Finally! The New South Wales government has heard our pleas to return live music to the pubs, clubs and venues of Australia. A new initiative called The Great Southern Nights will grace the state in November showcasing a huge lineup of artists through 1000 COVID-safe gigs. This is huge news for those restless partygoers craving a sweaty dance floor boogy, and will of course aid the crippled Australian music industry.
It’s a huge relief to hear that the music scene is finally being revived and revitalised! Before this announcement, things were looking quite bleak for live music. Those of us who bought a Splendour In The Grass ticket are still feeling quite deflated after hearing last week’s news that the 20th-anniversary edition of the festival was canceled. It’s unknown when any festivals will return, however, this news of 1000 live gigs in November is very reassuring.
The NSW government has paired up with ARIA to bring us a showcase of amazing Australian musicians with already 20 artists committed. Artists that will perform throughout NSW include The Jungle Giants, Tash Sultana, Tones and I, Thelma Plum, The Presets, Jimmy Barnes, Birds of Tokyo, and more! The Great Southern Nights initiative which will bring 1000 gigs to the greater Sydney region and wider regional NSW. Check out the full lineup below.
“We’re inviting venues across NSW, from the bush to the city, to nominate to be involved in this exciting new event,” said Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres.
There is a chance for emerging artists and venues to get involved in the initiative by either performing as a musician or involving your venue in this resurgence of live music. You can sign up by following this link greatsouthernnights.com.au. These 1000 gigs will give assistance to music artists, music industry workers, and the wider music industry who have lost close to $340 million due to cancellations and postponements as a result of the Coronavirus. All live shows will ensure they follow up-to-date health advice on social distancing and venue capacity.
“We’re proud to create this opportunity for Australian musicians, and help bring back the live music scene right across NSW,” said ARIA chief executive officer Dan Rosen.
This initiative is the first vital step in reviving the struggling music industry. Last week an open letter from the Australian music industry was sent to the federal government urging them to back a $345 million recovery package to keep the industry afloat. Over 1000 artists, music industry workers, and businesses signed this letter urging the Australian government to provide immediate financial support. Artists who signed the open letter include Jimmy Barnes, Thelma Plum, Jessica Mauboy, Gotye, Alex Lahey, Jack River, and more.
The Australian music scene was already in decline before the current Corona induced downturn in live music. The ‘Don’t Kill Live Music’ petition was circulating at the start of 2019 after the cancellation of quite a few festivals due to penalties placed on these music events. At Mountain Sounds festival organisers were asked to pay additional costs that exceeded $200,000 days out from the event, forcing them to cancel the festival. These increased costs were Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s crackdown on festivals following 5 drug-related deaths at music festivals over the summer of 2018 and 2019.
So what can you do to help? There are ways you can support the Australian music industry and help it get back up on its feet. Support Act is an amazing charity supporting music workers impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic. You can donate to help artists, crew, and music workers whose careers and future prospects in the industry are holding on by a thread. Donate here https://supportact.org.au/.
If you LOVE music like we do, don’t forget to support live music. We’ll see you in November!
Want to learn more? Watch FIB’s eye-opening documentary about Gladys Berejiklian’s war on music here:
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