QMusic is a not-for-profit, membership-based organisation located in Brisbane whose work is critical to the success of Queensland’s contemporary music economy. It is the only significant non-government organisation in Queensland that is dedicated to delivering sector development and major music events to stimulate and grow the state’s music sector. Amongst its success stories are BIGSOUND and the Queensland Music Awards
In October 2020, QMusic held the BIGSOUND music festival virtually for the first time and achieved massive attendance. CEO Angela Samut, realised there was now an opportunity to build on this momentum and bring together key representatives from the music community to discuss the future of music post COVID and beyond. She and her team invited many of the industry’s heavyweights, whose influence and drive could deliver real impact and change for the entire sector. Also invited were First Nations community representatives, artists, and promoters who are being directly affected by the fallout from the pandemic and who’s voices are often not being heard.
Our journey together
Leadership Space had been recommended to QMusic by a long standing music sector client, and a meeting was held between Leadership Space facilitators Sarit Vandegraaff & Barb Barkley, QMusic CEO Angela Samut and Program Director Tom Larkin to understand how best to leverage the opportunity and define what success would look like for the project. The intention of the project, they agreed, was to identify 3-4 key initiatives that could support the industry to get back on its feet after the hit from the pandemic.
These suggestions would be taken to government for consultation, input, and hopefully funding. The broader arts and music sector had been especially hard hit due to the economic downturn, highlighting the many support gaps that existed and led to issues ranging from financial uncertainty, mental health, and social isolation. The pandemic highlighted the need for the music community to have a cohesive and collective voice to be heard and that this project could be a catalyst in making this happen.
Sarit and Barb worked with Angela and Tom to determine what process would work best for QMusic to host a successful event. Leadership Space would be involved in both the planning and facilitation of the event. This 3rd party involvement was intentional to encourage impartiality and independence of input for those who would be involved.
The design of the BIGSOUND project consisted of 2 virtual roundtables made up of key music community representatives. Together these groups teased out the most pressing challenges faced by the community. The team’s intent was captured in its title: ‘Creating a coherent and collective voice for the music community at government level’. Bringing these themes to the wider music community for comment, engagement and testing was achieved by a Panel discussion broadcast as part of the BIGSOUND music festival program.
Titled 2021- A year from now: What’s next for Australia’s Music Industry, the panel was made up of a select group of representatives, and enabled engagement and feedback, and was, facilitated by Leadership Space. It was well attended by festival patrons who were able to engage with one another via the chat box and a recording is now available on demand through the BIGSOUND festival website.
As QMusic navigates the next era of engaging and coordinating what the music sector needs, they do so on a firmer base, having demonstrated their resilience and commitment to moving into action, their deep passion for the music community; and their willingness to hear all voices at the table.
"We really appreciated the involvement of the Leadership Space team in our event, it enabled us to maintain impartiality, and ensure authenticity of the feedback that was garnered from the roundtables - which were an excellent idea of theirs too!
We learned a lot from the honest and heartfelt feedback about the state of our industry, and the recommendations from the group were insightful and powerful and we hope will be adopted to positively impact everyone we represent."
– Q Music