Greg Sanders
WAM Festival Coordinator

How are you finding the lead up to your first WAM Festival since taking over from Brooke Kelly?

I was Brooke’s assistant last year, and learnt a lot from her. I haven’t taken over as such – it’s a slightly different role – but I’m enjoying the challenge. It’s by far the biggest event I’ve worked on before so there have been a few hurdles to overcome that I wasn’t prepared for, but the WAM staff have been super supportive and Mike Harris runs a tight ship, so it’s been mostly smooth sailing.

What are WAM’s greatest challenges at this point?

The greatest challenge is trying to get the message across to artists that WAM is a not-for-profit organisation that exists purely to support them, and without support in return the WA music community wouldn’t be nearly as strong. Most people get it, but there are always a few haters. It comes with the territory I suppose!

WA is a rarity in that we have annual music awards while most states don’t. Do you think it’s important to recognise our musos and industry folk?

Yeah I do. The WAM Awards are unique in that there is a really good balance between the prestige and the party. The awards mean a lot and most artists consider it an honour to be nominated, but more importantly I think everyone recognises it as an excuse to have a few drinks, catch up with their mates in the music industry and celebrate what’s happened in the scene over the last 12 months. It’s good that its not taken too seriously.

What are your Top 5 picks for the WAM Festival?

The Block Party (Saturday, November 8). Some of Perth’s highest profile acts playing for free at an 18+ licensed outdoor event with bars and food trucks aplenty, right in the heart of Northbridge. What could be better?

Industry speed dating at The Music Conference (Friday-Saturday, November 7-8). There are some incredible one on one networking opportunities for conference pass holders this year. Plenty of booking agents and record label reps specifically here to search for talent to sign, not to mention triple j Assistant Music Director, Nick Findlay, who you will be setting aside time for artists to pitch their music to him in person.

The Opening Party (The Bakery, Thursday, November 6). Kicking off the festival with a bang, the opening party will be a hard rockin’ affair with seven of Perth’s best new up and coming bands showing off their wares at The Bakery, perhaps for the last time at a WAM event.

SWAM (Thursday-Saturday, November 6-8) The Singapore West Australian Music Exchange program is back for its second year and we have some great acts over this year. You can shake, rattle and roll with mod fanatics The Pinholes, head bang to your heart’s content with hard rockers Villes and swoon the nights away with the dreamy pop of iNCH.

WA Craft Awards (State Theatre Centre Courtyard, Friday, November 7). Before you head to the WA Music Awards at Capitol, make sure you head to the State Theatre Courtyard for an after work drink and to catch the Craft Awards presentation. Another free entry event, the presentation will be followed by a live broadcast from RTR FM and some live music to boot.