BIGSOUND Returns In 2022 Celebrating Its 21st Birthday

Kwame performing at 2019 BIGSOUND. © Mark Ursa
Our eclectic team of writers from around Australia – and a couple beyond – with decades of combined experience and interest in all fields.

2022 will not only mark BIGSOUND's 21st birthday, but Australia's leading live music festival and conference will return to an in-person format for the first time since 2019.

Set to blow out the candles from 6-9 September, the southern hemisphere's biggest celebration of new music, BIGSOUND will once again play a pivotal role as the live music industry returns to the masses after a couple of traumatic years.

It's time to reconnect with each other, to find solutions to the current landscape, share ideas and have those spontaneous change-making conversations that only occur when the industry gathers together.

With more than 150 conference speakers and 55-plus conference sessions plus 1,500-plus conference delegates attending, BIGSOUND 2022 will be the place to network and bring ideas to life.

Then there's the electric energy attached to the festival side of things, with BIGSOUND hosting 300-plus performances across 21 venues for a live music smorgasbord unlike anything else in the country witnessed by 16,000 festival attendees.

"This year sees the return of our first live conference and festival since 2019," QMusic CEO Kris Stewart says.

"We're feeling from the industry far and wide that they're itching to be back in rooms together and we couldn't be more excited to get artists back on stages and industry back in their live element."

Across the years, BIGSOUND has introduced us to some of the biggest names in Australian music with A.B. Original, Ball Park Music, Courtney Barnett, DMA'S, Flume, Gang Of Youths, The Jungle Giants, Miiesha, RÜFÜS DU SOL, Sampa the Great, Tkay Maidza, Tash Sultana, Thelma Plum, Vera Blue, Violent Soho, Ziggy Ramo and many more all showcasing at BIGSOUND before becoming household names.

"Growing up in Meanjin, BIGSOUND has always been such a huge vibe where fans, artists and industry from all over the country assemble over our common love for music," former BIGSOUND artist and newly elected QMusic Management Committee member Thelma Plum says.

"I played my first BIGSOUND in 2013, when I was super young, it was a huge opportunity for me and I absolutely encourage artists to apply. From totally new artists to more established acts, the line-up is always amazing."

Artist applications have now opened.

"By the time we get to September, it will have been three years since we have had an in-person BIGSOUND," BIGSOUND Festival Co-Programmer Ruby-Jean McCabe says.

"This year we're going big with 150 artists across 21 venues. That's 300 performances over 3 nights with our industry all in the same rooms again across Fortitude Valley.

"It's been two years of artists sitting in their bedrooms, lounge rooms, home towns. These are artists who may not have yet performed live but are ready to make their industry debut at BIGSOUND.

"We'll also have export-ready favourites to rediscover who will finally be able to impress BIGSOUND's international delegates and speakers and take their music overseas."

With Australia identified as the world's fastest-growing country music market, a new addition to the 2022 instalment will be BIGSOUND Country that will feature a party, showcases, dedicated panels and a special show featuring some of Australia's finest country music artists.

"Our feedback in the past has been that a large proportion of country music artists and industry haven't felt that BIGSOUND serviced them," Kris Stewart says.

"We want to change that. We want artists from every spectrum of country music: pop, alt. country, bluegrass, First Nations country artists. Everybody!"

Produced by QMusic, BIGSOUND 2022 runs 6-9 September at various venues and locations in Fortitude Valley (Brisbane). Stay tuned for more updates.

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