Live shows are coming back. And judging by the industry’s response, they can’t come back soon enough.

On the weekend, the NSW Government and ARIA unveiled the Great Southern Nights series, which promises to return live music to Sydney and throughout the state’s regions before the year is out.

On a closer look, the statement also confirms the 2020 ARIA Awards will take place in Sydney.

APRA AMCOS, Live Performance Australia, Sounds Australia and LEIF, the music and sports industries‘ new forum tasked with supporting the safe reactivation of events, lead the chorus of applause for the new project.

Great Southern Nights will feature 1,000 COVIDSafe gigs in hundreds of venues from November, the “ideal post-COVID celebration of the extraordinary songwriting and music talent this state has to offer,” says Dean Ormston, CEO APRA AMCOS.

The likes of Jimmy Barnes, Tones and I, Amy Shark and Paul Kelly are booked for the all-Australian lineup, which is curated by ARIA and culminates with the 34th ARIA Awards in Sydney.

Also confirmed are Birds Of Tokyo, Missy Higgins,The Jungle Giants, Thelma Plum, The Presets, Tash Sultana, The Teskey Brothers and The Veronicas.

On the weekend, the NSW Government and ARIA announced a massive initiative: 1000 COVD-safe shows will take place across…

Never miss industry news

Get the latest music industry news, insights, and updates straight to your inbox. Learn more

Posted by Sounds Australia onSunday, 14 June 2020

“NSW has just one Opera House,” adds Ormston, “but we have hundreds of live music venues across the state.

“This investment from the NSW Government recognises that live music is the beating heart of Australia’s music industry and will provide critical support for the artists and venues that have badly suffered during the COVID-19 crisis.”

These shows “provides them with a competitive advantage with every dollar spent on live music providing three dollars’ worth of benefits for the wider community.”

According to research published by Music NSW, live music generates roughly $3.6 billion and 23,000 jobs for the NSW economy.

Ahead of the Great Southern Nights announcement, Scott Morrison’s government announced plans to ease restrictions for public gatherings from next month.

Among the mooted changes, the 100-person capacity on indoor gatherings will be dumped and replaced with a new rule of one person for every four-square meter.

Also, states are reportedly working on rules that would let stadiums capable of seating up to 40,000 people host crowds of up to 10,000, or 25 per cent of capacity.

There’s still no talk on when international borders will open, though LEIF Chairman James Sutherland welcomes the moves as a “great first step” to bring back fans and jobs.

Venues and artists who want to participate in Great Southern Nights can register at greatsouthernnights.com.au.