Game Changers is a weekend dedicated to celebrating and developing women in music. Across three days in early November, Game Changers will host workshops and events encouraging female-identifying musicians to connect and learn from each other.
Melbourne-based electronic artist and producer Alice Ivy was in Hobart in early October to launch the program. Fresh off the back of her recently penned record deal with Dew Process/Universal Music Australia, Ivy will play a key role in the program.
Alice Ivy. Image: Music Tasmania
Along with Sydney’s Rainbow Chan, Ivy will host the Women in Electric Music masterclasses to help sharpen our local ladies’ technical and production skills, and bolster their confidence to play ball in a male-dominated game.
“Electronic music is an area where women have been traditionally underrepresented, and opportunities like this, which encourage women to experiment and play with production and tech are really important,” Ivy says.
“Not only does it develop new skills, it also helps to change the perception that it’s a male’s game.”
Rainbow Chan. Image: Music Tasmania
An initiative by Music Tasmania, Game Changers is an effort to address gender equality and foster women’s involvement in many aspects of the music industry— from technical and production skills to audience engagement and music journalism.
“We wanted to develop a program that was about creating positive change for women in music,” Music Tasmania CEO Laura Harper says.
Go on, Laura.
Undertow: What inspired Game Changers?
Laura: Earlier this year, Triple J’s Hack released stats from their second annual Girls To The Front investigation which found that male artists still make up the overwhelming majority of paid music makers in Australia; and are far more likely to be booked on a festival line-up, played on the radio and receive the majority of national music grants. Staff in the industry and on public boards tends to be male-dominated, too.
A game changer is defined as: ‘An event, idea, or procedure that effects a significant shift in the current way of doing or thinking about something’. We hope this program will start to shift people’s thinking and break down the real and perceived barriers that impact women in music.
What do you hope participants will get out of Game Changers?
We have put together a program that invites people to participate, contribute, and feel connected. This is our first year, and we plan to grow the event.
There is a bunch of masterclasses over the weekend to help develop the capacity and confidence of women in music. Stagecraft specialist Zeraphina Zara is taking a masterclass to give performers an understanding of how to use space and gesture to better connect with audiences.
We want the Game Changers weekend to be like a big hug for our participants. We want them to know they are an important part of a music community that values and supports them.
What do you hope audiences of your live events will take away with them?
We want audiences to recognise that the game is changing, and we have an incredible array of female musicians, bands and women working in key roles within the music industry from organisations, festivals and events.
As part of the Game Changers showcasing program, we’ve partnered with Preachers, The Grand Poobah, and The Brisbane Hotel to curate a number of great female-led acts on Saturday evening. We really want to acknowledge the amazing women making music here in Tassie.
Next year, we plan to partner with more Tasmanian venues to increase performance opportunities and highlight the diversity of women in music.
Why do you think women lack confidence in areas such as electronic music, stagecraft and management?
Lack of confidence is a problem many creative women face and it’s a huge barrier.
Music Tasmania identified the skill gaps for women in music, specifically in Tassie, were in stagecraft, management, and electronic music and production. So our masterclasses and workshops offer small group classes with incredible delegates to address some of these needs.
How do you think the Tasmanian music scene compares to the mainland’s music scene in terms of female representation and participation?
It’s difficult to compare Tassie with the mainland! I think that we have some very talented women making music and working in the sector here, but often we can feel disconnected or separate from the mainstream music industry. Game Changers is really about bringing people together to celebrate women in music, but also to look at how we can better collaborate and support each other and enable change in the future.
Game Changers November 3-5, head to Music Tasmania’s website for more details.
Game Changers Weekend
Quit your jobs, clear your calendars and get ready for a big weekend this November — there is a whole lot going on.
Game Changers will officially begin on November 3 with an opening night party at Salamanca Arts Centre, featuring music from Q.E. (aka Jacqueline Collyer), Sumner, S L O W, and a headline set by Alice Ivy.
But before you go venue hopping, get down to the (Un)Conference at the Founders Room, which will provide an overview of management and the multifaceted beast that is the music industry.
Head over to Mona on Sunday for the Languid Luncheon — an afternoon of conversation, food and live performances, featuring a key note presentation by
Leanne de Souza (executive director of the Association of Artist Managers, founder, and director of A Rock and Roll Writers Festival).
There will also be a panel conversation with Kate Hennessy (freelance arts critic for The Guardian and more), Denni Proctor (writer/performer DENNI), Emma Waters (writer/performer, EWAH) and, Maria Lurighi (singer/performer) discussing how we can address these issues to empower women in music.
Dates, details and tickets at musictasmania.org