It is with an extremely heavy heart that Sounds Australia announces the cancellation of Friday’s live-stream event 3 For The Stream.

This morning, Premier Daniel Andrews declared a state of emergency for Victoria, therefore we have decided that it would be irresponsible to proceed with our planned 3 For The Stream event in Melbourne this Friday, at a time when authorities are stressing the need for social distancing to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Last Monday we began to devise a contingency plan for the Australian artists set to showcase at SXSW 2020. What we came up with was 3 For The Stream: 3-song sets from 19 of those artists, filmed across multiple stages at Bakehouse Studios in Melbourne. At the time, this felt like the best way we could support those artists and their teams, who had invested thousands of dollars into an event that was no longer happening, as well as promote their music to an international audience of music industry buyers and potential new fans. The enthusiasm of the multiple partners for our event – Art Series Hotel by Accor, Bakehouse Studios, Comes With Fries, Facebook, SXSW, TAG and Young Henry’s – demonstrates how much support there is for these artists in incredibly challenging times.

However, a week is a long time in this environment, and the mood has greatly shifted as the impact of COVID-19 starts to worsen in many parts of the world. The decision to cancel 3 For The Stream was not taken lightly. Now is not the time for an event that will bring people into close proximity. We need to work together to flatten the curve, to protect those who are most vulnerable to this virus. Everyone must do what needs to be done to ensure the impact of the coronavirus is limited as much as possible.

The COVID-19 outbreak is having a devastating impact on the Australian music industry, which contributes $2.5 billion annually to the local economy. I Lost My Gig, an initiative of the Australian Music Industry Network and Australian Festival Association, has calculated the total lost income from cancelled events so far at $47 million, with 20,000 employment opportunities lost, affecting 190,000 people. Sounds Australia will continue to innovate and pivot to support Australian artists and industry as best we can in these unprecedented times.

While you’re practising social distancing and regularly washing your hands, here is a list of the 43 Australian acts who were poised to showcase in Austin, Texas this week as part of SXSW 2020. If you’re in a position to support them, we have included To Buy links for each artist. You can also listen to a song from each of them on our SXSW 2020 playlist.

Alex the Astronaut
Official Website | Merch Store | Join Alex’s Space Club

Alexander Biggs
Official Website | Bandcamp | Join Mailing List

Ali Barter
Official Website | Merch Store | Join Mailing List

Alice Skye
Bandcamp

Anatole
Bandcamp

Banoffee
Bandcamp

BATTS
Bandcamp

Betty Who
Official Website | Merch Store | Join Mailing List

Borzoi
Bandcamp

Cable Ties
Bandcamp | Merge Records

Carla Geneve
Bandcamp

Cousin Tony’s Brand New Firebird
Merch Store

Didirri
Official Website | Merch Store | Join Mailing List

Eliza & The Delusionals
Official Website | Merch Store | Bandcamp

Evelyn Ida Morris
Official Website | Bandcamp

Flyying Colours
Bandcamp

Fraeya
CD Baby

Gena Rose Bruce
Bandcamp

Go Fever
Official Website | Merch Store | Bandcamp

Good Morning
Bandcamp

Hachiku
Official WebsiteBandcamp

HTRK
Official Website | Merch Shop | Bandcamp

Jack River
Official Website | Merch Store

Jack Gray
Official Website | Join Mailing List

Jaguar Jonze
Official Website | Merch Store

Jamie-Lee Dimes
Official Website | Merch Store

Kota Banks
Official Website | Merch Store

Lime Cordiale
Official Website | Merch Store | Join Mailing List

Luke Howard
Official Website | Merch Store

MANE
Official Website

Pub Choir
Official Website

Quivers
Bandcamp

River Boy
Triple J Unearthed

San Mei
Official Website | Bandcamp

Shady Nasty
Official Website | Bandcamp

Sophie Hutchings
Official Website | Bandcamp

Sui Zhen
Official Website | Bandcamp

Surf Rock Is Dead
Official Website | Bandcamp

The Lazy Eyes
Bandcamp

The Wonder
Official Website | Bandcamp

Thigh Master
Bandcamp

Tim Shiel
Bandcamp

Tom West
Official Website | Bandcamp

If you’re in Australia, we encourage keeping up-to-date and following advice from the Australian Government Department of Health. You can visit their website at http://www.health.gov.au. For health enquiries you can contact the Coronavirus Information Line 1800 020 080. The World Health Organisation has set up a page specifically for information relating to the coronavirus: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

A STATEMENT ON THE CANCELLATION OF SXSW FROM MILLIE MILLGATE, SOUNDS AUSTRALIA EXECUTIVE PRODUCER 

Sounds Australia are a mix of emotions upon learning of the City of Austin’s decision to cancel SXSW this morning.

We respect that a decision was ultimately made that prioritises the health and safety of its citizens, the international guests travelling to Austin and, most importantly, mitigates the risk of spreading the coronavirus.

We are truly disappointed for SXSW and their incredible team who have been working around the clock to keep the iconic show on track. This is especially because they know the impact such a cancellation will have on hundreds of small Austin businesses including venues, production companies, vendors, service and hospitality staff and many more, along with the effect on the global music industry.

We are most heartbroken and feel for the 43 Australian artists who were due to showcase at this year’s SXSW festival. It is a huge achievement to have been selected from the 7,000 plus artists that apply each year. To have lost this opportunity after spending several months and thousands of dollars preparing, and planning is devastating.

We particularly want to acknowledge those individuals at the helm, responsible for managing each of the acts and the truly impressive way in which they have and continue to navigate this unprecedented cancellation and subsequent turn of events. To see the countless hours of work, setting up opportunities, meetings, showcases, travel logistics and more only to be reversed will have an enormous impact which cannot be underestimated.

We are extremely grateful for the comradery and counsel that has shone between our Australia House @ SXSW partners, whom we have been decision making and dealing with throughout the last week of extreme uncertainty, including the fantastic team at G’Day USA, led by Australian Consul-General Los Angeles Chelsey Martin, and Global Manager Nicole Foster spearheading SXSW activity for Tourism Australia. We also value the cooperation and patience shown from our Official SXSW showcase presenting partners Laneway, Secret Sounds (Splendour in the Grass & Falls Festival) and Made In Melbourne (Visit Victoria, ACMI and Spirit Level).

Sounds Australia is a partnership of Government and industry and more than ever before this has been demonstrated through the care and concern shown for the wellbeing of each of the Sounds Australia team members from APRA AMCOS, ARIA, the PPCA, The Australia Council for the Arts and Office for the Arts (Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications).

To the international music industry who had confirmed to join our events in Austin at SXSW, thank you and know that we still have many Australian artists heading to the USA to complete larger touring schedules and we will be sure to communicate with you all those details so you can still experience incredible live Australian music, closer to home.

For those Australian music industry delegates who have registered to attend SXSW in 2020 you can opt to defer registration to 2021, 2022, or 2023. You don’t need to take immediate action as it will remain in the SXSW system for future opportunities. If you have any questions, please email [email protected]. If you have booked a hotel through SXSW Housing & Travel, your reservation will not be automatically cancelled. To change or cancel your reservation please follow the instructions in your SXSW Hotel Reservation Confirmation email.

We really are still grappling with the SXSW cancellation news, what it will mean and the precedent it may set for other international showcase events, tours and festivals in the coming months and the wider commercial impact. However, we know that the Australian Music Industry is resilient, resourceful and creative and we couldn’t be prouder to be representing Australian Music on the world stage at this time.

Sounds Australia
Millie, Esti, Glenn, Dom, Leah and Larry

 

Off the back of celebrating our tenth year, Sounds Australia is delighted to announce two new additions to the team: Leah Flanagan as First Nations Export Producer and Larry Heath as Associate Producer. It heralds an exciting new period of development as we move into our second decade of fast-tracking Australian music success globally.

In December APRA AMCOS announced the appointment of Leah Flanagan as National Manager – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Music Office. Within this role Leah will also become an integral member of the Sounds Australia team as the inaugural First Nations Export Producer.

Leah, an Alyawarre woman and based in Darwin, will provide decision-making, advice, engagement and guidance to Sounds Australia’s export strategy, ensuring cultural protocols and processes in promoting Indigenous artists internationally is practiced. Leah will attend key international showcase conference events such as SXSW, The Great Escape Festival, Folk Alliance International, WOMEX and Mundial, and work with the team to establish a First Nations International Bursary Program.

“I am thrilled to join the Sounds Australia team in a role where I am able to focus my energy towards assisting our First Nations artists feel artistically and culturally in control of the way they present themselves when showcasing to international music markets.” (Leah Flanagan)

“Already the insights and knowledge Leah has contributed is making a difference and with her leadership we look forward to seeing a significant increase in the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists showcasing and industry practitioners attending international showcase events.” (Millie Millgate, Executive Producer, Sounds Australia)

Larry Heath has had an extensive career supporting Australian artists both at home and abroad, from founding The AU Review in 2008, one of Australia’s most highly regarded independent music and arts websites, to establishing the National Live Music Awards in 2016 and, more recently, acting as A&R Manager for international publisher Music Sales.

He’s also no stranger to working alongside Sounds Australia at international events:

  • From 2011 to 2013, Sounds Australia co-presented the Jet Lag Sessions at CMJ in partnership with The AU Review. The Sessions provided a late night performance opportunity on New York’s Lower East Side for Australian artists, including Big Scary and Sheppard.
  • He has regularly covered THE AUSSIE BBQ over the last decade, filming content and setting up press interviews for the Australian artists at numerous international showcase events including SXSW, Canadian Music Week, Music Matters, The Great Escape and Reeperbahn Festival.
  • Larry has participated in a number of our international trade activities, including the first OZ Fest India Trade Mission in 2012 and the CIMA Australian delegation to the ECMAs on Prince Edward Island in 2019.
  • At SXSW in 2019, The AU Review / Hello Asia presented an Official Showcase at Australia House featuring DYGL (Japan), Drinking Boys & Girls Choir (South Korea), Geowulf, I Know Leopard, San Mei and Stereogirl (Japan).

“To be joining a team who I – and the rest of the industry – hold in such high esteem… I can only say I’m truly humbled. I’m excited to be joining at a time when Australian music has never been more prominent on the world stage. And there’s no coincidence that it comes at the end of years of hard work from Sounds Australia. I’m thrilled to help push that work forward, providing opportunities for the next generation of musicians and industry, just as they have done for my career over the last decade.” (Larry Heath)

“Larry’s passion and belief in Australian music is unwavering and his international networks are as diverse as they are extensive. After many years of working alongside and watching Larry in action we are tickled pink to be welcoming him to the Sounds Australia team.” (Millie Millgate)

Leah and Larry will both commence their roles with Sounds Australia next week in New Orleans at the Indigenous Music Summit and Folk Alliance International respectively.

Sounds Australia continues to expand and build global opportunities for Australian artists and music businesses thanks to the financial commitment from founding partners the Australian Council of the Arts and APRA AMCOS, along with increased investment from the Australian Government, ARIA, the PPCA, Create NSW and the South Australian Department for Innovation and Skills.

Larry Heath Photo Credit: Bree Gaudette