

The event wraps up today with a series of artist Q&As including Clare Bowditch, David Bridie, Ian Haug and Ben Lee.

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