Official New Zealand Music Month Summit

New Zealand Music Month is upon us! An opportunity for New Zealanders to get out and support local music as often as they can.

Aotearoa has an abundance of world-class talent that you can see on stages across the length and breadth of the country. In clubs and pubs, community centres and RSAs, theatres and school halls, and so many other venues, there is no shortage of live music happening every week around New Zealand.

The Official New Zealand Music Month Summit makes a welcome return this May with an impressive line-up of panellists speaking on the most exciting aspect of the music industry - live performance.

Whether you are watching an emerging artist in one of the fantastic grass-roots venues around Aotearoa or soaking up a headline performance in an illustrious New Zealand theatre, there is nothing quite like the experience of seeing amazing music live.

The summit is an opportunity to listen to experts within the music industry discuss touring, performing, self-care on the road and answer questions about their own experiences. It will be held at the Herald Theatre, Aotea Square on 25 May from 10am. It will feature four separate panel sessions with industry leaders discussing every aspect of the juggernaut which is live performance.

Attendees can expect thought provoking discussions and conversation, invaluable insight and information, and there will be a chance to have any burning questions answered at the end of each session.

Four subjects have been revealed with a star-studded line-up of speakers.

Going on tour sounds like a lot of fun, and certainly appears glamorous to those who aren’t in the know. It is one of the best experiences, but it is not without its risks, problems and stress. Touring can take a toll on artists' health, wellbeing and relationships and it is far from a guaranteed money maker! The two speakers who will tackle ‘Looking after yourself on the road’ are two of our most well-travelled artists - Tami Neilson and Julia Deans.

With a rigorous international touring schedule, Tami Neilson plays sold-out shows across North America, New Zealand and Europe. A true force to be reckoned with, Tami has been described as "A red-hot honky-tonker, somewhere between Patsy Cline and Wanda Jackson with perhaps just a little bit of Peggy Lee sophistication.”

As the sassy and beguiling front woman for Fur Patrol, at the turn of the century, the past decade has seen Julia Deans transition from iconic rock chick to glorious songbird. With Taite, Silver Scroll and NZ Music Award nominations under her belt, she also has vast experience touring.

Chris Taite has over 20 years’ experience in live sound reinforcement. He is an award-winning, live-sound engineer and he is regularly sound man for the top international touring acts.

Joining him to talk about production and what makes a good live performance is Tom Anderson. Tom could be found stage managing, promoting, in charge of live sound, studio recordings, and a plethora of other positions.He is the man to call for many of the biggest promoters in the country.

Mel Parsons, award-winning songwriter and self-managed and independent touring artist, will be joined by Harry Petit to talk about the promotion and marketing that goes into putting on a show and touring the country.

Finally, joining the panelists, will be some of the top festival bookers from around the country, giving insight into what artists can do to get booked for their festivals.

Tickets are available now through Ticketmaster and are only $10, thanks to New Zealand Music Managers Forum and New Zealand Music Commission. 100% of all ticket income will be donated to MusicHelps, a charity dedicated to changing lives through music. (FINN MCLENNAN-ELLIOTT)