Local musicians scale new heights with Robert Stigwood Fellowship

The initiative that helped kickstart the careers of some of South Australia’s top bands, musicians and music industry professionals is again open for applications.

Now in its fifth year, the Robert Stigwood Fellowship program supports the development of both South Australian music artists and music industry entrepreneurs through funding and mentoring.

Named after South Australian impresario Robert Stigwood, the annual fellowship aims to connect local artists and industry members with global music networks to accelerate skills and knowledge, and encourage professional and artistic development.

As well as tailored funding, fellowship recipients receive hands-on mentoring from Adelaide-based industry professionals Stu MacQueen and Dan Crannitch of Wonderlick Entertainment, covering all aspects of the music industry including song writing, production, business skills development, marketing and publicity, as well as facilitating attendance at conferences and high level industry meetings.

"South Australia has always been fertile ground for musical talent, and the Robert Stigwood Fellowship program helps to keep it here," said Arts South Australia Executive Director, Peter Louca.

"Through this unique funding and mentorship program we can nurture and develop rising local stars in both the artistic and business sectors of the music industry, tailoring individual and sustainable career pathways that lead our artists to the world stage while also continuing to strengthen the local scene."

Born in Port Pirie in 1934, music impresario and entrepreneur Robert Stigwood was one of the world’s most powerful and successful entertainment tycoons in the 1960s and 1970s. As well as managing musicians like Eric Clapton and Cream, and the Bee Gees, he produced hit West End and Broadway musicals including Hair and Jesus Christ Superstar and blockbuster films including Saturday Night Fever and Grease.

Among the Robert Stigwood Fellowship’s most recent success stories are:

  • Electro duo Electric Fields (pictured) inking a publishing deal with Sony/ATV;
  • Indie pop artist MANE scoring high rotation on Triple J;
  • Rock band West Thebarton signing to Domestic La La Records and Fidelity Management;
  • Folk artist Tom West rocketing up the Spotify charts with more than 115,000 monthly listeners;
  • Electro artist Luke Million going viral with his remix of the Stranger Things TV theme racking up more than 4.5 million views on Facebook and 1.7 million plays on Spotify.

"The Stigwood program was a much-needed boost for my business as a singer-songwriter," said 2017 Artist Fellow, Tom West. "The program facilitated the completion of a new record in a much bigger and better way than I could have initially hoped for. It also enabled me to invest in exploring opportunities in overseas markets, which is a necessary step in working towards building a sustainable career in the industry."

2017 Industry Fellow Alex Karatassa of Five Four Entertainment described the Fellowship as "a once in a lifetime opportunity." "The Stigwood Fellowship was an exceptionally worthwhile experience for me. With its support I have been able to develop my roster and procure international support slots, Triple J airplay, booking agents and record deals for my artists."

Applications for the 2018 Robert Stigwood Fellowships close 5pm, Friday 1 June. Click here for details and to apply.