With border closures and COVID outbreaks still affecting the country, BIGSOUND have made the difficult decision to switch the 2020 event to a free, virtual showcase that will take place 21-22 October.
Focused on three pillars of community, survival, and 're-futuring', BIGSOUND will still bring music, art and business together.
Live stream and video conferencing capabilities will allow all the keynotes, conferences, workshops, panels, and networking opportunities to proceed. This will still allow new opportunities for Australian artists and industry to connect with each other as well as the international music community from their own homes and workspaces.
However, all live performances will be suspended for 2020, but artists will still have a platform to be highlighted.
There will be a virtual showcase of emerging artists, with the introduction of The BIGSOUND 50. Programmers will select 50 of the most outstanding and impressive artists from this year's application process.
"BIGSOUND has always been about bringing our business and arts community together and while we were hopeful of being in our spiritual home in the Fortitude Valley live music precinct, 2020 has made other arrangements," QMusic CEO Angela Samut says.
"It has never been more important for the Australian industry to come together to focus on survival and 're-futuring' with a programme that offers a mainstream conference programme, professional development and mental health activities as well as the introduction of The BIGSOUND 50."
BIGSOUND will again feature First Nations House in partnership with Spotify (this year virtually) providing an important programme of domestic and international delegates discussing the future of the music industry, creating virtual performance opportunities and offering valuable connections to those across the music industry from a First Nations perspective.
"BIGSOUND 2019 saw the largest cohort of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists showcasing at BIGSOUND," First Nations programmer Alethea Beetson says.
"With the move to a virtual platform, we have the potential to showcase First Nations artists throughout the whole year; have the long-term Indigenous led conversations required to dismantle and change the music industry; and continue the work of those who have gone before us in building the sovereign music sector."
The complete 2020 BIGSOUND programme will be released in late September. Free digital registrations are open.