BIGSOUND’s big payout

King Social's Constantine Hagiaglou performing at BIGSOUND 2016. The 2017 Festival will extend to a four-day format, and introduce a $100,000 prize pool. IMAGE: Angelandevil Photography

BIGSOUND, the largest celebration of new music in the southern hemisphere, will provide even further opportunities for the success of participants past and present with its Levi’s® Music Prize – a $100,000 annual prize pool announced today for BIGSOUND artist alumni.

Before this announcement, the Festival was still up there as one of the most influential events for artists, providing a platform to showcase in front of industry professionals and attend seminars run by the best in the industry. The 2017 BIGSOUND Festival features an expanded program held from September 5-8 in its ancestral home, Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley.

The $100,000 prize pool is the largest music prize in Australian music history, and is designed to support artists that have built significant initial career momentum via their BIGSOUND experience, but who need a financial leg-up to keep moving forward.

Flume, Seth Sentry, The Temper Trap, Megan Washington, Ball Park Music, San Cisco, Boy & Bear, Tash Sultana, and many more have used BIGSOUND as a springboard into international markets. Past Townsville acts that have showcased at the Festival include the Middle East in 2009 and King Social in 2016.

QMusic Executive Officer Joel Edmondson said 2017 won’t just see a new wave of talent play the Festival, but will also add to the list of artists eligible for the Levi’s Music Prize.

“This partnership with the Levi’s brand is a game-changer for Australian music export,” said Joel.

“It is a major commitment by the Levi’s brand to the music sector that has been designed to further enhance the value BIGSOUND can offer our brightest talents to achieve their international goals. The Levi’s Music Prize creates an important new link in the support chain, enabling artists to capitalise on the opportunities created by showcasing in front of over a hundred international industry players at BIGSOUND.”

Levi’s Marketing Manager for Australia & New Zealand, Nicky Rowsell said the partnership with BIGSOUND had been in the planning stages for some time.

“I am super proud to be launching the Levi’s® Music Prize at this year’s BIGSOUND. This project has been a few years in the making and is an initial 3-year commitment that we plan to build out with additional opportunities for artists over the coming years,” said Nicky.

“Music has always been a part of the Levi’s® brand DNA. It therefore made perfect sense for us to create the Levi’s Music Prize as a platform to export Australian talent to the world and further give back to the local music community and all that it stands for.”

Applications are now open for BIGSOUND 2017 through the Festival website. Applications for the Music Prize will open later in the year for BIGSOUND alumni. IMAGE: BIGSOUND.

The Levi’s Music Prize fulfils BIGSOUND’s ambition to deliver increasing value to showcasing artists. Administered by QMusic in conjunction with Sounds Australia, the prize provides multiple opportunities for BIGSOUND artists as they build their international careers post-BIGSOUND. An initial $25,000 prize will be awarded on the final day of BIGSOUND, as judged by a panel of visiting international music industry experts. The program will then be opened up to BIGSOUND alumni that have featured in the showcase over the last five years to apply for further $25,000 prizes over the following three quarters.

To further increase the opportunities for artists vying for the Levi’s Music Prize, BIGSOUND will also expand to a four-night format, with each artist now given the opportunity to play twice across the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday night event.

“The choice was an easy one, with our focus purely on making sure that artists get the best opportunity possible to get in front of the people that matter. We have dozens of internationals flying halfway around the world to see great Australian music and we want to give them the best opportunity to see the acts they want to see in the best possible setting,” said Joel.

“Expanding to an additional night also makes for a far better experience for punters, with extra chances to see their next favourite band.”

Queensland Premier and Minister for the Arts Annastacia Palaszczuk said the Queensland Government was proud to support local musical talent through QMusic and its initiatives such as BIGSOUND.

“BIGSOUND, one of Australia’s premier music events, showcases our songwriters and performers to the world. This unique musical gathering attracts more than 1300 delegates from across the country and the globe, with 160 bands and artists featured across 16 venues in Brisbane each year,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“This event connects local emerging talent with national and international industry networks and provides important export pathways for artists.”

“It is wonderful to see the private sector support the growth of BIGSOUND and increasing opportunities to showcase Queensland’s contemporary musicians.”

Industry tickets for BIGSOUND 2017 go on sale today with special early-bird rates available until May 14. BIGSOUND Artist applications close on Sunday, May 7 and can be accessed here.

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