Australia: Smaller BIGSOUND Conference For Oct., Live Music Awards Return

Smaller BIGSOUND For October, With New Team

Brisbane’s BIGSOUND, the largest confab in the southern hemisphere, goes ahead in a smaller size and capacity Oct. 21-22.
“With the culture of our industry under threat from COVID-19, our industrial culture under scrutiny as we face head-on the structural inequities for women, LGBTQI+ and First Nations people, and our culture as a nation under the spotlight as global trends put even more pressure on local artists and local stories, never has it been more essential for BIGSOUND to proceed and succeed0,” said Angela Samut, chief executive of music association QMusic, which organizes the event.
Despite no international buyers this year a limited artist showcases will run over ten venues in the Fortitude Valley precinct. 
A new team includes Splendour In The Grass festival senior creative manager Janne Scott as creative director, First Nations producer and programmer Alethea Beetson working across the entire program, and promoters Dominic Miller and Ruby-Jean McCabe joining as festival co-programmers.
Live Music Awards Return With New Categories 
The National Live Music Awards will go ahead in 2020. But instead of eight simultaneous events around the country, there’ll be a sole ceremony in Brisbane October 20, coinciding with the opening of BIGSOUND 2020.
Founder and director Larry Heath planned to take the year off, but changed his mind due to the “ingenuity and perseverance” of the music industry.
“It became clear there was a lot to celebrate this year,” noted Heath. “We are a resilient industry, and as we faced our darkest hours, we collaborated, we created, and we pushed on. 
“This year’s award show will reflect that, and also look ahead to a better and brighter future for this vibrant industry.”
More than 40 categories are sidelined for this year, due to lack of touring activity during the eligibility period. However 2020 marks the appearance of two permanent categories— best international Tour to recognize its Australian promoter’s work, and live music journalist.