Telstra celebrates 10 years of supporting emerging music talent with all-star road show

Big name Australian artists Shannon Noll, James Blundell, Ella Hooper and Catherine Britt joined  forces on June 26 to mark 10 years of the Telstra Road to Discovery music development program, and open nationally for entries.

To celebrate the milestone, the artists with current and former Telstra Road to Discovery winners in joined the ultimate jam session, during a road trip from Sydney to Tamworth, where it all began 10 years ago. A free gig for locals will was then held on Peel Street in Tamworth.

Established and emerging artists working together illustrates the guiding principles behind the Telstra Road to Discovery; collaboration, mentorship, opportunity and music development.

Telstra Road to Discovery is one of Australia’s most recognised talent development programs, across a range of genres including blues and roots, folk, country and alternative country.  The program puts emerging artists in touch with influential figures in the music industry, takes their music to a wider audience and increases their media exposure.

Michael Gudinski AM, Founder and Chairman of the Mushroom Group of companies who is widely recognised as one of the most important figures in the history of the Australian music industry, congratulated Telstra on their 10 year milestone.

“At Mushroom we know a lot about Australian talent – I’ve lived my life for it.  At the moment there is probably the greatest cluster of Australian acts I’ve ever seen. It’s very competitive out there, so if you’re an unsigned artist you should jump on board this incredible opportunity with the Telstra Road to Discovery.”

Telstra Road to Discovery creates a new audience for independent songwriters and performers to share their music.

This year’s entrants will compete at one of 12 live heat events held across every state and territory in coming months, or as part of the digital heat and separate songwriter category, with the final winners receiving the major prize packages.

Executive Director, Telstra Country Wide, Rebekah O’Flaherty, said she was proud of the 10 year milestone Telstra had achieved and the opportunities that had been created for independent Australian music artists around the nation.

“Mentorship is a big part of the Telstra Road to Discovery. We work with some of the most influential figures in the music industry from established artists to producers, publishers and songwriters where we connect emerging artists with the right people who can give them the best advice to succeed in the music industry.”

Telstra Road to Discovery is a truly national program that offers opportunities for music artists no matter where they live, from metropolitan cities to regional towns. The digital heat is available for artists unable to travel or who live more than 300km from their nearest heat event, while songwriters can also enter online.

Winners of each of the 12 performance heats and digital heat, together with the four best songwriters will be flown to Melbourne in November to take part in Boot Camp, a three day music mentoring workshop involving some of the biggest names in the music industry covering all sections of the music business – from publishing and touring, through to song construction, performance, and publicity.

Artists will then compete in the Semi-final event where the Top 10 artists will go through to the Final held during the annual Tamworth Country Music Festival in January 2013, where one winning performer and songwriter will be announced.

The ultimate performer and songwriter winners will each receive a highly sought after 12 month tailored music mentorship package, plus a return trip to Nashville USA including a showcase gig at the Americana Festival, local gigs in Australia and New Zealand, and face time with some of the biggest names in Australian music.

Telstra Road to Discovery 2012 heat schedule:

Heat 1    Thursday 16 August               Melbourne University, Parkville VIC
Heat 2   Sunday 26 August                   Fremantle Markets, Fremantle WA
Heat 3   Wednesday 29 August           Dowerin Field Days, Dowerin WA
Heat 4   Friday 7 September               Adelaide University, Adelaide SA
Heat 5   Sunday 9 September              Bundy in Bloom, Bundaberg QLD
Heat 6   Tuesday 18 September          Henty Machinery Field Days, Henty NSW
Heat 7   Saturday 22 September         Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers, Toowoomba QLD
Heat 8   Saturday 29 September         The Studio, Darwin Entertainment Centre NT
Heat 9   Monday 1 October                  Floriade, Canberra ACT
Heat 10  Thursday 4 October              Elmore Field Days, Elmore VIC
Heat 11   Thursday 18 October            Australian National Field Days, Borenore NSW
Heat 12   Friday 26 October                Royal Hobart Show, Glenorchy TAS

Digital Heat     entries close 15 October
Songwriter       entries close 15 October

For more details on how to enter visit

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