Last weekend, over 70 artists including the likes of Julia Jacklin, Angie McMahon, Stella Donnelly and Romy of RVG performed 20-minute livestreamed sets from their bedrooms and lounges as part of the Isol-Aid “socially (media) distanced music festival,” organised by Sydney songwriter Rhiannon Atkinson-Howatt (Merpire) along with festival organiser Em Ulman and Shannen Egan of Turning Heads Agency in response to the widespread cancellation of tours and festivals due to coronavirus concerns.
It was pretty bloody magical, with thousands tuning in throughout the day to watch extra-special sets by Aussie musos of hits, unreleased tracks and covers of other artists from the safety of their homes. Eilish Gilligan debuted a new, unrecorded song co-written with Alex Lahey and Japanese Wallpaper, while Angie McMahon covered Lana Del Rey’s ‘Born to Die’. According to organisers, $12,000 was raised for Aussie music charity Support Act over the course of the weekend.
Now, according to The Music, the Instagram Live-based fest will make its return this weekend with a lineup that includes Jen Cloher, Egoism, Emily Wurramara and Loose Tooth.
“We were just so overwhelmed with how much happiness it brought,” Atkinson-Howatt told the magazine. “We don’t want to big note ourselves or anything, but it really seems like it spread a lot of hope across the internet which is really nice. All three of us are addicted to just keep bringing that same vibe as long as we can.”
“I wasn’t sure how it was going to go down but it was pretty amazing to watch the numbers climb. It was pretty incredible to watch the audience interact not only with the artists playing, but each other.”
The second iteration of Isol-Aid commences Saturday at midday. More details as they come.