Calling all Australian hackers! FastForward, Warner Music Australia, and Songkick present the ultimate music x tech hackathon challenge: we’re looking for anyone across the creative and technology space, artists of song or code and everywhere between, to develop a new product that will push and explore the boundaries of artists and their fans, an experience that calls for innovation where creativity and technology collide.

You have just under one month and a bunch of APIs to deliver whatever your imagination and expertise can conjure for one ground-breaking idea. Can you hack it? We think you can!

The registrations are now open. Time starts…

All done? Then submit your hack below.

< The hack > 

What we are looking for is: a way to bring music, technology, and – importantly – fans together, in one game-changing application, and we want you to show us how! Let your imagination run wild. Let’s get these APIs out of their comfort zones and create an exciting new intersection between fans and music. So, where do we start? The APIs. We’ve worked hard to get some of the biggest and best APIs for you to work with on this hack, however you have to use at least Songkick or Spotify within your project. Once you’ve registered, all APIs and datasets provided for use in the hack will be made available in multiple formats, and in a selection of languages. We’ll also have a support email ready for any questions you have along the way.

Importantly, you have until 6pm AEDT, Wednesday 4 April to submit your hack to be considered for the prize. Finalists will be announced shortly thereafter, with the the winner being announced and presenting at FastForward: Sydney on 12-13 April 2018.

< Hack Yeah > 

Drum roll please… the grand prize for the winner of this hackathon will be $5k of cold hard cash, your very own ‘15 minutes of fame’ presenting your hack at the FastForward: Sydney conference on 12-13 April to some of the leading international and national entertainment and technology industry heads, plus a suite of media coverage, content and general bragging rights.

< What the hack are we looking for? > 

We want your imaginations to run wild. We’re looking far and wide for a truly exciting new digital experience, but to make sure there’s a level playing field, the judging criteria is pretty simple.

Your hack:

  • Needs to be related to, and/or work mainly in music;
  • Needs to create a genuine connection to an audience;
  • Needs to stand out. There is a tonne of great music tech out there – what makes yours different?
  • Needs to be fully functional, and platform agnostic. Useable by anyone, at any time, on any device;
  • Needs to use either the supplied Songkick or Spotify APIs.


We’ve brought together some of the best music, digital, and tech minds to judge the hack and assist you along the way. Please meet the judges of the 2018 FastForward x Warner Music Hackathon:

So meet the judges:





Simon Cahill leads the digital architecture for the business at Warner Music, opening up the data driving fans to engage and consume to benefit their artists. He has worked in A&R, brand partnerships, marketing and sales. Focused on fans, audiences and customers, he is obsessed by data, insights, and action. Cahill has previously worked at Sony Music, The Sound Campaign, BMG and lectured from time to time at the Australian Institute of Music.

As Lead, Artist & Label Services, for Spotify Australia & New Zealand, Tom is responsible for working with record labels, industry bodies, managers and the creator community on marketing music releases to consumers, both on and off Spotify’s platform. Tom previously worked at Universal Music Australia and Warner Music Australia in digital marketing and label management roles, and has ten years experience in digital marketing, digital account management and label management in recorded music; festival production and marketing, live production and audio engineering.





Vanessa Picken, the Founder and Director of Comes With Fries, is Van by name and is a vanguard by nature. Her modular digital agency provides professional services and expertise to those in the music, technology, fashion, and digital industries. From her tenures at some of the world’s leading companies (including EMI Music, Nokia and T-Mobile) Van has developed a wealth of knowledge in marketing strategy, brand development, digital advertising and content management. Comes With Fries is focused on providing creative, dynamic and engaging digital solutions.

Aaron Neigher leads marketing for Songkick, one of the web’s most trusted homes for live music with 15 million users regularly tracking their favorite artists and discovering concerts across the platform. Aaron is a performance marketer with 12 years of experience developing and executing campaigns across the music/entertainment, CPG and electronics industries for brands including Oreo, Beats by Dre and Sonos. He’s also an avid musician himself- his band’s releases have charted on Billboard and he’s toured in over 20 countries around the globe.





Chris is an entrepreneur, strategist and data expert. He founded FastForward in 2015 and he is founder and CEO of boutique research company, Media Insight Consulting, specialising in Consumer Surveys, and Big Data Analytics, with a focus on the music industry. Clients include Spotify, Sony Music, The O2 and BMG Music.

He previously worked as Global Insight Director at Universal Music Group and at EMI, and Senior Economist at PRS for Music. He has been quoted in The Financial Times, The Economist, Forbes, The New York Times, The Independent as well as BBC Breakfast, Sky News, BBC 4’s Today Programme, BBC 5 Live, BBC World Service and music industry press.

Emmy Lovell is Senior Vice President of Digital for Warner Music UK and leads digital innovation across Warner Music UK’s labels. She is responsible for identifying and developing technologies, platforms and partners that have the potential to enhance the creative and commercial impact of Warner Music UK’s artists. She also heads up the innovation centre in The Firepit, developing pilot projects and supporting their adoption and implementation across the business.

Emmy previously held the role of Head of Digital, WB/Parlophone and Senior DMM, EMI. She has been instrumental to the digital evolution of superstar artists Kylie, The Chemical Brothers and Coldplay, spearheaded innovative campaigns for Gorillaz, Deadmau5, Danger Mouse and Tinie Tempah and led a multi-award winning team for digital excellence and creativity.

< What the hack is this? > 

Got questions? We have you covered. Hit Contact below and email us. 

Need some tips on where to host their code, then check out this cool blog post

Want to know and read all the finer details of this brand-new hackathon then hit the terms and conditions below. 

Need API support. Hit the support button below and we will connect you with Songkick and Spotify direct!

Think you’ve got what it takes? Register today and get hacking.