Toowoomba musician Tom Gillsepie of alternate rock trio Venice on Fire has been awarded one of six Bigsound 2018 bursaries, in partnership with QMusic. The Bigsound bursary, now in its second year, will cover the winner’s flights, accommodation and purple passes to Australia festival of new music and conference, Bigsound Festival taking place across Brisbane from Tuesday 4 to Friday 7 September.

Tom Gillespie said he is thrilled to win the bursary, citing the disadvantages regional artists face. “On top of the obvious tyranny of distance, you have to work twice as hard to network, befriend and otherwise insert yourself into industry and social circles,” said Tom. “You’re constantly behind the eight ball, so this is a magnificent chance to rise above that. It will offer me a chance to meet professionals I would otherwise have no access to. As a band, we want to explore more touring opportunities, so I’m hoping to meet with booking agents and venue owners to not only highlight our work, but find out what they’re looking for.”

Other winners of the bursary include Dylan Lindquist of indie pop band Clawmachine, Laura Bamford performing as Laura Louise, Rob Bryant of rock trio Big Foot Mafia, Sam Krzewina, and Victoria Jenkins of Fragile Animals. Spanning from Cairns to Toowoomba the young music business start-ups are participants of QMusic’s flagship professional development program, Industry Connect. The program has helped 1190 artists and music industry practitioners navigate the contemporary music industry landscape, since 2017 with support from Arts Queensland.

QMusic has also produced a new opportunity for emerging and developing Queensland artists. Held in the mountains of Buderim at Heliport Studios, AMPLIFY is an application-based songwriting and development opportunity. Focused on creating interactions and learning from Australian songwriters and producers from major labels and publishing houses, AMPLIFY gives emerging and developing artist an opportunity to co-write, collaborate, connect and learn.

Applications for Amplify close on Wednesday 12 September.

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