Event expands to Australia in November.

In The City (ITC), the U.K.'s annual city-based A&R confab and music festival, is heading Down Under.

Launched 15 years ago in Manchester, England's northern musical center, the ITC promotes the U.K. and international business and talent.

Co-founded by maverick music entrepreneur Tony Wilson--founder of the now defunct Factory Records and the Hacienda club--and his partner Yvette Livesey, ITC is often compared with Texas' South By Southwest; it contributed to the initial success of major British acts such as Oasis, Radiohead and The Darkness.

Next year, ITC will head to Perth, West Australia, in November, as part of a global expansion that will see the event also staged in New York in June.

The Australian edition will be managed by Perth-based label executives Pete Carroll, managing director of Little BIGman Records, and Rosco Stewart, general manager of Westlink Multimedia.

Manchester-born Carroll has close ties with Wilson, having worked at Factory in the past. And, in 2001, he produced the solo album by Shaun Ryder, formerly with Factory band Happy Mondays.

Carroll tells Billboard.biz that Wilson will be in Perth to moderate seminars and choose the Australian and international showcase acts. The two, along with Livesey, will be directors of the Australian event.

"Having Tony Wilson and a forum that will include key international practitioners will be of great benefit to our industry in Australia, both at a independent and major level," Carroll says.

The West Australian state government has committed funding of $1.5 million Australian (US$1.14 million) to ITC Perth over three years. During that period, it believes that ITC will inject A$5 million ($3.8 million) into the Perth economy, mainly through tourism.

Paul Bodlovich, executive officer of the West Australian Music Association (WAM), said that ITC Perth will "contribute significantly" to WAM's branding of Perth as the "live music capital of Australia."

"As an association, we recognize the importance of connecting with international trade events, associations and businesses to build Perth as a place to see our bands and to develop export markets for West Australian music," Bodlovich said.