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2 days ago I woke up to a beach sunrise over the ocean, sand & the waves at my feet.. 2014.. I’m ready..

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Photo credit: Dan Wilkinson

2 days ago I woke up to a beach sunrise over the ocean, sand & the waves at my feet..

This year I went from 80% self-employed in my own music industry business, Hot & Delicious Group to coming out the other side of winter working full-time for America’s #1 Digital Agency, SapientNitro, driving social strategy for one of Australia’s largest brewers.

A year of contrasts & definitely not a quiet one, but coming through my 3rd brain tumour operation in 15 years just a year & a half ago, looking back on previous years and knowing all the cool shit I’ve nailed over the past 3 years, it definitely feels like one where I’ve treaded water a little more than usual [to put it in perspective I’ve still created sponsorship partnerships for The Aussie BBQ series of international music showcases with Virgin Australia and Studios 301 in the USA, travelled to LA and Austin (Texas), captured images of Australia’s top musicians/providing social media services for The Aussie BBQ/Sounds Australia at the world’s largest music conference SXSW, project-managed Federation Square’s Helix Tree – Light In Winter installation and starting working with a range of beer/cider brands (incl. Miller Genuine DraftPeroni Nastro AzzurroCarlton Dry, Sweden’s #1 cider KopparbergBulmers and Strongbow cider)] to name but a few projects. Treading water’s not the right phrasing.. a better one would be working in the thick of projects, rather than keeping the eagle eye view from above..

The new job’s been hell-for-leather since Day 1, but I am excited about the team we’ve built, working with people who inspire me, the prospect of being in a position now to present wicked new ideas & game-changing concepts in the new year, access to global resources/networks to achieve our goals and a regular salary (vs working contract-to-contract), which will help allow me to focus on an as of yet unfulfilled music career and a bunch of new Hot & Delicious Group projects in my “downtime”.

The craziness of the past 5 months in particular means I reached the Xmas/New Years holiday period completely exhausted and ready for a solid mental break. As a result, I took the measure of banning myself from all forms of social media for a week from Xmas Day – New Year’s Day. That rest from social channels, family holiday at Portarlington, camping/fishing/skindiving with a bunch of mates on a beach down the Great Ocean Road and today’s trip down to Republica Cafe (St Kilda Beach) to soak up the 25°C blue skies, led to clarity and this explosion of thoughts on paper, which may or may not make it to my Hot & Delicious blog (I’m leaning to yes.. Ha ha.. :D). 

That insight is that during the ups & downs on the roller-coaster of life this year, I’ve managed to have amazing experiences, but these “Good Times” have been accompanied with “Capture this, Update that, Tweet this person, read this article, write that article, watch that TV series…”. It’s true that Sundays have pretty much been kept for me and generally-speaking I’m broadcasting/checking social less on Sundays, but in reality there’s been very few times outside of work or on days off where I’ve made an effort to go out, do something fun & just soak up that particular moment in time for what it is, without feeling the need to update one of my social channels. Connected, Connected, Connected.

I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve created for myself through hard work & the ability to see opportunity in the gaps of the patterns & differences of the world around me, but my #1 goal for 2014 is to soak up the joy of this life by taking more time out for me including chilling & focusing on projects that I love. More passion, energy & happiness will no doubt ensue. Sure.. Capture this, share that is a big part of who I am and what I do.. the reality being that social media is a big part of my life at play/work and an extension of my personality, but it doesn’t define me. 

Living in the moment is what I want to see more of from myself this year and not a concept that’s new to me, but taking time out to reflect & enjoy is where we get fresh energy, a sense of calm and it’s in this headspace where the fresh ideas & magic flow.. 2014.. I’m ready..

Dan Wilkinson.
16:04pm, Tuesday December 31st, 2013.
Republica Cafe, St Kilda Beach
Melbourne Australia.

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South-By-South-West. The Aussie BBQ jewel in the crown for Australian music.

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After years of dreaming of attending South-By-South-West, the world’s largest music, film & interactive conference, I jetted off to Los Angeles on March 7th for the experience of a lifetime!

Armed with a swag of amazing Lumix G-series camera bodies & lenses (courtesy of Panasonic), I was excited at attending and working with Sounds Australia and Stage Mothers at their showcase events in LA & SXSW including The Aussie BBQ – LA, The Aussie BBQ – SXSW and the Sounds Australia Official SXSW Showcases (She’ll Be Right, Sound Gallery).

The jewel in the crown of Australian music on the international stage is The Aussie BBQ – SXSW presented by Sounds Australia and is held annually at renown Austin venue, Maggie Maes. Started 11 years ago, by Glenn Dickie and Mary Mihelakos (Stage Mothers) as a BBQ for all the Aussie bands playing in Austin, the 2013 edition featured 36 bands across 3 stages over 14 hours and a free BBQ lunch; the biggest showcase of Australian music outside of Australia and one of South-By-South-West’s most popular events.

The masses lined up outside Maggie Mae’s well before midday and piled through doors once they opened, taking advantage of the delicious free BBQ, crisp cold beers and a stellar Aussie line-up that continued throughout the day.

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In alphabetical order the line-up included: 360, Alpine, Anna Lunoe, Andy Clockwise, The Audreys, The Beards, Bearhug, Blackchords, The Cambodian Space Project, Clairy Brown & the Bangin’ Rackettes, Dune Rats, Emma Louise, The Falls, Flume, Georgia Fair, Ginger & The Ghost, Gold Fields, The Good Ship, Hiatus Kaiyote, High Highs, Holy Balm, Jack Carty, Jackson Firebird, Jonathan Boulet, Mitzi,  Rites Wild, The Rubens, San Cisco, Seth Sentry, Strangers, Summer Flake, The Trouble With Templeton, Transcription of Organ Music, The Vaudeville Smash and Vance Joy.

Click here for the Hot & Delicious The Aussie BBQ – SXSW gallery

Asked by locals and Aussies attending the event who my favourite artists/bands were at The Aussie BBQ, I struggled for an answer. With such a high volume (pun intended… Dad Joke alert :p) of amazing performers, it’s hard to choose who you love the most on the day. As an example, one 15 minute window sticks in my mind as a snapshot – one minute I was in the Gibson Room capturing Emma Louise “Jungle” live, then downstairs to the Club Room shooting video & still photos in the moshpit of Benny (singer) and Mark (vox/axe man) from Strangers as they climbed from the stage and performed in the crowd. 5 minutes later I was again upstairs as one of Australia’s hottest emerging acts The Trouble With Templeton entertained a packed Rooftop Stage… And repeat.. Madness! 🙂

South-By-South-West is an experience one just can’t describe unless you’ve actually been to Austin during that mad week of March. Thousands upon thousands of people streaming along 6th street every hour from afternoon ’til early hours of the morning across a whole week. And that’s just some of the live music venues & events Austin has on offer..

SXSW is mind-blowing and a journey I can’t recommend highly enough to any industry professional or fan that has an unsurpassed passion for all things music. I felt like I only touched the surface with this trip, but found the perfect balance between working my backside off, cheeky bevies and hangin’ out with some of the coolest people on the planet.

Special thanks to Sounds Australia, Stage Mothers, Virgin Australia, Studios 301 and Panasonic Lumix G-series cameras who made my trip possible. Thanks to Sounds Australia and Stage Mothers for all their hard work in exporting Australian music to the international stage. Much love to Millie Millgate, Glenn Dickie, Alicia Kish, Van Picken, all the artists/bands, managers, music industry professionals, punters and everyone involved who made The Aussie BBQ into an amazing day and my 1st SXSW an experience I will never forget. One which I hope will be the first of many.

Hot & Delicious: SXSW & LA. Roadtrip USA proudly supported by Panasonic Lumix G-series Cameras

LUMIX G-SERIES CAMERAS

Featured images shot with Lumix GH2 with 12-35mm / F2.8 lens, Lumix DMC-G5 with 20mm / F1.7 lens

Sounds Australia Presents The Aussie BBQ SXSW

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The Aussie BBQ – SXSW playing times announced!

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The Aussie BBQ – South By South West (SXSW) playing times have been announced!

Presented by Sounds Australia, The Aussie BBQ – SXSW 2013 kick-ass line-up at Maggie Mae’s includes:

360, Alpine, Alison Wonderland, Andy Clockwise, Anna Lunoe, The Audreys, The Beards, Bearhug, Blackchords, The Cambodian Space Project, Clairy Brown & the Bangin’ Rackettes, Dune Rats, Emma Louise, The Falls, Flume, Georgia Fair, Ginger & the Ghost, Gold Fields, The Good Ship, Hiatus Kaiyote, High Highs, Holy Balm, Jack Carty Trio, Jackson Firebird, Jonathan Boulet, Mitzi, Rites Wild, The Rubens, San Cisco, Seth Sentry, Strangers, Summer Flake, Transcription of Organ Music, The Trouble With Templeton, The Vaudeville Smash, Vance Joy and What So Not

Back in 2003, Glenn Dickie and Mary Mihelakos (Stage Mothers) started The Aussie BBQ as a small BBQ event to help showcase Australian artists/bands attending the world’s largest music, film and interactive conference. With the hard work of event partners Sounds Australia and Stage Mothers, 11 years on The Aussie BBQ has grown to become the biggest showcase of Australian music in the world, with events year-round on 3 different continents.

36 Australian artists/bands on 3 stages over 14 hours in Austin, Texas.
This is going to be a ripper!

Sounds Australia Presents The Aussie BBQ – SXSW 2013

Maggie Mae’s
323 E 6th St
Austin, Texas
Date: Saturday March 16th
Doors: 12 midday – 02:00am

Special thanks to event partners Virgin Australia and Studios 301

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Want to know more? Check out The Aussie BBQ – BPM documentary
“I don’t know why, but we do…” with Blue King Brown, Paul Dempsey, Bliss n Eso, The Jezabels, Hungry Kids of Hungary, Henry Wagons & more!

SXSW playing times right here!

Rooftop Stage Club Room Downstairs Gibson Stage Room
12.15 – 12.40 Andy Clockwise 12.00 – 12.25  The Good Ship 12.00 – 12.25 Transcription of Organ Music
1.00 – 1.25 The Audreys 12.45 – 1.10 The Cambodian Space Project 12.45 – 1.10 The Falls
1.45 – 2.10 Vance Joy 1.30 – 1.55 Rites Wild 1.30 – 1.55 Summer Flake
2.30 – 2.55 Alpine 2.15 – 2.40 Bearhug 2.15 – 2.40 Ginger & the Ghost
3.15 – 3.40 The Rubens 3.00 – 3.25 Blackchords 3.00 – 3.25 Jack Carty Trio
4.00 – 4.25 Clairy Browne & the Bangin’ Rackettes 3.45 – 4.10 Jackson Firebird 3.45 – 4.10 Georgia Fair
4.45 – 5.10 The Trouble With Templeton 4.30 – 4.55 Strangers 4.30 – 4.55 Emma Louise
5.30 – 5.55 San Cisco 5.15 – 5.40 The Vaudeville Smash 5.15 – 5.40 High Highs
7.00 – 7.40 Holy Balm 6.00 – 6.25 DUNE RATS
9.00 – 9.40 Hiatus Kaiyote 8.00 – 8.40 The Beards
10.00 – 10:40 Gold Fields 9.00 – 9.40 Jonathan Boulet
11.00 – 11.40 Flume 10.00 – 10.40 Mitzi
12.00 – 12.40 Seth Sentry 11.00 – 11:40 Anna Lunoe
01.00 – 01.50 360 12.00 – 12.40 Alison Wonderland
01.00 – 01.50 What So Not

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