Music legends and major voices – behold the BIGSOUND50 and keynote speaker announcement
It’s safe to say 2020 hasn’t been a typical year, but BIGSOUND isn’t a typical event. The brilliant minds behind one of Australia’s most beloved music conferences weren’t going to let a little thing like a global pandemic get in the way of pulling together yet another groundbreaking line-up of talent – things are just going to be a little bit different (and a lot more online) for BIGSOUND’s 2020 edition. The tastemakers and talent-finders of our country’s music landscape have curated one of the most kick-ass programs ever, creating an entirely digital experience that still packs just as much of a punch as IRL events of yore. A red-hot line-up of incredible musicians, industry boffins and pop-culture icons have combined to create a program that speaks to the spirit of the conference – the ambitious, the undiscovered, the offbeat and the downright legendary.
While it may not be business as usual when it comes to BIGSOUND this year, the festival’s programmers have managed to create a totally virtual experience that will be a treat for both artists and eager music lovers alike. Organisers have sifted through boundless material to bring together a line-up of 50 artists that they believe need to be heard, making sure that the mixture of talent is full of rich cultural representation – you can scroll through to see faces of all identities (as opposed to a sea of white dudes with guitars). What transpired is a truly diverse crop of talent that represents the future of music in Australia – the BIGSOUND50 selection includes Dallas Woods, The Merindas, Jaguar Jonze, JK-47, L-FRESH The LION, Sycco, No Money Enterprise, BIRDZ, Memphis LK, Harper Bloom and plenty more names that will soon be firmly on your radar.
As well as the musical component of the festival, BIGSOUND has also dropped its conference program for us to pore over. Joining previously announced heavy-hitters including Tom Morello, Kev Carmody, Tones And I, Amy Shark, Nat’s What I Reckon and more is AI creativity thought leader Tim Urban, a TED Talk phenomenon who will no doubt inject some seriously inspiring energy to the line-up. It’s no surprise that a few shocks to the entertainment industry have given panellists plenty of thought-provoking material to work with – listeners will be able to gain enlightenment on topics such as the music industry sh*tshow, the future of online streaming, “paying the rent” to our Indigenous artists, sustainability in the music industry, invaluable mental-health advice and oodles more. In a very helpful move for artists, there will also be workshops covering off Facebook marketing, Spotify streaming, change management and financial crisis management – so tell your muso mates!
Feeling inspired? You can explore the whole whopping BIGSOUND50 and keynote speaker announcement on the festival’s official website, as well as register your (virtual) attendance for free.