Scouted 2019: Showcasing SA's Emerging Music Talent

Published in Music  
Hana & Jessie Lee strutting their stuff at last year's Scouted showcase. Hana & Jessie Lee strutting their stuff at last year's Scouted showcase.

Scouted was launched in 2017, since then the South Australian music industry showcase event has helped launch artists such as DyspOra, Electric Fields, Timberwolf and Heaps Good Friends into national and international prominence.


According to Scouted's Event Manager, Music SA’s Sian Walden, word has quickly spread throughout the local music community about how valuable a slot on the Scouted line-up is, which has made her job harder. But she wouldn’t have it any other way.

This year’s Scouted returns to where it began, in the East End of the CBD, and will again coincide with the final day of Indie-Con Australia, the independent music convention that draws the industry’s heaviest hitters to SA.

The format is simple: sixteen of the hottest emerging bands play sets at stages spread across four of the city’s most iconic live music venues. With the chance to perform to indie record labels and managers at stake, Music SA has received over 100 applications from artists this year.

Determining who is the pick of the bunch has been the best kind of challenge. “It’s a beautiful thing in many ways,” Sian says, “that there aren’t enough slots for everything that we want to put on; that’s a great position to be in.”

While the vast majority of applicants will not make the cut this year, as an annual event there is incentive for those that do miss out to keep trying. “There’s a number of artists that we’ve had conversations about where we’ve been 'in one to two years, they’re going to take off'. That’s a conversation that exists regularly in the Music SA office.”

Outside of her role with Music SA, Sian heads up music management and booking agency Little Acorn Music whose roster includes MANE, Wanderers and Wing Defence.

She knows better than most how vital Scouted is for local musicians. “Speaking with my manager hat on, there’s always that struggle when you are not touring and not based in the Eastern states to get industry along.”

But it’s not just an event for industry, though. It is a chance for parochial local music fans to discover the next big thing, and then cheer them on to stardom. “It’s one of the things about Adelaide, how much we take pride in our own musicians.”

Sian is aware, though, that the music industry can not thrive without venues. “The primary thing about Scouted is the ability to showcase the next crop of South Australian acts, but it’s also a beautiful thing that we get to showcase the music venues that support these artists and getting the national industry and the international industry that are in town to see them.”

Scouted takes place on 26 July across The Crown And Anchor Hotel, The Exeter, Sugar Nightclub and The Stag Public House (Adelaide), as part of Umbrella: Winter City Sounds.

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