Brisbane-based music conference and festival BIGSOUND has announced it will go ahead in 2020.
BIGSOUND is returning with a revised program of conference, live music and parties, ensuring “industry connection for the music community is not lost due to COVID-19”.
The event will still occur in its spiritual home, the Fortitude Valley live music precinct, “while fully respecting social distancing and safety protocols” with a condensed program of conferences, workshops, facilitated conversations, live festival showcases, secret shows and official parties across two days and two nights on October 21 – 22.
Artist live showcase applications are open today, and due to the event being condensed in size and capacity, there will be no artist application fees this year.
The BIGSOUND’s live showcase program will take place at over 10 of the Valley’s best live music venues, while the conference will welcome key stakeholder groups from across Australia in what will be the first major meeting of industry since COVID-19 closed doors in mid-March.
QMusic CEO Angela Samut said BIGSOUND has been the leader of conversation and discovery in the Australian music industry for over 18 years and this year it will be forging ahead with a recovery-focussed festival.
“With the culture of our industry under threat from COVID-19, our industrial culture under scrutiny as we face head-on the structural inequities for women, LGBTQI+ and First Nations people, and our culture as a nation under the spotlight as global trends put even more pressure on local artists and local stories, never has it been more essential for BIGSOUND to proceed and succeed.”
Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch said today’s confirmation of BIGSOUND 2020 sent a positive message that Queensland’s music industry was getting back to business.
“The Palaszczuk Government has provided dedicated support to the music industry as part of our plan for economic recovery and creating jobs in the arts sector,” Minister Enoch said.
“Beyond our ongoing long-term investment in QMusic, the Queensland Government has implemented more than $42.5 million worth of relief measures to the arts through COVID-19.
“This includes a recently announced $22.5 million Arts and Cultural Recovery Package offering funding specifically for the live music industry to assist venues to reopen and employ musicians.
“The reactivation of Queensland’s live music industry is highly anticipated and I am confident that BIGSOUND will play a central role in Queensland’s plan for recovery.”
Head of Music for the Australia Council for the Arts Kirsty Rivers said our musicians are Australia’s storytellers along with our artists, writers, actors and designers.
“Music strengthens our economy but just as importantly, it deepens our connections with our First Nations and other nations and cultures.
“The Australia Council is proud to once again partner in 2020 with BIGSOUND to accelerate and re-ignite the careers of Australia’s best and brightest industry and artists.”
BIGSOUND acknowledged that Victorian artists were not able to travel to Queensland and although this is expected to change, due to the fluid nature of the situation and the majority of travel possibilities difficult to predict, it encouraged all artists to apply and if they cannot attend, there will be contingencies in place to create opportunities for participation remotely.
Tourism Minister Kate Jones said events like BIGSOUND would play an important role in the state’s economic recovery.
“Major events like this pump millions of dollars into the local economy and support local jobs,” Ms Jones said.
“Because Queenslanders have done such a great job fighting COVID-19, we can now start welcoming tourists back to our state.
“This festival will deliver a great boost for local businesses at a time when everyone is doing it tough. It’s great news for the industry.
“It has been an incredibly difficult year, but thanks to the efforts of the Queensland people, we have moved forward to our stage three easing of restrictions and will soon be reopening our borders to most Australians.
“With restrictions easing and the recent development of a COVID Safe Events framework, we’re starting to rebuild and recover.”
Pre-sale registration for delegate pass sales open July 29 at 9am. Early-bird delegate pass sales open August 3 at 9am. Artist applications are open now. More information here.