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New Music Event Brings 1,000 Gigs to Sydney and Nsw — Huge Boost for Tourism and Artists

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A new music event will bring 1,000 COVID-safe gigs to Sydney and regional NSW in November, giving Australian artists a welcome boost and turbocharging live music venues across the state.

Great Southern Nights is a NSW Government initiative delivered by its tourism and major events agency Destination NSW in partnership with the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) to support the recovery of the live music, entertainment and hospitality industries.

Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said the gigs would be a welcome antidote to the challenges presented by COVID-19, bushfires and the prolonged drought.

“This celebration of outstanding Australian artists and incredible live music venues across NSW gives us all something to look forward to, from event-goers to industry,” Minister Ayres said.

“We’ll be able to get out and see Sydney and regional NSW come to life with some of Australia’s top acts including Jimmy Barnes, Paul Kelly, Missy Higgins and Tones and I alongside emerging artists in unexpected places.

“We’re inviting venues across NSW, from the bush to the city, to nominate to be involved in this exciting new event.

“With the NSW Government’s 24-hour economy strategy set to reinvigorate Sydney’s nightlife, Great Southern Nights will be a big step forward for our state’s live music and hospitality community that has been hit hard in recent times.”

Among the 20 headline acts to play across the music event 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
  • The Veronicas

Established and emerging local Australian artists will present 1,000 gigs, curated by ARIA and an industry advisory committee across a multitude of venues around NSW. Great Southern Nights will culminate with Australia’s premier music industry event, the ARIA Awards, in Sydney.

“We’re proud to create this opportunity for Australian musicians, and help bring back the live music scene right across NSW,” ARIA chief executive officer Dan Rosen said.

“Live music events bring visitors, culture and excitement to communities. This initiative will provide an invaluable boost for the artists, crew, venues and music community that make gigs happen.

Industry research by Music NSW indicates that live music generates approximately $3.6 billion and 23,000 jobs for the NSW economy.

All music events will be programmed in line with current Government health advice regarding physical distancing and venue capacity of public gatherings.

Venues and artists are invited to submit an expression of interest to be involved in Great Southern Nights – registrations open at


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Stuart Ayres - Member for Penrith

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