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Dane Hunnerup with Ben Wells and the Middle Names at the launch.

Minister for the Arts, David O’Byrne MP, recalled memories of his rock star days as he launched the fifth annual Amplified contemporary music program in Hobart from September 1 to 5 this year.

“Music is an art form that can be enjoyed by all Tasmanians and Amplified is about showcasing our musical talents to the nation and the rest of the world,” Mr O’Byrne said.

“This is the primary development opportunity for Tasmanian musicians and attracts talent scouts and industry veterans from across the country to witness our home-grown stars in their natural environment.”

Mr O’Byrne said Amplified had already attracted the attention of influential industry representatives, including this year’s conference facilitator Phil Tripp, the Australasian Representative for South by Southwest, Publisher of the AustralAsian Music Industry Directory, and CEO of IMMEDIA! and TheMusic.com.au.

“They will provide their wealth of knowledge and experience across 11 workshop and conference programs, and I encourage all members of the Tasmanian music community to participate in the programs on offer,” Mr O’Byrne said.

“There are also exciting opportunities for the general public to get involved, by attending the 11 feature concerts, voting for their favourite bands in the Amplified Awards and rocking out at the grand Awards Night celebrations at Moorilla Estate.”

Mr Tripp said Amplified had grown to be one of Australia’s top five music networking hot-spots of the year.

“We all love coming to Hobart for this because many of us believe that Tasmania is the home of the ‘the next new thing’, with a lot of musical jewels yet to be unearthed,” Mr Tripp. 

“I’m coming back to search for an artist to appear at the world’s largest and most prestigious music event, the South by Southwest Music Festival and Conference in Austin, Texas. Like Amplified, it started in a humble city off the beaten music business track to spotlight artists and businesses often overlooked.”

Local band Ben Wells and the Middle Names drummed up excitement about Amplified 2010 as just one of the local acts nominated in 20 categories in this year’s Amplified Awards.

“Amplified’s track record with helping artists take the next step with their careers is strong, with many bands forging connections into the greater industry,” band manager Dario Phillips said.

“It’s very exciting for us that we’re short-listed for the Emerging Artist of the Year Award and we hope that we can take advantage of the opportunities as others have previously.”

This year a special schools’ conference will be held for the first time, and further practical elements of the Amplified program will include sessions on how to get your music on iTunes, how to get a festival gig and how to start your own boutique record label.

Public voting for the Awards is open from July 26 to August 18. To place your vote, buy tickets to the Awards or conference, or view the full program visit the website at http://www.arts.tas.gov.au/amplified.

Amplified is supported by APRA, the Australian Music Radio Airplay Project (AMRAP), Contemporary Music Services Tasmania, Edge Radio, Hobart City Council, The Mercury, Moorilla Estate, Valleyarm, Sauce Magazine, Troy Horse and the State Government through Arts Tasmania.