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Q&A: Chatting With The Powerhouse Duo Behind The Brisbane Indie Project

Helping to fuel the return of live music in Brisbane, The Brisbane Indie Project are passionate about bringing music and art together to be enjoyed by the local community. Combining their backgrounds in business and creative industries, Summer Beatson and Imogen Corbett are the two brilliant minds behind this project.

Since launching in late 2020, this project has gained considerable traction with its commitment to supporting local creatives. The Brisbane Indie Project pulled off their first event in amazing fashion in October 2020 at The Brightside. Following on this success, The Brisbane Indie Project will be holding their next event at The Zoo on July 3rd. With a jam-packed line up of 6 bands and 10 visual artists, The Brisbane Indie ‘Winter’ Project is not to be missed! This will be a space to enjoy live music, view the work of local artists and even buy some artwork and merch to take home with you. Grab your tickets here while you still can! Summer and Imogen had a chat with us about the muse behind The Brisbane Indie Project and their plans for the future.

How did you two meet?

"We met through mutual friends. We knew each other for almost two years before we became close and it was probably only our 4th one on one interaction when we thought of Indie. So really our friendship started with the project and has grown alongside it!"

How did you brainstorm the idea for the Brisbane Indie Project?

"We were both looking to do something that would bring people together. Imogen had just gone part time with her degree [a Fine Art degree isn’t exactly the same online!] and wanted the chance to interact with other emerging artists, as she’d done when her degree was in person. We’re both friends with a lot of musicians and saw how equally isolating and impactful the pandemic had been for them too. From there the idea was born and we started to plan an event where emerging artists and musicians could bring their audiences together and help one another."

What unique backgrounds do you both bring to the table?

"We’re kind of like yin and yang. Summer does the maths and Imogen writes the emails! Imogen is an aspiring artist and is a painter, so she has a lot of industry knowledge in the arts. Summer is incredible at marketing and studies business and psychology, so she has the practical skills that Imogen doesn’t!"

The Brisbane Indie Project provides a platform for emerging musicians and artists, what inspired you to incorporate these things together?

"It was the similarities in the emerging artist journey. As a visual artist or musician you face a lot of the same adversities and you both need an audience to gain momentum. Seeing how both industries were impacted during Covid, we thought why not kill two birds with one stone? Hosting an event for both industries means that the lineup can merge their audiences, thus expanding their reach and getting broader exposure."

What's been the highlight of running the Brisbane Indie Project so far?

"Working with the artists and bands! Everyone involved has embraced the project so passionately and it's been amazing to see them supporting each other, especially from different industries!"

What are some key issues in the local creative industry you want to bring awareness to?

"We really want to show people how deserving emerging artists and bands are of their attention. There are so many talented, hardworking creatives in Brisbane who were impacted by Covid last year. When you’re an emerging artist and you’re not making a living from your craft yet, opportunities for exposure are your currency. These are the people who need the most support in the creative space and we aim to highlight this through our events."

What future vision do you have for the Brisbane Indie Project?

"We definitely want to keep expanding our networks and are constantly looking for new avenues to promote our emerging artists. In the future this would look like showing at bigger venues, collaborating with more outlets to promote the lineups and continuing to show diverse, crazy talented artists and musicians!"

How have you been finding the event organisation process and working with others in the industry?

"We’re fortunate enough to have had a really positive experience so far. Brisbane venues are very supportive of emerging artists so everyone has been incredibly supportive of us and the project!"

How are the musicians / artists responding to the Brisbane Indie Project when approached to be a part of it?

"So well! They recognise the event as an opportunity which is such an honor for us. Everyone we’ve involved has also been really supportive of others in the lineup, which goes to show how incredible the Brisbane emerging art’s space is."

What can attendees expect from this event?

"You’ll get to enjoy music from 6 bands and can view [and buy!] art from 10 visual artists. Everyone from the lineup will be at the event so after you’ve learned about them [through our Artist Spotlights posted to our instagram] you can meet and support them in person! More broadly, you'll play a key role in helping emerging artists and musicians develop their professional careers. And if that wasn’t enough, alongside our diverse lineup there will also be a media team there! So if you’re an aspiring musician, artist or you’re just wanting to work in these industries, you can come along and network with everyone to hopefully create some meaningful friendships!"

What are you hoping to gain from this event?

"Our main focus is the lineup. If we can provide them with an opportunity to develop a diverse, larger crowd then we’ve done our job!"

What is some advice you can give to people affected by COVID-19's impact on the music and arts industry as well as how fans of the industry can help?

"For the artists and musicians; don’t be afraid to reach out to other artists in your industry. Other emerging artists/musicians are also looking for opportunities to showcase their work and are very open to collaboration. So if you want to hold a gig or an exhibition but you don’t know how to start by yourself, don’t be afraid of collaboration!"

"For fans of the industry, don’t underestimate the value of your spare change. A $25 ticket isn’t a lot to you, but for an emerging artist or band, it's a vote of confidence in their career. So go to their gigs and exhibitions, buy their merch, buy their art and stream their music!"

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