Big Sound Gets Big Boost to Grow First Nations Music in Qld

  • Almost $4 million funding boost for BIGSOUND – the southern hemisphere’s biggest music industry event.
  • New funding will grow First Nations music and turbo charge Queensland’s contemporary music industry.
  • Funding will support the Goolwal Goolwal initiative with a focus on First Nations artists, arts workers and showcasing First Nations musicians and music business leaders to international audiences.
  • BIGSOUND 2023 will take place from 5 to 8 September 2023.

The Premier has tonight announced a nearly $4 million funding boost over the next four years for QMusic’s annual BIGSOUND event to raise the international profile of Queensland’s contemporary music and artists and grow First Nations music.

Key initiatives and partnerships will focus on attracting international talent exclusively to BIGSOUND, growing the number of visitors and showcasing local talent alongside the best global artists.

Central to the Queensland Government’s investment is Goolwal Goolwal, an exciting First Nations initiative delivered as part of BIGSOUND and will include the establishment of Yada Yutta-ba (House of First People), an Indigenous-led hub that will provide respite to First Nations artists, conference speakers and delegates.

The funding boost was announced at the Queensland Music Awards in Brisbane, Queensland music’s night of nights, when industry gather to celebrate and honour the state’s gifted homegrown music talent.

At the event, NEISH won the Billy Thorpe Scholarship, Sahara Beck won the Grant McLennan Fellowship and Platonic Sex won the Carol Lloyd Award.

A new $15,000 Dennis ‘Mop’ Conlon Scholarship delivered by QMusic was also announced. This will honour the life of music icon Dennis ‘Mop’ Conlon, originally from Cherbourg and champion a new generation of First Nations artists.

The new scholarship which opens for applications on 4 April joins a suite of music awards funded by the Queensland Government which also includes the Grant McLennan Fellowship, Carol Lloyd Award and Billy Thorpe Scholarship.

Quotes attributable to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk MP:

“This new investment through BIGSOUND provides a unique opportunity to put Queensland at the forefront of Australia’s First Nations contemporary music scene and strengthen our offering in the lead-up to the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

“BIGSOUND is set to provide a globally significant platform to showcase Queensland’s music artists. The focus will be on celebrating local talent alongside elite music performers, exclusively secured to Queensland.”

Quotes attributable to the Minister for the Arts, Hon Leeanne Enoch MP:

“The winner tonight is our thriving Queensland music industry.

“I congratulate the winners of tonight’s QMA’s and also welcome this important funding boost for BIGSOUND to help launch First Nations artists globally.

“The Goolwal Goolwal initiative and First Nations programming at BIGSOUND has the potential for Queensland to lead the national music industry by embedding best practices.

“This includes Yada Yutta-ba (House of First People), a hub for First Nations artists and conference participants.

“In partnership with Triple A Murri Country Radio, Goolwal Goolwal will deliver significant market development opportunities for First Nations artists and create a global centre for First Nations music in Brisbane.”

Quotes attributable to the Minister for Tourism Innovation and Sport Stirling Hinchliffe MP:

“It’s terrific that BIGSOUND has received this extra funding to further broaden its appeal as a world class event.

“The Palaszczuk Government’s investment into BIGSOUND will boost Queensland’s reputation as a celebrated contemporary music hub.

“It will attract global industry visitors. which is great for Queensland tourism while showcasing local talent in the lead up to the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

Third party quote: Kris Stewart, Chief Executive Officer, QMusic

“We’ve had 21 years of producing BIGSOUND, the southern hemisphere’s biggest music industry event, and this commitment from the Queensland Government helps secure it for 21 more.

“It is the key industry driver for the wider Queensland music sector, which annually delivers approximately $2.5 billion of economic impact and $330 million of salaries and income to Queenslanders, so the benefits of this investment will be felt much wider than just one amazing week in September.”

Queensland Music Awards Recipients


Established in 2007 by the Queensland Government, in honour of Grant McLennan’s enduring influence on contemporary music and songwriting, the fellowship is designed to expose recipients to travel to New York, London, or Berlin to be immersed in a foreign and vibrant music culture.


The Billy Thorpe Scholarship, named in honour of the great Australian rock musician Billy Thorpe, provides the opportunity for an emerging artist or band to record with an established producer and receive career planning from industry pillar Chugg Entertainment.


The Carol Lloyd Award honours the contributions of the late Carol Lloyd to the Queensland music sector, particularly her contributions to supporting emerging female identifying or non-binary artists. The 2023 recipient will be awarded with $15,000 to record a full-length album or tour an EP.

/Public Release. This material from the originating organization/author(s) might be of the point-in-time nature, and edited for clarity, style and length. Mirage.News does not take institutional positions or sides, and all views, positions, and conclusions expressed herein are solely those of the author(s).View in full here.