Nick O’Byrne has resigned as GM of the Australian Independent Record Labels Association to focus on his myriad other music industry projects.
A tireless campaigner for the indie sector, the Melbourne-based exec took on duties running AIR’s day-to-day activities following the departure in 2009 of its then CEO Stuart Watters. Prior to that, O'Byrne served as program manager at the association.
The trade body is active in formulating and coordinating music industry response to government policy, and advocating for fair market access for independent artists. AIR also publishes the Independent Music Charts (AIR Charts) and the annual AIR Awards in Melbourne, which last year announced a major sponsor deal with the Carlton Dry beer brand.
O’Byrne’s last day at AIR will be June 30, though he’ll stay on in a consultancy capacity for the 2014 AIR Awards. Membership and communications manager Joanna Cameron is to oversee AIR’s day-to-day while Maria Amato will rise into commercial and sponsorship roles. Watters will take an advocacy spokesperson role from July 1.
Like many players in the Australian music industry, O’Byrne wears multiple hats. This year is his first as sole executive programmer of music industry conference and showcase event Bigsound, which takes place Sept. 10-12 in Brisbane. Through his Look Out Kid firm, O’Byrne also manages the career of Courtney Barnett, the singer-songwriter who’s flirting right now with major league success. Back in April, Barnett performed her song “Avant Gardener” on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” and she’s on the bill for the U.K.’s Glastonbury Festival later this month. O’Byrne is also a musician.
The Association was incorporated in 1996 with a remit to represent the independent industry on issues of national and international significance, and to offer a range of projects and services for its membership.
AIR boasts more than 160 members. The organization is a member of the Worldwide Independent Network (WIN), which is poised to present a complaint to the European Commission on YouTube's aggressive negotiating tactics.