Joining an all-star line-up at this year's Falls Music and Arts Festival will be two very different bands from the Conservatorium of Music in Hobart.
A new sponsorship agreement between philanthropist Graeme Wood and the festival means that the Con can now showcase its emerging young talent at Marion Bay.
Nine bands drawn from the cohort of 43 students who enrolled in a special Falls Festival unit at the Con this year auditioned for the two 2012 spots. Each band was given 15 minutes to perform two songs in front of a live audience, and a judging panel that included the Con's tutor in rock studies (ensemble), Dean Stevenson, who doubled as MC, and Con Director Dr Andrew Legg.
The performers straddled many genres, and in the end two bands which could not be further apart musically got the nod.
First to be chosen was Infernal Outcry, a progressive metal outfit whose lead singer, Leah Armond, was the first female presence on stage after five consecutive all-male groups.
The second slot went to another band with a female lead singer, Katy Raucher and The Third Row, a jazz/pop acoustic outfit.
"The two bands selected will each have to keep engaged a Falls audience with nine to 10 tunes over 40 minutes", Mr Stevenson said of the judging criteria." They'll need to converse and connect with that audience".
"Craft is important but what I have tried to impress upon these students is that often performers who are at the top of their genre are not the most virtuosic. However they know how to put on a show."
Dr Legg thanked Graeme Wood and The Falls Music and Arts Festival founder Simon Daly for making the two slots available.
"Infernal Outcry and Katy Raucher's band will have the most memorable of starts to 2013, performing on a bill headlined by The Flaming Lips and featuring a host of other great international and Australian acts."