State-wide music event calling for local venues and musicians

Young local singer songwriter Harry Cleverdon and Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke. Photo taken prior to social distancing measures.

The music event is called Great Southern Nights, which will see 1000 COVID-safe music gigs take place across regional NSW and Sydney. Great Southern Nights is a NSW Government Initiative in partnership with the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA), designed to support the recovery of the live music, entertainment and hospitality industries following the coronavirus pandemic.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke called on local artists and venues to register their interest to be involved. “This has been an incredibly difficult time for our regional musicians, so it is fantastic these talented artists can now perform again,” Ms Cooke said.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for our region’s many talented performers and venues to register their interest to be a part of such an exciting new event, and I urge them to come forward.”

The gigs will see a mix of established, emerging and local artists play. Jimmy Barnes, Birds of Tokyo, Missy Higgins, Paul Kelly, The Jungle Giants, Thelma Plum, The Presets, Amy Shark, Tash Sultana, The Teskey Brothers, Tones and I and The Veronicas are among 20 headline acts scheduled to play at the event.

Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said the event was a welcome antidote to drought, bushfires and COVID-19, giving NSW artists and venues a welcome boost. “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 regional NSW and Sydney 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.”

The event will culminate in 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.”

Registrations are now open and venues and artists can submit expressions of interest by going to

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