Australia has an incredibly rich and diverse music scene – from classical to hard rock and everything in between, there’s something for every music-lover. Unfortunately, the arts industry has been heavily impacted by COVID-19, with festival and live concert cancellations nationwide.
In response, a huge range of local venues and artists are hosting performances that you can access for free without having to leave your house, so you can continue to dance/sing/enjoy quietly (whichever is your usual music listening-style!) – many even have options to donate money to keep the industry alive. Let’s run through some of the Aussie music you can explore from your couch.
Isol-Aid, the ‘socially (media) distanced music festival’, works like this: “Every weekend from 12 noon to 12 midnight (AEST) artists play 20-minute sets streamed live via their Instagram accounts. At the end of their set, each musician tag-teams the next artist to play, sending fans down a rabbit hole of new music discovery, community, and good feels.” You can check out this weekend’s enormous line-up here.
Festival attendees are encouraged to donate to the Support Act, Australia’s only not-for-profit organisation providing relief for music workers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sydney Opera House
The iconic Sydney Opera House plays host to a huge range of local and international performers all year-round, which means they have an enormous backlog of concerts saved up in their archives. They have recently introduced From Our House to Yours, where every day from Wednesday to Sunday, they’ll share never-before-seen digital content – you can check what’s coming up here, or even set reminders for yourself on YouTube so you can catch the premiere. In addition, the Sydney Opera House YouTube channel is packed with recorded shows covering all genres of music.
The new way to experience live music and comedy – right from the comfort of your own home – Delivered Live is not only an excellent way to enjoy live music, but to get some insight into how musicians and their bands work. Delivered Live describes itself as “a ‘normal’ gig – there will be a tour manager, road crew, an agent, a ticket seller, a front-of-house staff, venue manager, publicist, merch seller and, of course, the amazing artists,” with shows streamed live to YouTube and Facebook every Sunday.
Fans virtually ‘attending’ the gig can voluntarily buy a ticket at a price level they are comfortable at, with these sales then going directly to the artist and crew, and fans will also get the rare chance to look at how the artist and their team earn a living, with each show sharing who is getting what percentage of the total revenue.
Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra is working to #KeepTheMusicGoing by introducing a new online concert series, with archival performances being broadcast for the first time. Every Thursday at 7.30pm (AEST), MSO Live on YouTube is updated with music for you to enjoy.
If you’re someone that studies well with classical music playing, MSO Live is perfect – the performances often run over an hour, so you can have it playing in the background while you work.
Hot Dub at Home
Hot Dub Time Machine – a.k.a. Sydney DJ, Tom Lowndes – is ‘World’s First Time Travelling DJ’, playing songs in strict chronological order from 1954 to 2020. With the cancellation of shows came the introduction of Hot Dub at Home – an incredible 2.5-hour dance party you can groove to at home. Streamed on Saturdays via their Twitch channel with information and updates via Facebook, all that’s asked of you is to share your pictures and dance clips with the hashtag #hotdubathome so that even more people can get dancing.
Sunny Side Uploads
Adelaide’s brand new Sunny Side Uploads are (responsibly) bringing Adelaide’s live music experience to you, in your own space, via Facebook Live. If you’re someone that loves discovering new and upcoming acts, this is an excellent opportunity to check out local musicians from the comfort of your couch, while also donating to the artists and crew to keep this service running.
Shows are updated regularly via Sunny Side Upload’s Facebook, so you can organise when to fit some cool new tunes into your schedule.
The Lounge Room Sessions
Brought to you by the Riverboats Music Festival in Victoria, the Lounge Rooms Sessions is a super simple concept – every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday night, Australian artists are invited to perform a set from their lounge rooms, straight to yours, broadcast live via the Lounge Room Sessions Facebook.
A link is included alongside each post, so viewers can make an optional contribution to the artist via a dedicated fundraising page, with 100% of all funds received paid directly to the artist.
Nic Kelly’s Isolation Hour
For something a little bit different, tune into Nic Kelly’s Isolation Hour – a fast-paced hour-long interview with local Aussie artists shared live on Instagram. Isolation Hour isn’t on any set day, so make sure to follow Nic Kelly on Instagram for all the details on the next one.
For live updates…
Just like us, artists can get bored in isolation – fortunately for us, this means there is a constant flow of new, online concerts to enjoy. The Music has constant coverage of all the news from the Australian music industry (and important international updates), including all the new festivals and concerts that are happening, so make sure you schedule a little bit of live music into your lives.