Andrew Dubber's keynote speech at Like Minds, Exeter 29/10/2010
Keynote speech at Like Minds, Exeter (photo by Harry Duns)

I’ve been doing more and more public speaking over the last year or so, and it’s showing little sign of slowing down. I have a couple of upcoming keynote speeches that I’m really excited about over the next month – one music industry event, and one international academic conference.

Fortunately, the places I’m going for these conferences get me away from the extreme winter that’s going on here in the UK right now. Minus nine is too cold.

The Music Conference
I’ve been asked back to Brazil next week to do the closing keynote at Feira Música Brasil. It’s a national music industry conference being held in Belo Horizonte. I’ll be speaking about opportunities for independent music in the digital age.

It’s a pretty big deal. As far as I can work out, Feira Música Brasil is the Brazilian equivalent of something like Popkomm, Eurosonic or Midem, though with some significant differences due to the industry context there.

As an aside, I actually turned down an invitation to speak at Midem this coming January – mostly because of the price to attend. The people I want to talk to don’t have a spare £1000+ to spend on a conference ticket, flight and accommodation… and the people who can afford that on their expense accounts probably don’t want to hear what I have to say.

I’m really excited to get back to Brazil – partly because I have some good friends who’ll be there, partly because I loved the place and its music so much when I was there a week or so back… but also because it’s about 30 degrees warmer there right now.

The Radio Conference
I’m also going to be doing a keynote speech at The Radio Conference: A Transnational Forum at AUT in Auckland in mid-January. This will be my first keynote speech at an academic conference and I’m a little nervous about it. It’s at my previous university, in front of a whole lot of people I’ve known for years, both from New Zealand, and from the wider, international radio studies community.

It was at that same conference, when it was held in Madison, Wisconsin back in 2003, that I met a lot of those people for the first time. It was my first international academic conference – and it was what led to my current job at BCU. I was on a panel with Tim Wall, who presented a paper called ‘The Political Economy of Internet Radio’, and I followed it with one called ‘There’s no such thing as Internet Radio’.

We went for pizza and a beer afterwards, and enjoyed arguing so much, we’re still doing it seven years later.

It’s great to get back to NZ for this – especially as it means I get to see everyone back in Auckland. I’m taking a couple of weeks leave prior to the conference, and I get to spend Christmas with the family over there. And again, it’ll be lovely and warm.

The only shame of it is that I’ll be missing UnConvention and the Noorderslag/Eurosonic Festival, which takes place in Groningen mid January. I was really hoping to get to that again this year. Such great people and such a cool place. Cold though…

Update: Just as I posted this, I received an email asking me to do a talk at early next year. Calendar’s filling pretty fast, people… book now to avoid disappointment. :)