01. Who Can Perform? Canberra Country Blues & Roots Festival is open to Signed and Unsigned artists that perform in a wide range of Country Blues & Roots Music styles - everything from bluegrass to gospel to australiana to americana to balladeers to bush poets to contemporary country to swamp blues to singer/songwriter folk to alternate to a capella mountain music! Amateur and professional performers are catered for, with both Australian and international artists welcome.
02. What About Venues? There are 5 stages at the festival site, but also offsite venues across the region catering to different sub-genres of country blues & roots music.
03. Bump In, Sound Checks? All sound checks are typically 2-3 hours prior to the session showtime, otherwise line checks from the existing setup. Transition times between acts are to be kept to a minimum, with 15 minutes allocated as a maximum. If you’ve played festivals you know it, otherwise be warned you have to be on time, quick and no stuffing around, or you’ll be bumped off.
04. How Long Is The Set Time & What Do We Bring? – 2 x 30 minute or 2 x 60 min sessions –includes set up and bump out. So use the backline & FOH already on the stage. Sound will be faded down @ 5 minutes into your end transition time, so say farewells and get off when your time is up, to allow the next Act’s set. Consider what you will need to bring as we have backline & front of house gear there already. Suggest bring your favourite microphone/s, guitar effect pedals, drum pedals & snare, DI, guitars, keyboards as you see fit. Please note that after losing hundreds of dollars of cables, DIs and microphones we will have no problem in seeking recovery with police for performers who steal (seems tough to say but unfortunately too true)
05. Blackboard Stage Policy? First names on the venues blackboard list gets a 30 minute session (same bump in/out policy as main stages) @ 6pm Friday, 9am Saturday and 9am Sunday – this is best suited for soloist and duos. You can also busk at Buskers Central (the link park near the Music Industry Exhibition and Ute Muster), join in the informal musician jamming sessions and workshops.
06. Performance Fees? This event is not bankrolled by major sponsors, with underwritten funds going to stage, sound and promotion in order to operate a successful festival. Please be realistic in your performance fee calculation. We are unlikely to pay any individual thousands when there are numerous performers to consider. Somewhere between $50 ~ $200 is more likely, remember you can sell CDs and 20 CDs @ $20 = $400, so this cash bonus is also attractive. No fee is payable for Blackboard or Busking performances. If you want your normal club/pub fee then stay in your home region because realistically how many people will you directly attract to the festival? More likely the Festival promotes you. Please remember that typically the longer you are at the Festival the more people you meet, hear you and purchase your merchandise. A final point on this issue to consider is that the big agents and major labels are always telling us that only the top 5 country music artists actually attract sizeable audiences, yet we are keen to expose audiences to emerging and longstanding lesser known performers
– so please see this festival as very much promotional and build your fanbase amongst a very receptive audience and maximise the interviews and relationships with media contacts attending that broadcast your songs. Enter the Awards and gain additional industry recognition – all publicity is good for your image and profile in the music industry.
07. Accommodation? We encourage onsite camping performers free with others powered $25/night or unpowered $15/night. There are motel/hotels nearby (see website Accommodation links). Please indicate on your submission so we know your plans.
08. Dance? Country music has a proud tradition of dance so we cater for clogging, bush and linedancing interests. Use this form to submit your dance troupe. Complete the Workshop Submission form if you want to teach a dance class
09. Workshops? Do you have talent to pass on to others? If so, host a workshop - we provide the room, promote your session and you can sell your CDs at the workshop as well as network amongst like-minded people. Complete the separate Workshop Submission.
10. Any Free Passes? Limited @ 1 x performing act. This is designed for your manager, roadie or partner. If your partner’s, relatives, friends, groupies wish to attend, they’ll have to pay the entry fee, which is reasonably priced anyway! Or they may wish to volunteer to assist the festival and earn a free pass for their support. Check out Volunteers.
11. Venues, Dates & Weather? Please checkout the website for dates - it is eveywhere!!! Festival is on rain or shine. Any changes will be emailed as well as being notified on the festival website www.canberracountry.com Facebook and MySpace www.myspace.com/canberracountrymusicfest
12. How Can We Get Cheap Travel? If not much equipment, then travel by airplane or bus maybe more practical than driving. If flying, check the internet for the lowest discount return airfares but only book once we confirm you are accepted (we will do this as quick as possible upon receiving your submission). If travelling by road, then why not share expenses with another group by using a mini-bus – many schools and churches have a mini-bus and you may even bring a few fans along with you. Also try some fundraising to cover travel expenses – seek a sponsor, sell the Festival CD & make some profits, etc. If travelling more than 3-4 hours why not seek a gig at a a pub or club on the way to and returning from the festival - get in early and we can advise some potential opportunities
13. Festival Attendance We favour performers who stay around and mingle at the Festival. This brings new fans, increased CD sales and a true Festival experience. Remember your Performer Pass covers the full duration of the Festival, not just your set times.
14. Promotion Of Festival By Performers Use all social media Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Bebo, etc to advise people, family and friends you will be performing at the Canberra Country Music Festival. Make friends with our Facebook site, share the experience (be realistic, why should we host your act if you can't even "Like" our Festival on Facebook?) Download a poster or make your own using our artwork. Distribute the flyers we send youy at your lead-up gigs. All promotion assists, yet most performers do very little! Also, don't forget Music Forums where many people visit to get ideas, reviews and updates. CCMF has its own with thousands of visitors, yet only 8 performers have registered and promotes themselves on it - don't assume someone else will do it for you, they won't so get busy for a start at Canberra Country Forum
15. Festival Promotion Of Performers CCBRF is renown for having the most diverse audience as well as a high level of foreign visitors (many diplomats and students and they are keen to meet real Australian Country Music performers). We are keen to expose audiences to emerging and longstanding lesser known performers – so please be see this festival as very much promotional and build your fanbase amongst a very receptive audience - so mingle and be seen amongst people from almost anywhere (you can't get this at your local pub and club gigs). Also maximise the interviews and relationships with media contacts attending that broadcast your songs (In 2012 of 50 performing acts only 6 provided interviews to the radio DJs present - a significant missed opportunity to the other acts). Also, enter the Awards and gain additional industry recognition and CD sales – all publicity is good for your image and profile in the music industry.
16. Festival Policies? We do have a Code Of Conduct which all staff agree to. Keep tempers in check, no illegal drugs on site, intoxication during performance or security/police will deal with it, keep to your session times, enjoy networking If this means you can’t perform – so be it! “Don’t stuff it up for others”. And remember we do provide referrals to other events and venues - we prefer to have positive words, rather than say "No Comment"
18. Can I Just Play In Jamm Sessions? Definitely YES. The Festival has numerous "walk up" sessions on the prgram, a dedicated Blackboard Stage for non-programmed artists, busking areas and many opportunities to jamm with other musos as you like. Just bring your own instrument as ask someone if you can borrow theirs!
19. Can I Play As a Session Muso or Sing Backing Vocals In A Sessions Backing Band On Stage? We have many solists who seek a backing band so for sure, there are great opportunities for doing some support gigs as part of a sessions backing band. Just contact us in advance so we can let you know what is available and some samples of the performer's work so you can decide if you want to back them.
20. What About Foreign Performers? The Festival welcomes performers from across the world! Every year we feature artists visiting Australia and everyone has found appreciative audiences and had a good time. A few words on the business side: We do not pay travel costs to Australia unless sponsored or part of a promotion (such as Sonicbids). The Festival encourages performers to plan a tour around the Festival date in November so performers can meet and grow their fanbase in Australia, as well as visit the tourist sites. Naturally travelling performers can use their travel costs as tax deductions in promoting their CDs etc. Often performers can fundraise travel costs by informing their hometown audiences and venues of the aim to travel to Australia and welcome sponsors and donations to the cause! On our part we can assist in network foreign perofrmers with venues, managers and booking agents to assist in developing a small 2-4 week tour around our festival dates in November. We promote foreign artists as special guests and assist with radio interviews and features in our festival advertising promotion - print/radio/TV - so your name will get around to a waiting fanbase. Due to the time & cost we do not assist with performer visas, just come as a tourist as the performance spots are legally promotional performances from our perspective. Contact us directly to open discussion and for more details firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other more audience focused frequently asked questions are answered by clicking here
OK read all that? Thanks for taking the time!
There are several categories for performer submissions to download - choose the category that suits you: