‘New firsts’ teased as BIGSOUND 2020 dates revealed
BIGSOUND has pressed the Activate button on its 2020 edition, revealing it return to the Fortitude Valley Entertainment Precinct over four days from September 1.
Promoter QMusic teased new firsts in 2020, including “something big for the little soundmakers”.
After its largest First Nations program this year and the launch of the Spotify First Nations House, the indigenous program led by the association’s First Nations producer Alethea Beetson will commence earlier on Sunday, August 30.
QMusic brands the event the Southern Hemisphere’s biggest new live music festival and music conference.
In 2019 it drew 1,700 conference delegates to hear 176 speakers, and 147 showcase acts from across Australia and abroad – 71 were fronted by females and non-binary artists – stormed the precinct.
As a result, BIGSOUND was nominated in Best Live Event at the National Live Music Awards on Wednesday December 4.
There were some career-changing outcomes.
Miiesha commented, “BIGSOUND was an awesome opportunity to share my music with the whole industry.
“I got to perform with my band for the first time and have meetings with labels, booking agents, managers, publishers, media and others all in the one area of Brisbane.
“By the end of the festival, I’d signed a deal with EMI and joined the Village Sounds roster to represent me for bookings which is amazing. A big crazy few days!”
2019 showcasing group Dregg sealed a management deal with US-based Jon Halperin and Adam LaRue, and plan to tour the US next year.
“BIGSOUND connected us to the like-minded industry people we needed to push our band to the next level,” Dregg noted.
Also creating excitement was Didirri’s signing an overseas deal with Nettwerk.
A quick 2019 recap
TMN reported on how innovative on-demand streaming revenue provider Paperchain took out the BIGTECH prize.
Showcasing artists were supported with accommodation, workshops and health and wellbeing services at the YouTube Music Artist Village.
Gordon Koang, winner of Levi’s Music Prize
The international Levi’s Music Prize judges awarded $25,000 as well as $5,000 in travel from Stage and Screen to Gordon Koang, a South Sudan household name who is currently seeking asylum in Australia, and spreads a message of peace, love and unity through his music.
He said at the presentation, “I am standing before you as a blind person. I cannot see anything in this world but I put my mind to do music.
“I have been playing my instrument for 31 years and came to Australia in 2014 to seek asylum because Sudan has a war.”
A further three prizes will be awarded to showcasing artists across the coming twelve months, creating a $120,000 total investment in Australian artists by Levi’s and Stage & Screen and supported by Sounds Australia.
Over the last two years, Levi’s has provided support via the prize to Ecca Vandal, Alex Lahey, The Teskey Brothers, Hatchie and Stella Donnelly, among others.
BIGSOUND’s major supporters are the Australian government through the Australia Council as well as the Queensland Government and Brisbane City Council.
QMusic said, “BIGSOUND also welcomed the expanded support of the Brisbane City Council for the visual arts program in 2019.
“The BCC helped us bring the Valley to life to showcase Brisbane at its best for live music fans from across Australia and the world.”
Other major partners were Virgin, Levi’s Australia, Oztix, Mountain Goat, YouTube Music, Spotify and Ovolo Valley.
Full 2019 financials are not available but QMusic reported in its annual report that in 2018 conference registrations grew to $31,491, and sponsorship revenues rose to $521,000 from $419,972.