Great Southern Nights calls on NSW venues to host socially distanced shows

Venue applications are open until August 14

Applications are now open for New South Wales venues to host a gig as part of the state government’s Great Southern Nights live music initiative.

Venues from across the state are encouraged to apply, with the festival aiming to deliver 1,000 COVID-safe gigs to regional areas including the Blue Mountains, Hunter Valley and Lord Howe Island, as well as Sydney.

Sites will have to meet certain criteria to be selected, such as a proven track record for hosting gigs, appropriate live music licensing and an existing audience that is likely to turn up for the show.


Any venues that do make the cut will receive financial support in the form of a one-off, $2,500 payment, to help pay the artists and cover other production costs. They’ll also be able to suggest which musicians they’d like to host.

As reported by The Music, Stuart Ayres, the Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney, said they’ve already been overwhelmed with expressions of interest since announcing the initiative in June.

“We had more than 700 venues register interest to be involved,” he said. “So we hope all of these and more apply to be in the program to showcase their area and local talent.

“There’s no more authentic experience than celebrating Australian music in a country pub, local bar or beachfront club.”


Great Southern Nights will take place across three weeks in November. So far the lineup, which has been curated by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) and an advisory committee, features a handful of impressive acts, including Thelma Plum, Tones and I, Tash Sultana, Jimmy Barnes, Missy Higgins and Paul Kelly.

Applications for venues are open until August 14 and can be found here.