Venues from Tamworth to Tumbarumba, Byron Bay to Bermagui are encouraged to submit a live music event to be included in the program of 1,000 COVID-safe gigs.
Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said the Australian-first initiative had already attracted widespread industry support.
“The response to Great Southern Nights has been overwhelmingly positive. It’s clear that this game-changing event will have a huge impact on many industries which is why we want 50 per cent of gigs to be in regional NSW and the other half in greater Sydney,” Minister Ayres said.
“We had more than 700 venues register interest to be involved, so we hope all of these and more apply to be in the program to showcase their area and local talent.
“There’s no more authentic experience than celebrating Australian music in a country pub, local bar or beachfront club. This is what Great Southern Nights is all about – bringing people together in a safe way to enjoy our signature hospitality, awesome talent and the unique communities across Sydney and regional NSW.”
Venues must be able to demonstrate they have previously hosted gigs and put forward their suggested talent when applying to be in the program. Venues can submit a maximum of four gigs for consideration, and successful applicants will receive financial support to contract talent and deliver their event.
The NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency Destination NSW is working in partnership with ARIA to deliver the event, in consultation with an industry steering committee comprised of representatives from APRA AMCOS, Live Music Office, Music NSW, the Australian Hotels Association NSW, PPCA, Clubs NSW and the Australia Council for the Arts.
ARIA chief executive officer Dan Rosen said music was integral to Australian culture.
“There are so many amazing live music venues and Australian artists that are ready to reconnect with music fans and bring entertainment back to the people,” Mr Rosen said.
“We’ve been busy curating a world-class program of headline shows, and now we need the enthusiasm and intel from local communities to push this program to a whole new level, celebrating the true breadth and depth of great Aussie music.”
Headline artists already secured for Great Southern Nights are (in alphabetical order) Jimmy Barnes, Birds of Tokyo, Missy Higgins, The Jungle Giants, Paul Kelly, Thelma Plum, The Presets, Amy Shark, Tash Sultana, The Teskey Brothers, Tones and I and The Veronicas with further announcements to follow soon.
“Any venue that has previously hosted a gig and can deliver a COVID-safe event will be considered, so I encourage all venues around NSW to apply now to be part of the Great Southern Nights program,” Mr Rosen said.
Applications open today and close on Friday 14 August. Venues are reminded to complete their COVID-Safe plan and register as COVID-safe via www.NSW.gov.au/covid-19/covid-safe-businesses.
Apply to be part of the program at www.greatsouthernnights.com.au