In a short space of time the Omicron variant has changed the course of the coronavirus pandemic, throwing up new challenges for those thinking about international touring in 2022. We hear it’s a less severe variant, but a lot more people are catching the virus. A number of events are moving to new dates, while others are forging ahead. Some cities are in lockdown, others aren’t imposing any restrictions.

So how do you make sense of it all, and how can you start to prepare and plan for international touring when each country seems to be handling the pandemic in a different way? For the latest Sounds Sessions virtual panel, we’ll be hearing from some of the world’s premier agents and promoters about what touring is like in their home countries right now, and what you need to know before embarking on your next run of live shows.

Speakers for the panel include:

Alex Bruford (ATC Live, UK)
Marshall Betts (TBA Agency, USA)
Silke Westera (FKP Scorpio, Germany)

Sounds Sessions: Live In The Time Of Omicron will be held on Tuesday February 1 at 8:30am AEDT and moderated by Sounds Australia’s Dom Alessio. It’s free to attend, but registration is essential.

REGISTER HERE (VIA EVENTBRITE): https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/sounds-sessions-live-in-the-time-of-omicron-tickets-249891711837

If you have any questions for the panellists or topics you’d like to hear discussed, please email your ideas to [email protected].

Today, Sounds Australia has opened applications for Round 2 of the Sounds Australia Export Stimulus (SAES) program. The funding package was established in 2021 to bolster Australia’s music export activity and support the industry as they return to global stages. The targeted support assists established Australian artists, crew and music professionals to realise significant career milestone opportunities, earn much needed income after 18 months of cancelled work, and support Australia’s quest to become a net exporting music nation.

The first round of the SAES package was awarded to a diverse cross section of local music industry made up of artists, producers, songwriters, composers, managers and crew. In total, 31 applicants were awarded AU $408,936.28. The full list of recipients can be found here.

“The support from the SAES program has been so impactful for us. This funding has been a huge help in reconnecting us with our beloved US fanbase, especially after the incredibly challenging last couple of years. With this help, we’ll be back on stage, sharing light, love and music with our American friends soon.” – The Avalanches

The competitive grants will be judged by an external panel of highly experienced assessors, with priority given to activity undertaken by established talent re-entering the international music market. Funding will be awarded to support increased expenses across five distinct areas. These include:

  • Visas (petition application and associated legal fees)
  • Freight and Carnets
  • Pre-Tour Rehearsals (venue, wages, backline)
  • Artist Managers to travel with their acts overseas
  • Insurance and other COVID increased premiums
  • COVID compliant consumables

The program was first announced in June 2021 at AIR Indie Con, with the support of Sounds Australia’s lead funding partners. APRA AMCOS, ARIA, PPCA, the Australia Council for the Arts and the Office for the Arts agreed to redirect Sounds Australia’s 2020 and forecast 2021 retained surplus toward the SAES Program. Furthermore, the Minister for the Arts, The Hon. Paul Fletcher, committed additional funding which brought the combined total of the Export Stimulus Package to $1.2 million, to be distributed over the three rounds.

Successful applicants will play a significant role in presenting Australia as an incomparable nation of sought-after artists and skilled music industry professionals, and reignite foreign trade and income for broader Australian music businesses.

Round 2 is now open, with applications closing on Friday February 4 at 11:59pm AEST. Head to the SAES website to apply, as well as read the guidelines, criteria, and terms and conditions.

With restrictions beginning to ease, borders starting to open, and more Australians looking to tour internationally, what can we learn from those who have already started travelling abroad?

On Wednesday December 8 at 9am AEDT, Sounds Australia in partnership with the Association of Artist Managers will present Touring the UK & Europe In A Pandemic. Moderated by Sounds Australia’s Dom Alessio, this virtual panel will feature speakers who’ve worked on 2021 UK & Europe tours for Amyl & The Sniffers, The Chemical Brothers and Passenger, as well as events such as Americanafest UK.

You’ll hear what it takes to put on a COVID safe and compliant tour, what it’s like being in the UK and Europe right now, and what you need to consider to start preparing for your own activity.

The panel will feature:
Ben Madden (Stage Manager, The Chemical Brothers)
Dan Medland (Artist Manager, Passenger)
Renae Brown (Festivals & Event Manager, Arby Projects)
Simone Ubaldi (Artist Manager, Amyl & The Sniffers)

It’s free to attend but registration is essential. You can do that via Eventbrite:
https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/sounds-sessions-touring-the-uk-and-europe-in-a-pandemic-tickets-212220937537

This session is also part of the AAM’s Right Here Right Now virtual management week program (December 6 – 10).

With restrictions beginning to ease, borders starting to open, and more Australians looking to tour internationally, what can we learn from those who have already started travelling abroad?

On Wednesday December 8 at 9am AEDT, Sounds Australia in partnership with the Association of Artist Managers will present Touring the UK & Europe In A Pandemic. Moderated by Sounds Australia’s Dom Alessio, this virtual panel will feature speakers who’ve worked on 2021 UK & Europe tours for Amyl & The Sniffers, The Chemical Brothers and Passenger, as well as events such as Americanafest UK.

You’ll hear what it takes to put on a COVID safe and compliant tour, what it’s like being in the UK and Europe right now, and what you need to consider to start preparing for your own activity.

The panel will feature:
Ben Madden (Stage Manager, The Chemical Brothers)
Dan Medland (Artist Manager, Passenger)
Renae Brown (Festivals & Event Manager, Arby Projects)
Simone Ubaldi (Artist Manager, Amyl & The Sniffers)

It’s free to attend but registration is essential. You can do that via Eventbrite:
https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/sounds-sessions-touring-the-uk-and-europe-in-a-pandemic-tickets-212220937537

This session is also part of the AAM’s Right Here Right Now virtual management week program (December 6 – 10).

The Folk Alliance International Conference, presented by Folk Alliance International, is the world’s largest gathering of the folk music industry and community (crossing a diverse array of genres including Appalachian, Americana, Blues, Bluegrass, Celtic, Cajun, Global Roots, Hip-Hop, Old-Time, Singer-Songwriter, Spoken Word, Traditional, Zydeco, and various fusions).

The 2022 Folk Alliance International Conference will be a hybrid event, with the virtual component taking place online from February 15-17.

As part of Sounds Australia’s commitment to Folk Alliance International, we will be hosting CLOSE UP, a two-hour virtual spotlight showcase featuring pre-recorded live performances from 12 Australian artists looking to connect with, and perform in front of, the international folk music industry, and further their export careers.

If you would like to apply for one of the limited Sounds Australia showcasing spots, please complete the following application and submit it by 5pm AEDT Wednesday 8 December 2021.

CLOSE UP APPLICATION FORM:
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BTN3Z8G

Please note that priority will be given to artists from Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. 

If selected, you will need to provide all necessary publishing and label clearances for use of the song/s you wish to perform for the virtual showcase.

If you have any questions regarding the application or Folk Alliance International, please don’t hesitate to get in touch on [email protected].

Each month Sounds Australia invites an Australian, or group of Australians, to curate a playlist for our I Picked This series. In November, we’re thrilled to have ARCA (the Australian Road Crew Association) create a playlist of live songs selected from their Desk Tape Series.

The ARCA Desk Tape Series, distributed through Black Box Records, is an initiative dedicated to the welfare of live production roadies and crew in Australia. Roadies have amassed a treasure trove of live recordings spanning more than 40 years and made ARCA their custodian. From international stars to iconic cult heroes, these tapes document the cultural significance of the Australian live music scene and serve as important historical records, requiring a release to ensure they may never be lost. 

The series was created to raise much needed funds for roadies and crew in crisis, with money from the sales and streams of these recordings providing financial, health and mental health services, as well as counselling to those who are the backbone of Australia’s live music sector.

20 live albums have so far been released via the ARCA Desk Tape Series. You can purchase the albums from the ARCA website.

You can listen loudly to ARCA’s I Picked This playlist on Apple Music, Deezer , Spotify and YouTube – and hear all the albums at the ARCA website via Black Box Records.

TRACKLIST:

The Models (Live at the Overlander Hotel 1980):
Whisper Through The Wall
The Other People Incident

Australian Crawl (Live at Billboard 1981):
Things Don’t Seem
Boys Light Up

Men At Work (Live in Christchurch 1982):
Down Under
It’s a Mistake

Crowded House (Live 92-94, Pt. 1):
Distant Sun
Don’t Dream It’s Over

Crowded House (Live 92-94, Pt. 2):
World Where You Live
When You Come

Doug Parkinson and the Southern Star Band (Live at Gobbles, Perth, 1979):
I’ll Be Around
Same Feeling Different Song

Wendy Matthews (Live at Bunnamah Estate ’94):
I Don’t Wanna Be With Nobody But You
Token Angels

Goanna (Live at The Canberra Workers Club, 1985):
Razor’s Edge
Solid Rock, Sacred Ground

Neil Finn (Solo at the Seymour Centre, 2010):
Message To My Girl
Something So Strong

Albert Lee & Vince Gill (Live at the Prince of Wales Hotel 1988):
Colder Than Winter
Tiger Rag

Dutch Tilders (Live at The Commune 1973):
That’s Alright Momma
Two Bob Head Blues

Redgum (Live in Melkweg, Amsterdam 1985):
I Was Only 19
I’ve Been To Bali Too

Jo Jo Zep and the Falcons (Live at San Remo NYE 1976):
Dancin’ Shoes
The Honeydripper

Russell Morris and the Rubes (Live at the Palladium 1982):
Wings Of An Eagle
Hush

TISM (Live at the Corner Hotel 30 May 1988):
Mistah Eliot – He Wanker
Get Thee in my Behind, Satan

Captain Matchbox Whoopee Band (Live at Ormond Hall 2011):
My Canary Has Circles Under its Eyes
Your Feet’s Too Big

Jimmy and the Boys (Live at the Astra Hotel 1982):
In Hell With Your Mother
Chattanooga Choo Choo

Dave Tice and the Headhunters (Live at Yella Rock 1991):
Baby Please Don’t Go
Don’t Worry Baby, It’s Gonna Be Alright

The Party Boys (Live at the Tivoli Sydney 1987):
Hold Your Head Up
Roadhouse Blues

Ted Mulry Gang (Live at the Fairfield Hotel 1982):
Jump In My Car
Honky Tonk Women

Each month Sounds Australia invites an Australian, or group of Australians, to curate a playlist for our I Picked This series. In November, we’re thrilled to have ARCA (the Australian Road Crew Association) create a playlist of live songs selected from their Desk Tape Series.

The ARCA Desk Tape Series, distributed through Black Box Records, is an initiative dedicated to the welfare of live production roadies and crew in Australia. Roadies have amassed a treasure trove of live recordings spanning more than 40 years and made ARCA their custodian. From international stars to iconic cult heroes, these tapes document the cultural significance of the Australian live music scene and serve as important historical records, requiring a release to ensure they may never be lost. 

The series was created to raise much needed funds for roadies and crew in crisis, with money from the sales and streams of these recordings providing financial, health and mental health services, as well as counselling to those who are the backbone of Australia’s live music sector.

20 live albums have so far been released via the ARCA Desk Tape Series. You can purchase the albums from the ARCA website.

You can listen loudly to ARCA’s I Picked This playlist on Apple Music, Deezer , Spotify and YouTube – and hear all the albums at the ARCA website via Black Box Records.

TRACKLIST:

The Models (Live at the Overlander Hotel 1980):
Whisper Through The Wall
The Other People Incident

Australian Crawl (Live at Billboard 1981):
Things Don’t Seem
Boys Light Up

Men At Work (Live in Christchurch 1982):
Down Under
It’s a Mistake

Crowded House (Live 92-94, Pt. 1):
Distant Sun
Don’t Dream It’s Over

Crowded House (Live 92-94, Pt. 2):
World Where You Live
When You Come

Doug Parkinson and the Southern Star Band (Live at Gobbles, Perth, 1979):
I’ll Be Around
Same Feeling Different Song

Wendy Matthews (Live at Bunnamah Estate ’94):
I Don’t Wanna Be With Nobody But You
Token Angels

Goanna (Live at The Canberra Workers Club, 1985):
Razor’s Edge
Solid Rock, Sacred Ground

Neil Finn (Solo at the Seymour Centre, 2010):
Message To My Girl
Something So Strong

Albert Lee & Vince Gill (Live at the Prince of Wales Hotel 1988):
Colder Than Winter
Tiger Rag

Dutch Tilders (Live at The Commune 1973):
That’s Alright Momma
Two Bob Head Blues

Redgum (Live in Melkweg, Amsterdam 1985):
I Was Only 19
I’ve Been To Bali Too

Jo Jo Zep and the Falcons (Live at San Remo NYE 1976):
Dancin’ Shoes
The Honeydripper

Russell Morris and the Rubes (Live at the Palladium 1982):
Wings Of An Eagle
Hush

TISM (Live at the Corner Hotel 30 May 1988):
Mistah Eliot – He Wanker
Get Thee in my Behind, Satan

Captain Matchbox Whoopee Band (Live at Ormond Hall 2011):
My Canary Has Circles Under its Eyes
Your Feet’s Too Big

Jimmy and the Boys (Live at the Astra Hotel 1982):
In Hell With Your Mother
Chattanooga Choo Choo

Dave Tice and the Headhunters (Live at Yella Rock 1991):
Baby Please Don’t Go
Don’t Worry Baby, It’s Gonna Be Alright

The Party Boys (Live at the Tivoli Sydney 1987):
Hold Your Head Up
Roadhouse Blues

Ted Mulry Gang (Live at the Fairfield Hotel 1982):
Jump In My Car
Honky Tonk Women

Since May, Sounds Australia has been working with Australian artists and industry to secure travel exemptions so they can restart their export careers.⁣
With lockdowns beginning to ease, borders starting to open, and more Australians looking to tour internationally, what can we learn from those who have already started?⁣
Our next Sounds Sessions panel, Touring America In A Pandemic, will take place virtually at 9am AEDT on Tuesday October 26. Moderated by Sounds Australia’s Dom Alessio, it will feature speakers who’ve worked on 2021 US tours for Tame Impala, Middle Kids, Courtney Barnett and Cloud Nothings.
You’ll hear what it takes to put on a COVID safe and compliant tour, what it’s like being in America right now, and what you need to consider to start preparing for your own US activity.⁣
The panel will feature:⁣
Alice Fraser (Production Coordinator, Tame Impala) ⁣
Jacob Snell (Manager, Monster Artist Management)⁣
Katie Besgrove (Manager, Look Out Kid)⁣
Pati Villegas (Covid Compliance Officer)
It’s free, but registration is essential:

Since May, Sounds Australia has been working with Australian artists and industry to secure travel exemptions so they can restart their export careers.⁣
With lockdowns beginning to ease, borders starting to open, and more Australians looking to tour internationally, what can we learn from those who have already started?⁣
Our next Sounds Sessions panel, Touring America In A Pandemic, will take place virtually at 9am AEDT on Tuesday October 26. Moderated by Sounds Australia’s Dom Alessio, it will feature speakers who’ve worked on 2021 US tours for Tame Impala, Middle Kids, Courtney Barnett and Cloud Nothings.
You’ll hear what it takes to put on a COVID safe and compliant tour, what it’s like being in America right now, and what you need to consider to start preparing for your own US activity.⁣
The panel will feature:⁣
Alice Fraser (Production Coordinator, Tame Impala) ⁣
Jacob Snell (Manager, Monster Artist Management)⁣
Katie Besgrove (Manager, Look Out Kid)⁣
Pati Villegas (Covid Compliance Officer)
It’s free, but registration is essential:

Sounds Australia is excited to partner with the CMAA (Country Music Association of Australia) and the CCMA (Canadian Country Music Association) for the first ever Country Connects online conference.

Taking place over 2 x two hour sessions from 9am-11am AEDT on Tuesday 19th and Wednesday 20th October, the online program will feature experts from both countries sharing their insights into each market’s country music community.

Registration is $35 – or free if you’re a CMAA member.

Check out the full schedule for Country Connects and register at this link:
https://events.humanitix.com/country-connects

Program (Subject to change):

Tuesday 19th October:

9:00am – 10:00am AEDT – In Conversation:

Michael Chugg AM (Chugg Entertainment/Chugg Music, AUS) with Jim Cressman (Invictus Entertainment Group, CDA)

10:00am – 11:00am AEDT – Radio Panel featuring:

Amanda Kingsland (Rogers Radio, CDA)
Brianne Deslippe (Big Loud Records, CDA)
Frank Varrasso (Varrasso PR, AUS)
Justin Thomson (KIX Country Australia, AUS)
Tiffany Astle (penelopePR, CDA)

Wednesday 20th October:

9:00am – 10:00am AEDT – Touring Panel featuring:

Joel Baskin (The Feldman Agency, CDA)
Karen-Lee Herrmann-Smith (Entertainment Consulting, AUS)
Mark Duckworth (Groundwater Country Music Festival, AUS)
Ron Kitchener (RGK Entertainment/Open Road Recordings, CDA)
Steve White (Stephen White Management, AUS)

10:00am – 11:00am AEDT – In Conversation: 

Lindsay Ell (Recording Artist, CDA) with Jeremy Dylan (Potts Entertainment, AUS)