BIGSOUND organisers have announced the Brisbane-based music industry festival will move to a free, virtual format for 2020 amid ongoing COVID-19 restrictions and domestic border closures.
Running online for the first time in its nearly two-decade history from 21-22 October, BIGSOUND 2020 will feature live-streamed keynotes, conferences, workshops, panels and networking opportunities. This year’s event will focus around the themes of “community, survival and re-futuring”, with a conference program built around the “challenges and awakenings” the Australian music industry has experienced in 2020. The full program will be released in late September
With live showcases unable to go ahead, festival co-programmers will instead select from a pool of artist applicants the “BIGSOUND50” – the next crop of emerging Australian talent to be spotlighted. Those artists will receive one-on-ones with industry mentors and professionals and opportunities to connect with relevant delegates – along with first priority application access for BIGSOUND 2021.
“BIGSOUND has always been about bringing our business and arts community together and while we were hopeful of being in our spiritual home in the Fortitude Valley live music precinct, 2020 has made other arrangements,” commented QMusic CEO Angela Samut.
“It has never been more important for the Australian industry to come together to focus on survival and re-futuring with a program that offers a mainstream conference program, professional development and mental health activities as well as the introduction of The BIGSOUND 50.”
This year’s event will once again (virtually) feature First Nations House, curated by First Nations programmer Alethea Beetson, highlighting Indigeinous-led conversations and performance opportunities.
“BIGSOUND 2019 saw the largest cohort of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists showcasing at BIGSOUND,” comments Beetson.
“With the move to a virtual platform, we have the potential to showcase First Nations artists throughout the whole year; have the long-term Indigenous led conversations required to dismantle and change the music industry; and continue the work of those who have gone before us in building the sovereign music sector.”
Those who have purchased a ticket to this year’s BIGSOUND will be refunded. Free digital delegate registrations are open here.