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May 30, 2024

MusicSA scouts local talent for career-changing program

Is your band looking for an opportunity to get in front of indie record labels and managers? Applications are now open for a music showcase that’ll do exactly that.

  • Words: Helen Karakulak
  • Pictures: supplied
  • Main picture: Nick Astenai

MusicSA’s Scouted program is back for another year, with events at Jive and Nexus Live scheduled for August.


August 2, 2024

Apply now
EOIs open ’til midnight, Sunday, June 23.

Get early-bird tickets

Scouted is dedicated to supporting unsigned South Australian-based artists, producers, bands and solo performers who create original live music. The Scouted artists have a rare opportunity to play in a live showcase for national industry representatives.

Last year, electro-pop rock band Tonix participated in Scouted, and their saxophonist, Archie McEwen says the experience was “life-changing”.

Scouted coincides with Indie-Con, held by the Australian Independent Record  (AIR) Labels Association from July 31 to August 2 this year at the Mercury Cinema.

Indie-Con brings together key figures in the national music industry to discuss trends, innovations and advancements in technology affecting the industry, and celebrates achievements of indie labels and artists through the AIR awards.

An early Tonix gig at Broadcast Bar, 2021.

Archie says attending Indie-Con events throughout the week was a major way they got their name out there and learnt about the industry.

Tonix’s members were in Year 12 last year when they were involved. They took a couple of days off school to commit to the program and it paid off, inspiring them and introducing them to people who would be pivotal in their careers.


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“We just tried to attend as many events as possible, some of those events we probably weren’t meant to attend, but we wanted to make the most of trying to network with the people that were here,” Archie says.

“So we went to the AIR awards which is like seeing some pretty big bands and some pretty big artists win awards and we were just kids sitting in the background, going ‘oh my god King Stingray just won their fifth award, they’re massive, that’s epic!’

Archie says at the afterparty, they networked and invited people to see them perform on the Scouted showcase lineup.

This picture: Nick Astenai

Tonix was offered a record label and distribution contract after Scouted, but they didn’t take it. They have supported touring acts like Tijuana Cartel and Boo Seeka, and were booked on the 2024 lineup for Vintage Vibes before it was cancelled earlier this year.

Most notably to them, Tonix met their manager, Gareth Lewis from General Admission Entertainment at the Scouted showcase.

Archie says that has been the biggest change for the band since they formed in 2021, as it opened up new opportunities playing local venues and festival stages now that they have representation.

When you get an 18-year-old kid trying to contact the festival, that’s not how it works,” he says.

“Having [Gareth] has put us in the eyes of more of the curators for those bigger festivals, because they see the information coming from him who’s an experienced professional that they are friends with, or colleagues, versus you know getting an email, call or text from some kid – so it makes a big difference.”

In the lead-up to the showcase, MusicSA provides artists with training opportunities across live stagecraft, creating their own electronic press kits and passes to attend Indie-Con.

MusicSA CEO Christine Schloithe says Scouted is one of MusicSA’s favourite projects.

“Each year the acts get better and better and it’s such a joy to see local artists wowing national industry heavyweights!” she says.

Arts Minister Andrea Michaels says Scouted is one of the ways SA cements its legacy as a UNESCO City of Music by supporting local artists.

“Scouted provides local artists the opportunity to connect with new audiences and showcase their talents to the national delegates of Indie-Con, while drawing people to Adelaide’s favourite West End venues,” she says.

Unsigned artists, producers, bands and solo performers interested in applying for Scouted should express their interest via MusicSA’s website.

EOIs close at midnight on Sunday, June 23.

Scouted is a public event, with early-bird tickets for the show on sale now. The Scouted event and Indie-Con are 18+ events.


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