The NSW government says the Great Southern Nights 2022 live music event is crucial to getting the entertainment industry back on its feet after two years of COVID-19 restrictions.
The Great Southern Nights live music initiative is back after the Perrottet government partnered with the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) to boost entertainment, hospitality and tourism in 2022.
Amy Shark, Baker Boy, Jessica Mauboy, Jimmy Barnes, Missy Higgins and Peking Duk are among those added to the series of events, which runs from Friday March 18 through Sunday April 10.
NSW Employment, Investment and Tourism Minister Stuart Ayres is driving the new program and spoke to Sky News Australia after the initiative launched on Wednesday.
He said the month-long celebration of live music early next year was “crucial” to getting the entertainment industry back on its feet after two years of COVID-19 restrictions.
“From town to bush we cover every corner of NSW, a great selection of acts,” Mr Ayres said.
“Having… Amy Shark, Baker Boy, Jessica Mauboy, Jimmy Barnes, Missy Higgins and Peking Duk on the lineup is a fantastic showcase for the diversity of Australian music.”
The initiative will be implemented by the state’s major tourism and events agency, Destination NSW, and will pave the way for more than 500 live musical evenings with more than 50 of Australia’s top artists locked in to perform .
It comes after a previous version of Great Southern Nights brought over 1,000 COVID-Safe gigs to NSW venues in November 2020.
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“We saw when we first did Great Southern Nights how important it was to bring the artists back on stage,” Mr. Ayres said.
“For many of these artists, it was the first time they had taken the stage in months. Often the first paycheck they had won.
“For many of the support team who bring a lot of these wonderful shows to life, this was the first time that they could also work.”
Given the level of “goodwill” towards the initiative, Mr Ayres said the NSW government decided to start again from March and end in April next year.
Asked by Laura Jayes, host of Sky News, whether she should have added “groupie” to her title, Mr Ayres replied “absolutely – I’m an Australian live music lover”.
“These are the best Australian artists taking the stage, but also supporting opportunities for new and emerging artists. It’s a great way to boost tourism statewide and support our live music scene.”
ARIA CEO Annabelle Herd supported Mr Ayres and said Great Southern Nights was an ideal stage to revive the New South Wales music scene after an extremely difficult time for the industry.
“The Great Southern Nights will bring the performers and crew back to doing what they love and do best – put on a show for an audience and transport them through the joy of live music,” Ms. Herd said.
“The concept was so successful in 2020 and is exactly what our industry needed, so it’s no surprise to see our top talent wanting to get involved in 2022.
“We are proud to partner with this project to put NSW’s artists, industry and concert halls back on their feet. “
The Great Southern Nights will begin on March 18 and will see performances at 350 venues in nine regions of New South Wales.
Tickets are already on sale at www.greatsouthernnights.com.au.