Oz’s own version of SXSW, BIGSOUND – the annual conference full of industry discussion panels, keynote speeches, live music, and parties featuring our country’s most exciting new artists – will go ahead this year in its usual nest of Fortitude Valley.
The conference/festival’s enduring role of encouraging “forward-thinking, listening, learning, discovering, and most importantly industry connection for the music community,” is especially important in the age of COVID-19, organisers say.
There will be, however, a few changes.
The event will take place over two days and two nights (rather than the week-plus festivities usual to BIGSOUND) on Wednesday October 21 and Thursday 22 – that’s more than six weeks later in the year than usual. There are less delegate passes available, artist application fees have been waived, the BIGTECH festival component is on pause (but will return in 2021), and social distancing and safety protocols will be in place.
The fest also notes that due to the current Victorian six-week lockdown, Vic artists currently can’t travel to Queensland – which doesn’t appear to present a problem for a late October event until you consider the careful planning (particularly emerging) artists undertake to get themselves to BIGSOUND. Say organisers: “Due to the fluid nature of the situation and the majority of travel possibilities difficult to predict, we encourage all artists to apply and if they cannot attend there will be contingencies in place to create opportunities for participation remotely.”