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Applications open for inaugural Great Southern Nights music event

Applications open for inaugural Great Southern Nights music event
August 3, 2020

Destination NSW has advised that music venues across the state can now apply for support to host a gig as part of NSW’s industry-leading new music event, Great Southern Nights, in November.

Destination NSW (the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency) 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.

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.

NSW Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said the Australian-first initiative had already attracted widespread industry support.

Minister Ayres notes “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% of gigs to be in regional NSW and the other half in greater Sydney.

“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.

ARIA Chief Executive Dan Rosen said music was integral to Australian culture and added “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.

“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.

Rosen advised “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.”

Applications open today (3rd August) and close on Friday 14th August.

Venues are reminded to complete their COVID-Safe plan and register as COVID-safe via  

Apply to be part of the program at 

Image courtesy of Destination NSW 

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10th June 2020 - Australian music industry issues ‘SOS’ to Government

31st May 2020 - Melbourne Music Week set to return in November

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10th March 2020 - Program of premieres announced for 30th Australian Festival of Chamber Music

23rd February 2020 - Queensland launches country music tourism initiative

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