Cold Chisel Day on the Green
Cold Chisel Day on the Green

Ready to rock: The plan to save live music industry

One thousand gigs will be played across NSW in a state government plan to turbocharge the recovery of the live music industry.

The Great Southern Nights series of concerts in November will be held in Sydney and across NSW in an orchestrated bid to revive the bushfire-ravaged, coronavirus-hit state and the $3.6 billion live music industry which generates about 23,000 jobs.

Jimmy Barnes is on board for the concert series. Picture: Mike Dugdale
Jimmy Barnes is on board for the concert series. Picture: Mike Dugdale

The partnership, between the state government and the Australian Record Industry Association,will draw on acclaimed Australian artists including Jimmy Barnes, Tones And I, Paul Kelly, Amy Shark, The Veronicas, The Presets and Birds Of Tokyo.

Venues have been invited to pitch to host the concerts, with the state government launching an advertising campaign for the events today.

Tourism Minister Stuart Ayres has plotted the event with ARIA chief Dan Rosen, with the gigs expected to dovetail with the official ARIA awards in November, although no date has been set.

Mr Ayres pledged the events would be "COVID-safe" and would comply with whatever restrictions are in place at the time.

"With the government's 24-hour economy strategy set to reinvigorate Sydney's nightlife, Great Southern Nights will be a big step forward for our state's live music and hospitality community that has been hit hard in recent times," Mr Ayres said.

Featuring musicians range from pop superstars The Veronicas so indie breakout Tash Sulta. Picture: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images
Featuring musicians range from pop superstars The Veronicas so indie breakout Tash Sulta. Picture: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

Other artists include The Jungle Giants, Thelma Plum, Tash Sultana, The Teskey Brothers and Missy Higgins.

Mr Rosen said he was proud to create the opportunity.

"Life music events bring visitors, culture and excitement to communities. This initiative will provide an invaluable boost for the artists, crew, venues and music community that make gigs happen."

All music events will be programmed in line with the government health advice on physical distancing and venue capacity, and will be able to be scaled up by November if restrictions have eased.

ARIA chair Denis Handlin is collaborating with the government on the plan. Picture: Justin Lloyd
ARIA chair Denis Handlin is collaborating with the government on the plan. Picture: Justin Lloyd

ARIA chair Denis Handlin said it was a privilege to work with the government to "help bring live music back into venues across the state".

"Music fans will once again have the opportunity to experience those spine-tingling moments that the power of artists and live music provides, which is something that we have all missed so much in these recent times," he said.

The musicians have rallied with support for the event.

Jimmy Barnes said musicians had been struggling through the crisis: "I know fans are hungry for live music while lots of musos and roadies are just plain hungry. All these shows will be a great way to kick-start the live music sector."

Originally published as Ready to rock: The plan to save live music industry



Late night swim goes horribly wrong for man swept away

Premium Content Late night swim goes horribly wrong for man swept away

Night vision goggles were used to search for the struggling swimmer

Accused cross-border drug king pin appears in court

Premium Content Accused cross-border drug king pin appears in court

THE 21-year-old accused sat stone-faced as he fronted court

Pollies pool together for Kyogle Aquatic centre cash splash

Premium Content Pollies pool together for Kyogle Aquatic centre cash splash

Kyogle has officially opened their major aquatic centre to the public in time for...